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Old Nov 20, 2009, 9:02 AM   #1
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Default Advise on taking photos of a parade

I am planning to go to the Thanksgiving parade in Philly. I am thinking to shoot on P mode, but don't know what ISO to pick, white balance etc. I know depending on the weather, how much sun will make a difference. Also I am planning on looking in the view finder prior to the parade, play with the white balance and see which looks the best. I am thinking my 55-200 lens will be used more than my 18-55, though I will bring both. Fill flash won't be too helpful with taking photos of the floats. Not sure if shooting in RAW will be a big advantage with the options on my camera and software to work with later.

I am also thinking about shooting in Aper mode when I want to focus on the subject and leave the background slightly blurred as well. Hmmm, as long as the weather is nice, it should be fun day. If it is sunny, would you choose ISO of 200---400?
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Old Nov 20, 2009, 9:33 AM   #2
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Glenn,

If you don't want motion blur then set ISO to give you 1/400 shutter speeds or better given the aperture you choose. For what it's worth I usually shoot aperture priority and adjust ISO to get minimum shutter speed. Not sure how auto-ISO is customizable in your camera (I don't have it in mine) but that may do the job for you.

My usual preference is to shoot auto white balance. Outdoors, most DSLRs do a great job of it in AWB. It's under artificial light where they run into problems.

But be cognizent of what metering mode you have your camera in and what part of the scene it's evaluating. If you've got bright light and a lot of light / dark in the frame you may need to use Exposure Compensation to adjust the exposure to your liking.

If there's bright sunligh I would still shoot RAW - that way if you blow some critical highlights you'll be able to recover them as long as they're not too badly blown.
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Old Nov 20, 2009, 6:50 PM   #3
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Good stuff from John (as usual).

Since lens choice comes up often, I'd just add something on that.

First question is: what are you going to do with the photos? If you don't figure on doing something that requires high resolution, I would suggest a fairly cheap wide to long lens: what I have thought of as parade lenses for the last umpty years (way before digital). Sometimes you want a 28mm (equiv) to shoot the juggler 4 feet from you. Other times a 200mm lens is just what you want for a long shot of Miss Lutifisk against a background of the grain elevators.

And if you want something sometimes with high resolution, use the widest zoom you have and figure you are going to crop (loose resolution) for the long shots.
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 11:27 AM   #4
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You might also want to consider which side of the street to be on. Will you be shooting into the sun or away from it?
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Old Nov 21, 2009, 1:41 PM   #5
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If there are balloons you want to shoot, use spot metering on the balloon, otherwise the bright sky (even a cloudy sky), will cause the balloons to be too dark.

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Old Nov 22, 2009, 7:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
If there are balloons you want to shoot, use spot metering on the balloon, otherwise the bright sky (even a cloudy sky), will cause the balloons to be too dark.

brian
There will be balloons.....lots of them, so thanks for bringing spot metering.
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Nikon D5000 with 18-55, and 55-200 vr lens
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Nikon S640
Nikon Coolpix 5700
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Old Nov 23, 2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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It's going to be a cloudy day on Thursday in Philly. Would you recommend just putting the WB on "Cloudy" or "Shade" to add even more orange? I am thinking using the "Cloudy" WB. Of course I will compare it to Auto mode and see which looks better.

Then taking photos of my family at the parade, I could use the fill flash on the camera, or the SB 600. I am thinking if they are within 10 feet of the camera, the D5000 flash should be good enough?
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Nikon S640
Nikon Coolpix 5700
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