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Old Dec 12, 2010, 9:36 AM   #1
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Default How should I do it?

Hi everyone!

Tomorrow my kids will singing and performing to celebrate Lucia, so it will be quite dark with a bunch of kids with lights in hair and in hands.

How should I prepare for that? I am not sure how far back I will be, but I know that Flash is not accepted, my lowlight lens hasn't arrived yet so I have my trustworthy 55-300 and also the 18-55. any tips?

/Michael.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 11:31 AM   #2
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You'll be shooting in challenging circumstances, with lenses that are not ideal for low-light situations. All I can suggest is to kick up the sensitivity (ISO) very high, and keep your lens aperture as wide open as possible. Obviously you'll want a tripod for this job. Even with the ISO as high as you can set it, you'll still probably have slow enough shutter speeds that there will be some motion blur, but that might make for some very interesting images. Good luck.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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I would use the 55-300 and zoom in a lot - make the shot as bright as possible in the viewfinder. But you must have support - back of a seat, monopod or tripod if you can find a way to erect it ! You have a Kx so use a higher ISO than you would normally - maybe 3,200 - and clean up the noise in PP.

If you go to around 180mm then you can use F4.5, 3,200 and 1/180 to help minimum movement blur (you need to keep that speed up otherwise you are going to get a lot of OOF shots) and crop - it should be sharp, alternatively if you are further back then 250 - 280mm (for sharper shots than at 300mm), 1/180, 3,200 and F5.8. Your shots should all have nice narrowish DOF to isolate your subject(s).
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 11:55 AM   #4
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It's hard to give you any tips because you don't even know what is going to happen.
Mtnman pointers are perfect, as Forgfishes only I would dare to go to 6400iso.

What I can add is, shoot RAW or RAW+ , use spot metering and don't stick with the settings you start out with.

Shoot check whats happening (exposure and motion blur and then try again)


If there is dancing/movement involved you would need about a 1/90s to have them come out without to much motion blur from the performers (when close) and then if you're farther away you're gonna need that at least to keep a steady shot.

But then ... I don't know how much movement there will be so don't fixate on the 1/90s , higher is better, but then lower iso is also better.

One last thing, shoot a lot of pictures but .... Enjoy the performance also and not only thru the viewfinder.

Succes

Ronny
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 1:08 PM   #5
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Hm,
you'll have two main problems:

#1 - low light
#2 - movement

Personally I'd try to approach this as a kind of "stage shot" and go for the whole scenery rather than a more portrait oriented approach. The kids will tell a story with this performance, try to get some good group shots! For christmas singing in a church I used a Pentax A 50/1.7 and got great results. Now your lenses aren't so fast, but if chances are, that the kids will move through the audience with their candles and stuff - you'll need some wider lens to capture this. A wider lens is easier to handle in terms of camera shake, too. Based on my (very limited) experience with the K-r I'd go for something like ISO6400 on average.

Hint: you can't avoid the moving kids to appear "blurred" at times, just go with it or even try to use it as a style element.

Just my 2 cents - good luck!

Th.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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thanks for all your help (as usual!) I will try and do what you all have suggested and hope for the best I will shoot raw + jpeg so I have the ability to postprocess

my checklist:
* Tripod
* High ISO
* Fastest availible shutter (hopefully over 1/100)
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 12:51 PM   #7
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hello everyone
well, lucia was a few hours ago and my kids were fantastic *of course*

however, I am glad that I shot in RAW because now I understand why...oh my god how much info you can save by doing it in raw!!
very well, here are an example of how my picture looks in unedited raw and then in edited raw...
my shutter times tonight was below 1/80 mostly around 1/40 or lower depending on which lens and which aperture I had/got.

took 160 pictures, around 20-30 were sharp enough to keep. I shot with iso 4000 most of the time since that was the only way to keep shutterspeeds up. I so want my new f/2 lens...that should help me with these kind of pictures. but anyway, it was fun and I learnt alot...

below is my son almost 6 years old, begging to be lucia And who am I to stop him right
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 1:25 PM   #8
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Congratulations - I know you're going to get some printable shots from those. Maybe you could have gone a bit higher with the ISO (6,400) to get the speed up and reduce blurring.

If you play with those shots you can get the sharpness back ... here's 5 mins with your shot (and this is just the 84kb forum version).
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 1:43 PM   #9
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Ah, I am glad it turned out ok for you. 20-30 or so keepers, that's not too shabby.

If you need a hand with one image or the other, let us know - many people can offer help with their special knowledge in postprocessing.

From what I saw while playing with the K-r, ISO4000 should be fine.

As for your son begging to be Lucia - with 6 years the world is a great place to play and kids usually try everything, including all male and female roles/characters. Nothing to worry about.

Do you have a wider view of the whole scenery?

Th.
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Old Dec 13, 2010, 2:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post
Congratulations - I know you're going to get some printable shots from those. Maybe you could have gone a bit higher with the ISO (6,400) to get the speed up and reduce blurring.

If you play with those shots you can get the sharpness back ... here's 5 mins with your shot (and this is just the 84kb forum version).
wow, that is amazing, may I ask how you sharpened it so great? I use lightroom 3, but I can't get it as sharp as you did...

yes, perhaps I could have gone too 6400, maybe next time
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