I need help! What exposure/settings to use for indoor Dance Show (theatre)??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ashlorraine, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Ashlorraine

    Ashlorraine TPF Noob!

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    Hi! I really need help because I have a lot of trouble with indoor photography

    I am going to a dance show tomorrow that will be inside an auditorium/theatre.

    What settings should I use? Obviously I will be too far away for a flash...I want to be able to use a high shutter speed so I can capture the movements if possible....what would work best to get the best quality of photo?

    Also, what is a good way of judging indoor & night photography in general (as far as using the flash, correct exposure)

    Thanks so much! :)

    By the way I have a Nikon D60
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  2. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    What camera you have isn't as important as what lenses you have. If you are shooting indoors and cannot use a flash, you will want the fastest glass you can get your hands on, and use the highest ISO you can without getting excessive noise.

    Unfortunately, as far as what settings to use, this is impossible to say. Every situation is different. How well is the area lit? Will there be mixed lighting? How far away are you going to be? .....
     
  3. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Phranquey asks some great questions to help us give more specific answers.
    Some more general ideas:

    • Spot meter, meter the subjects skin, or a brighter area you would not want overexposed. If they are moving around the stage and the lighting is consistent throughout, you might make not of the exposure settings and lock in place (if your camera has exposure lock) or switch to manual and use those settings so the meter doesn't adjust if it happens to fall on what will likely be a dark background.
    • If in semi-auto, and not in manual, prepare to use some negative exposure compensation. Even with spot metering you may need some, you'll have to see what you are getting.
    • Anticipate movement, capture the dancers at the end of a swing, or when arm is lifted high. This is the peak of the movement, often times it looks better in the picture, but also the motion is sometimes slower so it's easier to stop the action.
    As was said, what lenses do you have to work with, and be prepared to use higher ISO's to keep the shutter speed up.
     
  4. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since there are so many variables, all I can speak to is what I would do in the situation. I would put my fastest lens on, 50mm 1.8 since there is no telephoto option on this lens I would get there early and find a seat that fit my focal length. I would then set my ISO to auto, capping it at 1600. WB to auto and shoot RAW. Set my metering mode to center weight. Set my shooting mode to aperture priority and lock that value in at 2.8. No flash, it is probably not allowed or any real help anyways. I would use the seat in front of me to steady my camera if needed.

    I would see what kind of shots that gets me... if it is still too dark, possibly bump up the ISO to 3200 first. Still under, switch to full manual and start dropping shutter speed at the cost of motion blur.

    If none of that works, I would put my camera back in my bag and enjoy the show.





    p!nK
     
  5. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't cap it, personally. If you have to crank it up all the way, then do it. Noise can be dealt with in post. Motion blur cannot.

    My method would be this. Make sure you're shooting RAW. Manual mode, fast lens, aperture opened up all the way. Set shutter at an acceptable speed. Use the metering method that myfotoguy suggested (spot metering skin and/or highlights you don't want blown). Start at ISO 800 and crank it until you get a properly metered exposure. Make sure to take some test shots and check your histogram, just to make sure you are getting good results, and adjust as needed. Since the lighting is likely to not change much, you can probably shoot at this setting reliably all night. Though, I would check my exposure throughout the night and make adjustments as needed.
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you dont have F2.8 or lower lenses leave your camera at home because the longer the focal length you use the higher your shutter speed will need to be so if you dont have a 70-200F2.8 forget it even with that lens you will probably have to use ISO3200
     
  7. Josh220

    Josh220 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want usable pictures, go buy a new lens today. 70-200 f/2.8 if you can afford it. If not, then a 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.8 or a 85mm f/1.8 prime. They wont get you in as close but they wont cost you $2300 either.

    You may just be better off enjoying the show.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The camera has a built in light meter that can be used to measure the amount of reflected light and to indicate a correct exposure.
     

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