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Old May 6, 2009, 12:58 AM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Hobart Tasmania
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Paul is pretty much on the spot with his advice.

I woul add a couple of other tips.

Shoot RAW not JPG. This gives you much more freedom to adjust colour balance later.

Get a good noise reduction program, I use Noise Ninja, as at high ISO values you will see considerable noise. This can be greatly reduced by good software.

This is a picture at my daughter's gaduation takemn wit an *istDS , sigma 18-125mm zoom. ISO was 3200 and shutter speed of 1/30 with the aperture at f5.6. The colour has been adjusted and noise reduction applied.

Good luck

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Old May 6, 2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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Phil's photo is a great example of why. There's a lot of motion blur - too much, IMO. Anti shake can't correct for that. And as you said you won't get a second chance. But you'll need to be within about 15' for the built-in flash to be any good. If you're 35 feet away, don't expect the built in to do the job.

Here's a shot from my niece's graduation from a couple years ago. Different camera and lens but that's not relevant. It was 186mm (same range as you'll have), f4 (you'll be 5.6 but that's OK) and ISO 800, 1/250. But the important thing was I used flash.

Of note here was - graduates came from both sides of the stage so positioning myself in the right spot required finding out which side of the stage my niece was going to be coming from AND paying attention to lines of site. You don't want the standing line of graduates between you and your subject and you don't want your subject walking away from your position.

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