Tips for an important assignment...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by NoamC, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. NoamC

    NoamC TPF Noob!

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    Hi everyone :wink:

    I wanna ask your (urgent...) help in preparation for a very important photography assignment that I'm about to take on, taking photos of a certain play in my town.
    I bought films of 800 and 1600 ASA (yeah, i'm still in the old era..), mainly 1600 ASA films, and I have CANON EOS33, a tripod of course and 2 lenses when the biggest is 300mm.
    Since it's my first time filming in such conditions of a play (low light, mainly projectors I guess), and since it's very important for me to succeed in this assignment, I would more than love to hear your tips on filming techniques. Which exposures, lenses, using flash etc..

    Many thanks! I hope I could share the results later ;)
     
  2. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    We could offer some suggestions if you were slightly more clear about what your subject will be and under what lighting conditions you will be shooting in.
     
  3. NoamC

    NoamC TPF Noob!

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    Hey Chris.
    The subjects are people, the actors acting in the play. Quite little of the set itself, mostly the actors. They will be having a rehearsal, where I need to be to take the photos. Which means also that I can be very close to the actors, I won't be sitting in the crowd.
    Unfortunately I'm not sure about the lighting conditions but it's probably gonna be mostly dark, with only the help of projectors providing some light on the set.
    The lenses I have by the way are:
    1. 28-90mm (4.0 most open aperture adjuster)
    2. 70-300mm (4.0-5.6 most open aperture adjuster )
     
  4. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    personally I'd go out and get a 50mm fast lens for the job. H
     
  5. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    Make sure to check if they allow flash photography.
     
  6. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    I'm only a beginner/amateur, but I had good luck shooting a play with my Sigma f2.8 zoom lens. I think the key will be having a fast lens and film (you have the film already).

    Btw, your flickr stream is amazing!
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    Are you using colour film? With speeds of ISO 800 and 1600 it sounds like it.

    If you want to maintain the feel of the stage lighting, then avoid flash entirely. The stage lights are likely to be tungsten balanced sources. Your film is likely to be daylight balanced. There are a number of options:

    Fix the colour mismatch during printing. This will cost you detail in the dark blues.

    'Overexpose' by up to two stops and fix the colour in post. This will help the dark blues, but may blow out the light reds - though probably not. Colour negative film has heaps of 'overexposure latitude', if you want to call it that.

    Use a blue correction filter, either full or partial.

    You may struggle with f/4 lenses and ISO 1600 film if it isn't fairly bright stage lighting. Try to find out beforehand - could you go to a technical rehearsal?

    Best,
    Helen
     
  8. NoamC

    NoamC TPF Noob!

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    Hi Helen.
    Thanks for your reply. The rehearsal I'm attending is the one I am to take photos in. That's why I'm trying to find out whatever I can before, I won't have any chances to experiment..
    Is there any solution you think to avoid struggling with an f/4 lense and 1600 ASA film in case the stage lighting is in fact not bright enough..?
    If the lighting is fair, I learned that it should be good taking photos with f/4 and either 1/45 or 1/60. What do you think?

    And Andrew, thanks alot for your reply here as well as the comments on my photostream! Very much appreciated. I'll be checking out yours soon :wink:
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At worst get into the place as early as you can and test your meter in various different places and as they are testing the lights pre-show.
     
  10. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    i did this once for a friend (shot a play during dress rehearsal) for one reason or another i had to use her camera and was restricted to a rather slow lens (think rebel Xti stock lens) basically what i did was get as close to the action as i could. At times i was less then 3 feet from the actors. (i was told this was actually good for them. if they could handle some guy with a camera in their face, then they could handle a large crowd) During the course of the play i found areas of the stages that had more intense light then others and i stuck around at those locations. Because it was fairly dark, i used manual focus so i didnt have to waste time with auto focus getting confused by the dark. i also locked the shutter in at 1/30th and let the camera deal with the rest. Finally i took lots of shots. i think i shot 350 frames in the hour the play lasted....in the end, that gave me 10 or so shots where there wasnt motion blur, the exposure was good, and the composition was good.
     
  11. NoamC

    NoamC TPF Noob!

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    10 out of 350? :shock:
    I assume you weren't using a tripod were you..?
     
  12. The_Traveler

    The_Traveler Completely Counter-dependent Supporting Member

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    This is a recipe for disaster. You have no idea where the action will be on the stage, when the important groupings are, when the action will be appropriate for your pictures, when people will be in the hot spots of the light.

    You won't have time to change lenses because you won't know what is coming. You really need faster lenses and a body for each lens you expect to use. (and a assistant to change film)
     

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