So I tried Shooting a Halloween Party

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by blatalllic, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. blatalllic

    blatalllic TPF Noob!

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    I struggled, being this was my first time shooting in this type of setting...

    Gear
    Olympus E-500
    Zuiko Digital 17.5 - 45 mm F3.5 - F5.6
    Olympus FL-36 flash

    I shot in A mode.....Set my ISO at 400, maybe I should of gone higher...The biggest problem I had was focusing...I couldnt get a clear shot, I couldnt see through the camera because it was to dark so I place it in Auto-Focus, still didn't do a whole lot...I got a few shots that looked good, but no many...I have to say it was fustrating:x....What do you guys do to get in to focus in night club settings? Suggestions would greatly be appreciated...:hail:
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Your lens isn't helping you...it's maximum aperture is F3.5-F5.6...which isn't letting in a lot of light for focusing. It would be much easier with something like a 50mm F1.4 or F1.8 etc.

    Still, sometimes that is not enough. My flash (Canon 430EX) has an Autofocus assist beam, which really helps to focus in low light.

    There are other ways to focus in low light. You can try manually focusing...but you still need enough light to see. I will often use a smaller aperture setting (F8 ) because that gives a deeper DOF, and a better chance of having your subject in focus (but uses more flash power).

    Anther option, would be to prefocus at a specified distance (say 6 feet). Then just put yourself at that distance away from your subjects when you shoot. Or, if you lens has distance markings, like the older lenses used to...you can use that to see how far away you are focused.
     
  3. blatalllic

    blatalllic TPF Noob!

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    Funny you mentioned that focusing it in Manual and leaving it like that..I actually tried that and got a some shots...

    This was with bouncing the flash off the ceiling
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Looks like the girl's shoulder on the right is in focus...but the rest of it is out of focus. Here is where shooting at F8 or F11 would have helped.
     
  5. blatalllic

    blatalllic TPF Noob!

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    I see what your talking about....bad thing about olympus, is that everything is so expensive lol
     
  6. Big Mike

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

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    Canon gear isn't cheap either...but at least it's a little more plentiful and easy to find.
     
  7. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I shot a halloween party this weekend as well it was in a dark barn so not much light for focusing although the autofocus assist light helped. Another technique I use in low light situations where there is not enough ambient light to focus is to use the sillloutte of the person to focus. Position your focus piont right were the person's dark silloutte meets a light background this will create enough cantrast for the camera to focus just be sure to have the majority of the pocus area on the person not the backgrounsd. I took about 100 shots at aperatures from 4 to 5.6 and only had about 5 that were out of focus.
     
  8. blatalllic

    blatalllic TPF Noob!

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    wow, thats good info....It took me a couple of days to locate the flash for this camera...oddly anough I found it at Circuit city....
     
  9. Travis

    Travis TPF Noob!

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    Take a look at this guy's nightlife photography tutorial. There are some good tips there. (The site is down right now. It goes down often for about a day at a time).

    Basically he says to:
    - Shoot in full manual. Set Aperture around 5, ISO low, and vary shutter speed from about half a second to a second depending on the lighting.
    - Use autofocus.
    - Use rear curtain flash, probably stepped down a bit

    I shot halloween party last weekend. Shots are here. I wasn't paying enough attention to my shots and did not notice that many of them were very underexposed, so when I edited them in photoshop to try to get them as light as I like, it brought out a bunch of noise and messed up the colors, so I wasn't very happy with them. With the long shutter speeds the guy reccomends, and the flash to freeze the person, you can (often) get the background exposed nicely and still get detail on the person. When you do this, you can adjust your shutter speed to either get a realistic view of what the lighting actually was, or you can make the background seem much brighter than it was in reality. The halloween pictures I have look much lighter than the club actually was. (I like it that way and did it on purpose,.. in this case with post processing,.. I should've done it by increasing shutter speed or exposure settings, as I shot in shutter control mode). I hope my rambling helps some, if not, the link above should at least!
     
  10. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    For manual focusing jobs it's best to use a high end OM lens. You can grab these off eBay for $20 or less. Quick though! The canon users are buying them up because there is a converter mount for them now. I dunno why they aren't building old Canon L glass.

    I've got an old Olympus 50mm 1.3 that would work great here. Fast and bright.

    I'd /love/ to get the 25mm (50mm equiv) digital prime offered by panasonic I think... but it's like $1500.

    The cool thing about Olympus glass is that it's almost always made to L optical standards.. but it's a tad cheaper. Unfortunately Olympus doesn't make sub-par glass for cheap, just high quality stuff. Most other manufacturers /do/ make "bargain" lenses.
     
  11. Eastw77

    Eastw77 TPF Noob!

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    I was just wondering you say to use a lens like a 50mm f1.8 but use it at f8 to get a deeper DOF. Does that mean that fast lenses like this are faster than standard lenses at every f-stop?
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    nope....

    This is the core reason why someone would pick a DSLR camera with better high ISO performance over just a faster lens. (or just use a flash).

    During the film days... film manufacturers were fighting hard to improve high ISO films... especially for B&W negatives.
     

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