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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:19 AM   #1
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Because I have a decent camera set up and take decent action shots, I somehow let myself get talked into taking team and individual pictures of a young girls basketball team my neighbor coaches.

I have a Canon digital rebel xt, sigma external flash and diffuser, Canon 85mm f1.8 lens and Sigma 28 - 70mm f2.8 and a tripod.

I am attaching a few sample shots I took last night. The EXIF info should be attached to the photos. These pictures are out of the camera but cropped for this forum and were taken using the Sigma lens.

The conditions I am shooting in are a meeting room, no outside light, fluroscent lighting, gray background.

The sample shots were taken using the Sigma lens. Most of the shots I took using the external flash and the diffuser are seriously overexposed

I am hoping that someone more experienced with this kind of thing can give me an idea of what settings they would start with and give me some comments on the samples attached and what I might have done differently. They just look flat to me.

Interested in knowing what shutter speeds you might look for, what aperature setting you would use, white balance settings, etc . Also when taking the team shots would you use the ADEP setting to insure everyone is in focus? What metering setting would you use? These are the kind of things I need some help with.

It is questionable as to wether I will be able to use the Canon lens because the room is smallish so I may be forced to stick with the Sigma. I do also have the kit lens.

I have a pretty good grasp on general photography and action photography but taking individual shots in a "sterile" enviornment is a whole new world to me. Any thoughts you guys can share would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a ton!
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:20 AM   #2
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:22 AM   #3
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:22 AM   #4
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:24 AM   #5
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:45 AM   #6
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After looking at your shots, there are a few things you can do to improve what you have with your current equipment.

First, I would say pull the subject further away from the background (say 3 to 5 feet or more) to help blur the back ground a bit and to also drop some of the light off the background. In a situation like this with a dark background it sometimes looks better to try and hide it all together.

As for settings, that will depend a lot on the room environment. I didn't try to look at the EXIF but when using your flash are you bouncing it or is a direct fire? It almost looks like a direct fire to me and bouncing it will remove some of that harsh lighting on the subject.

I would stick with the Sigmas lens because it will allow you more control over composition. The Canon 85mm is a great lens, but on a Rebel XT the crop factor makes it almost unusable in an enclosed environment unless you are going for mostly head shots.

I would say get to the sight as early as you can and take a few test shots using different settings. If the ceiling is low enough, you can bounce the flash. If it is too high, you can possibly use a side wall and bounce it off of that as well.

Good luck with this, I hope you do well.

Dave

http://www.porterphotography.net
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:45 AM   #7
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After looking at your shots, there are a few things you can do to improve what you have with your current equipment.

First, I would say pull the subject further away from the background (say 3 to 5 feet or more) to help blur the back ground a bit and to also drop some of the light off the background. In a situation like this with a dark background it sometimes looks better to try and hide it all together.

As for settings, that will depend a lot on the room environment. I didn't try to look at the EXIF but when using your flash are you bouncing it or is a direct fire? It almost looks like a direct fire to me and bouncing it will remove some of that harsh lighting on the subject.

I would stick with the Sigmas lens because it will allow you more control over composition. The Canon 85mm is a great lens, but on a Rebel XT the crop factor makes it almost unusable in an enclosed environment unless you are going for mostly head shots.

I would say get to the sight as early as you can and take a few test shots using different settings. If the ceiling is low enough, you can bounce the flash. If it is too high, you can possibly use a side wall and bounce it off of that as well.

Good luck with this, I hope you do well.

Dave

http://www.porterphotography.net
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Old Oct 26, 2006, 9:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for your comments

The flash is bounced off the ceiling. The ceilings are 10 foot ceilings and white ceiling tile.

The subject is about 3 feet away from the back drop in this shot.

I might try a few shots using the camera's built in flash and a few without the diffuser. It just seems like the diffuser, which I just got, is part of the problem with the over exposures ...

Would you shoot in portrait mode or fiddle with your settings, like shooting in manual, aV or tV?

Also, curious as to how I might bounce the flash off of a side wall ... my flash does not swivel. I use the Sigma EF-500 DG ST which is a TTL unit. I had it set on the TTL setting

Thanks again

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Old Oct 26, 2006, 10:30 AM   #9
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Since you are bouncing it off of the ceiling and it is still creating a shadow behind the subject, you could try to pull the subject even further away.

As for the diffuser, you could always try a few in manual mode and work with the flash settings to get the right look. I don't think you will like the results of the on camera flash, but you could try a direct fire flash with the diffuser but bring down the flash strength a bit.

You also might be able to improve on some of the shadows by adding some sort of a reflector to bounce some of the light into the darker areas. You could try something easy like a piece of white poster board or something like that.

Dave
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Old Oct 27, 2006, 4:58 PM   #10
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As im still learning on the actual flah photography side i dont htink i can really offer anything additioanl to what has been said

however i had a quick play with one of your images. Hope you dont mind

ken
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