Shooting a dress rehearsal

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Peanuts, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Tomorrow I will be taking pictures at a dress rehearsal for a local school (images both for their use and as a learning experience for myself. I am most definitely not being paid) and I have a few questions that need some answers as well as some advice otherwise.

    I will be shooting with a borrowed 20D (350D is being repaired) so I need to review all the features, but are there any specific 'different' features I may not know about that will come in rather handy? Luckily, I am also borrowing a 70-200 f/2.8 IS (wow) lens for tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to grasp any new features regarding the lens and camera together.

    Will it be necessary to bring a monopod? (Also borrowed. Surprise?) I am uncertain whether I will be there for 2 hours or 4.

    ISO: The stage will be quite well lit I do believe, so I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I will be shooting in the 100-400 range, but for 20D owners, can anyone tell me if ISO800 + would make usable images? I plan to shoot in RAW and perhaps underexpose 1/3 of a stop to increase the shutter speed a tad with plans of brightening them up a bit in Photoshop.

    WB: Oy, where do I start? Auto? Or do I bring an object I know is perfectly white and select my custom balance off that once I take a shot? I am uncertain at this point if the lighting ‘temperatures’ will constantly be changing throughout the play.

    Just to confirm, the subjects will be ranging in age from 9-15 years old, so if I were to post any pictures or even put some on my flickr site, I would have to have their parents sign a 'model release' so to say?


    Those are all the technical questions I can think of right now, but I am sure I will think of more later. Thanks for all your help in advance J
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I will let others reply to the more technical questions, I will say that shooting without flash is the best you can do for the people rehearsing. That's why you might need a tripod or monopod. Good luck.
     
  3. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for replying mitica. I did forget to mention that I did not have any intention of bringing my flash. One more thing to deal with, it would (as you mention) distract that actors/actresses, as well I have heard of red eye problems with the 70-200 and using a flash. (Why I am not certain)
    Thanks for mentioning that.
     
  4. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    The WB will probably be tungsten/incandescent on stage. Fluorescent in the dressing rooms. Generally the colour temp in both areas will not vary. I think you are supposed to use a grey card for custom balance, but that is a whole other story.

    Shooting from the seats will give you the most freedom. Make sure it is ok to move around in between acts. The sweet spot is near 4th row center. Shots from the booth will work out well. Again get permission first. I like to get with the director and stage a "perfect shot". Intermission or at the end of the production usually woks best. Behind the scenes will provide some good shots. The problem is that it can be super chaotic. Dressing rooms freak me out. Again that is a whole other story.

    Model release sounds a little dramatic. My views in that area are nieve at best. We would like to see the results though.
     
  5. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Will it be necessary to bring a monopod? (Also borrowed. Surprise?) I am uncertain whether I will be there for 2 hours or 4.

    Always a good idea. But make sure you can dismount/remount the camera quickly.

    ISO: The stage will be quite well lit I do believe, so I am crossing my fingers and hoping that I will be shooting in the 100-400 range, but for 20D owners, can anyone tell me if ISO800 + would make usable images? I plan to shoot in RAW and perhaps underexpose 1/3 of a stop to increase the shutter speed a tad with plans of brightening them up a bit in Photoshop.

    From experiance shooting weddings, and corprate events, keep it around 400 ISO. The 200 is fine in well lit areas, but almost every AutoFocus I have used can under expose. USE THE EV adjustment! It can be your best friend.

    WB: Oy, where do I start? Auto? Or do I bring an object I know is perfectly white and select my custom balance off that once I take a shot? I am uncertain at this point if the lighting ‘temperatures’ will constantly be changing throughout the play.

    Keep it Auto WB. The last thing you need are pictures with the wrong color temp. Yes I know PS does wonders, but trust me, It'll save alot of time and headachs.

    Just to confirm, the subjects will be ranging in age from 9-15 years old, so if I were to post any pictures or even put some on my flickr site, I would have to have their parents sign a 'model release' so to say?

    This one is tricky, so I would ask a lawer. But to be safe, get it in writing, whatever you do.


    Word of caution. In an active enviroment with lots of hyper-active kids, (what child isn't?) watch your lighting. They can run and do something unexpectant, but you could have the sun in your face when you take the shot. Remember, keep the lights behind you as best as you can.
     
  6. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Thank you very much for your replies Craig and Soocom.

    I have just been testing a few shots with the camera and lens, and the monopod is a definite yes. I do not believe I can hold it for more than 5-10 min. straight without my arm aching. (Weakling? Yup)
    After reading your posts I know I have plenty to think about. Before the play begins (luckily just a dress rehearsal so I do believe my movement shouldn't be overly distractive), I will ask the director whether she prefers me in certain locations or if I am free to move around though.

    Regarding the dressing room, I will have my 50mm so I am hoping I can quickly slip behind the scene before the play, snap a few and run out again before I am trampled or any camera equipment is broken. (Not certain whether I should laugh or cry right now)

    I may quickly look up/draw up a little 'release' (so to say) tonight, and if I can catch some of the parents of the main kids I will inquire, but if not, it will have to be entirely self critique work I guess.

    Once again, your replies are very much appreciated :)
     
  7. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Yup. I'm only sad that ISO800 does not have the ample grain that I'm after.

    Good luck with the shoot!! :)
     
  8. Peanuts

    Peanuts TPF Noob!

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    Can't thank you all enough, the dress rehearsal went wonderful (at least for me, I can't say the director was overly pleased with the kids, but I was rather impressed with all their work). I learnt plenty throughout it, and the only problems I came across was a) Error 1: Which apparently means the lens contact needs to be cleaned. Of course this was in act 1, so I simply took it off and put it back on and it worked for the rest. But I need to look into that. 2) Slight white balance problems with about 5 min of the play when there was horribly.. orange.. lighting, still working with that in photoshop.

    These are the only photos I can show right now, but it does look like I am going to get permission from all/most of the parents.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    Glad it went through well!

    Love the ones portrayed here.
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Great! Glad it went well. Judging from the posts it looks like you got some good shots.
     

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