Newbie question....

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by cabolick, May 31, 2010.

  1. cabolick

    cabolick TPF Noob!

    May 29, 2010
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    Salisbury, N. Carolina
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    I have purchased a Nikon D5000 with a 55-200 VR lens to take photos of my daughter at dance competitions. I hope this will get the job done. We don't always sit near the front of the auditorium and most of the time there isn't much light.
    What kind of pointers can you all give for the first shoot. Will post some of the results later on for further help in the future. Please explain basic settings if possible.

    Thanks in advance
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2003
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Your issue will likely be getting a shutter speed that is fast enough to freeze the movement. VR is a nice feature and it does help to get clearer shots in lower light but unfortunately it can't do anything to freeze a moving subject...only a faster shutter speed can do that.

    There are three variables for an exposure. The aperture of the lens, the shutter speed and the sensitivity of the medium (ISO). This is why it really helps to have a lens with a large maximum aperture (low F number). Unfortunately, your lens's max aperture is only F4 to F5.6 (depending on the zoom)....which is considered small. A better option would be the 70-200mm F2.8 VR, but that one costs a whole lot more.

    The other variable is the ISO. As you turn up the ISO, you can use a faster shutter speed. The problem is that higher ISO gives you more digital noise/grain. It's up to you as for how high you are comfortable going, but noise is often better than blurry shots.

    Another issue may be setting your exposure. You will want to make sure that you are exposing for the dancers and not the whole scene, especially if it includes dark areas. If your camera has a spot metering setting, that might be a good time to use it.

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