First Runway show tonight, need some pointers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dark Anghell, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Dark Anghell

    Dark Anghell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yesterday I got a chance to go backstage to a local fashion show. Unfortunately I had to leave early for school, but managed to get few shots while models were practicing the runway.

    Pictures below are all untouched. I want to know what I can do to improve them. I am using pocket bouncer on Speedlite and 50mm prime. My aperture was set to about f2.0-f2.2 I think for all of these and speed 1/125. ISO was kept at about 200-400.
    I think these are still coming out too dark and not as clear as I'd like them to be. My thoughts are: raise ISO to 400-800, keep the speed above 1/125 and increase aperture to f3.0.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The show tonight starts at 7p.m. and I really want to get some decent shots...especially since few may end up on pages of examiner.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You need to drag the shutter to pull out more of the ambient. Maybe find a better way to bounce it too. These all look like the basic on camera flash to me. If you hadn't told me any better, I'd think these were taken with a point and shoot.
     
  3. In2daBlue

    In2daBlue TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Agreed. More ambient here would make a big difference. Better flash bounce technique will help as well. I wouldn't go much higher than 400 ISO with strobe (my personal opinion). Also, the models aren't very sharp. With the strobe you should be able to get your aperture higher. You might play around with different apertures for different styles of photos. I have found 2.8 to be good for runway stuff but also have some nice shots when more than one model are coming down the runway using a variety DoF.
     
  4. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    784
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The last three look underexposed. Might need some more power from that flash or get it closer to them in those cases.
     
  5. Dark Anghell

    Dark Anghell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I wish I could bounce the flash off the ceiling, but the show is in a warehouse and this is not an option. I may try to use the flash without the bouncer, that way I can get more light onto the models.
    Right now I really want to get the most out of the equipment at hand. I feel that if I drop my speed down any more, then I might get blur from camera shake. Also I want to keep the noise down to a minimum. I have an 18-55mm lens, but I prefer the clarity of the pictures of the prime 50mm.
    Hopefully during the show other flashes will light up the subjects more, the pictures above were taken with just my flash going off.

    Anything else I should be paying attention to? Any recommended settings? I will play around with the settings at the show, but it would be nice to have some baseline settings I can go off of.
     
  6. Dark Anghell

    Dark Anghell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Survived my first day. I think I got the settings where I want them to be. I shot at 400ISO, f3.5-4 at 1/100. Then I varied the light output on the flash since there were 10 or more other photographers with their flashes going off at the same time.
    Things I have learned from last night:
    1) I need to get my own website
    2) I need business cards, pronto. Could have gotten few potential clients that night if I had my own site and cards to give out. I did meet a local designer, so I might try to network with her and shoot some of her dresses.
    3) I need a better camera. The 1.3 crop was killing me. If I moved back further to get the whole model, other people's heads got in my way. When I moved in closer to get clear shots, portion of the legs would get cut off.

    Other than that, I was a bit anxious at first...but loosened up towards the end of the show. Hopefully will make it out there tonight for couture portion of the fashion week.

    Does anyone have suggestions for a good domain site?
     
  7. RyanLilly

    RyanLilly No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,478
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri, USofA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Don't get too far ahead of yourself here. First off, I hope the lighting for the actual show was/is better than what was available in your rehearsal shots, so It was easier to capture more ambient lighting. It's is unlikely that other photographers flashes will affect your exposure at shutter speeds around 1/100, and as others have suggested, you can further reduce your shutter speed to get more ambient light and the flash will freeze your subject. Also you will want to set your camera/flash to second curtain sync. composition is very important in fashion, cutting off feet or heads is really not acceptable in this type of photography because the entire outfit was designed from head to toe , so it that means using you 18-55 rather than a 50mm prime, then that is a sacrifice you may need to make, or its time to invest is some glass to better fit your needs.

    From the photos above I would say your primarily should be concentrating on nailing your exposure and composition. then one you have that pretty solid, work on some flash techniques. Try to practice different bouncing, and dragging the shutter with some friends, setting your flash power, aperture, and shutter speed will eventually become second nature.
     
  8. bdavison

    bdavison TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok, I normally dont do this....but Ill share some of my secrets.

    First off...White Balance. Lighting in runway shows sucks. Dont use auto white balance. Get a good reading in there, and use program mode on the WB. WB is critical for good shots.

