Lighting In Arena Setting

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by ElizaMM, May 11, 2019.

  1. ElizaMM

    ElizaMM TPF Noob!

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    I have been invited to ComicCon and know little about the lighting I will encounter. I know the place is cavernous, with differing types of light. From what I have found in on-line advice, there is a difference of opinion. Either use a high ISO, with a fast shutter, or reduce shutter speed and ISO, increase the aperture and use a flash. I will have family with me, so I will be able to use my flash off-camera. Since I have not been in an atmosphere like this, before, I would like to know if there is a safe, go-to method. My lens is 24-55 and the largest aperture is 4, at 24mm and 5.6, when zoomed.

    I have posted a related question in Photographic Discussions about the etiquette involved in this.​



     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My go-to method for this sort of stuff if I'm there to cover the event is speedlight on a TTL extension cord. Shoot at the highest usable ISO (to minimize recycle time and maximize battery life), a mid-range aperture, maybe 5.6; camera in one hand, speedlight in the other.
     
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  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Off-camera flash with a diffuser or reflector, such as an umbrella. If a family member can/will hold the flash where it needs to be, you're in good shape.
     
  4. ElizaMM

    ElizaMM TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm using my SL2 which does not do TTL with an external flash. I like it because it is light to carry around. I can still use your idea though, with a wireless trigger. I have a 7D, but it is about 4 pounds with the lens and I use it only with a tripod.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A single flash without an umbrella, can be held highand to the left ofcamera and angled down and to the right side of the group, and that will throw the flash shadow off to the right of people. This id an old way to photograph People using a single Flash. This is most likely what Tirediron was talking about in respect to. "holding the camera in one hand and the flash in the other".

    If you want to use an umbrella and a flash, I would suggest positioning the umbrella about 10 feet from the group or person at a fairly flat angle (about 20°)to the nose line, elevating the ISO to 400, and shooting at around f/8 for groups.
     
  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I've done sports and events with no flash (not allowed at game level in my experience). I don't think I can give you a crash course on what I learned over time in a message on a message board. It's do-able in low light/mixed lighting, although that lens would probably be limiting, but it depends on the circumstances (which might be why you've read mixed opinions).

    I find it to be impractical to set up anything while walking around at an event because you're on the move. (Not unless someone is photographing the event as a hired photographer and setting up portraits for some particular purpose.)

    Probably a higher ISO and fast enough shutter speed to avoid blur would work, but you'll need to recheck and adjust and you move to different parts of the venue or even in the same room - it depends on where the lights are and which way you're facing. See where the light looks the best in the room, although it can seem brighter than it may be for the camera to get a decent exposure. Avoid dark corners.

    If you haven't yet, check the policies for the event and the venue. I imagine a flash would be allowed but tripods may not.
     
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  7. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    An umbrella will only be usable where you have ROOM to set up and not jab someone in the eye.

    In the convention where it is likely to be crowded. I would do as @tirediron and @Derrel said, single flash held high and to the side, or a good flash bracket. If you have never done this, you need to practice it a lot, till it becomes second nature. Some people cannot aim the flash, and have to learn to do it.

    Radio or optical slaves may be a problem, because of all the other people shooting. Optical slave, almost definitely. Radio slaves, maybe. The bigger the convention, the more photographers there are, and more likely someone else will be on the same radio channel. So you need to be ready and able to quickly change radio channels.
    But all the radio channels may be in use. So you NEED to be prepared to fall back to plan B, wired sync cable between the camera and flash.

    Find out IN ADVANCE, from the organizers, what will be allowed, and what will NOT be allowed. That way you won't have your gear taken from you (and I would NOT trust them to hold it), or you have to hike back to your car to put away the stuff they won't let you take in.
     
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  8. ElizaMM

    ElizaMM TPF Noob!

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    We went, late yesterday (Sunday). I decided that there was too much activity to use the off-camera flash - getting it aimed correctly, while holding up others, etc. I set the camera to ISO 800, f/4 (the largest f-stop for the kit lens, 18-55, not 24-55 as I mentioned, before), 1/125s. I thought the pictures on the LCD were good, so went ahead with those settings. In Camera Raw were also okay, but in Photoshop they are exceedingly grainy and un-usable. I think I would have been better to go with the flash, so that I could have used a lower ISO. I saw someone with a frame attached to the camera holding the speedlight off to the left, which looked like a good setup.
    Rebel SL2.
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    An unfortunate turn of events. What _you_ consider "unusable" may be perfectly fine to a Comicon participant, especially if seen small, on a phone, or on social media.
     

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