    Second, if you can go meet the models. Let them know who you are and what you will be doing. If they recognize you in the room, they will probably look at you...which is good. If they look at you, you can focus the eyes which is the second critical part. Nail the eyes, you nail the picture.

    Third, I dont recommend the 50mm prime. The reason why is the models tend to move really fast in the show...sometimes darn near sprinting down the runway. If your stuck on prime, you might miss a shot from ranging issues. I prefer a zoomy in the range of 55-200 range. Position yourself dead center of the runway if possible. Get down low, You dont want alot of runway showing in the shot. You want tall majestic towering models like skyscrapers. Beware the horrible meter sucking exposure ruining flats of crap.

    Fourth, Lighting. If you use flash you are gonna need lots of batteries for the flash, and preferably a backup. You will be firing fast, and flashes can eat batteries and even burn up on a runway shoot. Be aware of your recycle times...if the flash is getting slow, swap it and keep an eye on the temps. If you can shoot without a flash...go for it.

    Fifth, on to exposure. Use what the situation needs, but I try to shoot between f/4 to f/6 to get the sharpness. f/2-3 just doesnt work for me. It blurs out the background and makes the edges too soft on the models hair/clothing. You might notice on a f/2.8 shot, that her back hand is fuzzy from the lousy DOF. I try to shoot as low a ISO as possible, but do to typical runway lighting its probably around ISO 400 or so. I normally run aperture priority mode so I can keep the sharpness.

    Sixth, metering. Use center-weighted mode or spot. This is one of those few exceptions where matrix metering just doesnt cut it.

    Seventh, Composition. Try not to shoot when the model has both feet firmly planted on the ground. Try to get the shot right when the heel of the leading leg touches runway. Their arms will also be away from the torso, and you need this to portray the runway movement. It also opens up the clothing. You dont want some boring shot of them just standing there. The exception is the stop at the end of the runway. They will do the classic hand on waist hip bounce...shoot it, and this might be the spot where they give you eye contact.


    Good luck
     
  9. Dark Anghell

    Dark Anghell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Wow! You have no idea how appreciative I am of the info above! Thank you. I have this info saved on my computer.

    Lens choice is something I am unsure about. I am suspecting that crop factor has to do with this: others are able to shoot models full length from close distance with 50-200 zoom lens. I, on the other hand, can't get the full body even if I shoot from across the room. At the show I really wanted to move back so I can get full body (I realize that missing the bottom of the outfit is a huge no-no), but I'd have to be so far back that other people would take my spot and I'd be shooting the back of someone's head.

    I have had someone suggest to me that if I want to be doing this professionally or even as a hobby (but with better quality pics), then I should look into a camera with 1 to 1 sensor...something like Canon 5D (I prefer Canon).

    I am pretty comfortable with getting the right exposure when not using the flash. But as soon as I shoot pics in the dark, I have hard figuring out the right speed. From what I understand , I'd have to meter for the background and then let the flash correctly expose the subject. I had my flash set in ETTL mode the whole time.
     
  10. smn_xps

    smn_xps TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sturgis, Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am no expert but I do not think the sensor size matters, it is getting the proper field of view on the sensor that matters.

    if a 50 is too long then get a shorter zoom and go to it. the 18-55 zoom might just give you all you need.

    good luck
    jerry
     
  11. Dark Anghell

    Dark Anghell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    The problem you will run into is how the subject is going to look. I can switch to 35mm zoom length, but my subject will be distorted. I like that look for certain photos, but don't think it's very appropriate for a runway. You want the models to appear tall, skinny...but with a 35mm their torso will look like it has 10 extra lbs on it. That's why so many people suggest using 55mm+ for fashion shows, portraits and fashion photography. But when the sensor has 1.3 crop to it, 50mm becomes 65mm...which means I'd have to stand further back to get the whole person in my frame.

    Either way I am set on getting a new camera. Just a matter of time...hard to make large purchases like that when unemployed :grumpy:

    Below is a link to some of the pictures I have already processed and actually like.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pavlikphoto/sets/72157616964880205/
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  12. bdavison

    bdavison TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Did you try shooting portrait orientation instead of landscape orientation....turn the camera, and see if that helps with your 55-200 in getting the whole model.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

aperture runway show

,

camera settings for fashion runway shots

,

do you need flash for shooting runway shots?

,

pointers for photographing a fashion show

,

runway 50mm

,

shooting a runway show

,

shooting fashion runway with off camera flash

,

shooting runway fashion shows

,

what aperture to use in shooting runway

,

what iso for runway show