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Recommend settings please, Night Club Gig

RickyN29

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Hey everyone!

It's been a while, but I am picking up the camera after 6 months for a gig I was offered.

Some sort of exclusive downtown Night Club.

350d body
430ex flash
stock 18-55 3.5 lens

I am wondering what your recommendation would be for settings. I definitely want to eliminate blur of the subjects, yet I would like to pick up some of the background/colors.

I find shooting 1600 with a flash results in a blur. 400 or so does not light up the background though.

What about 1600 with a manual setting of f3.5 and say, 1/200th shutter? I assume my flash gun will be able to properly expose the subject, and hopefully the 1600 will pick up some of the background.

I'm getting rusty!

Help!

(this is tomorrow night, so kinda urgent on the replies! thanks)
 
Flash exposes according to power and aperture, not ISO. If it's exposing the BG better at 1600 then your flash hasn't kicked out enough power to illuminate the room. Perhaps try bouncing it off the ceiling instead?

Your theory should be fine though - bear in mind that 1600 will be pretty grainy though.

Rob
 
I've been shooting in nightclubs for the best part of 2 years no. Most of my shots are people on the dance floor etc but I shoot a lot of DJs and performers as well.

For most shots where I don't want light blurs in the background, and the club I shoot in is quite dark I use the following:

D70s w/ 18-70mm & SB600
F8-10 1/500
ISO 200

I tend to just keep it on 500 and adjust the aperture. Thankfully the D70s has a 1/500 flash sync. One of it's best features I might add!

If the ceiling is low enough, I'll bounce the flash off that or I will set the flash at 45 degrees and pull the wide angle diffuser out halfway and use it as a bounce. It makes the light really soft and spreads nicely. You can do that on a 430 I think as I showed someone how to do that recently.
 
Oh and for blurred background light effects, use the rear flash function on exposures shorter than 1/30 ish. You probably know already but a slower speed with rear flash (don't forget the high F value) will results in more blurs.

I shot this with the internal flash and I think my fisheye but it's cropped so you can't notice the distortion greatly.

headway02.jpg
 
Get a faster lens. If you can't afford a good zoom, get a prime. The Canon 50mm f/1.8 is only $70 at B & H, but you might want something wider for a x1.6 DSLR.

You'll have to take some test shots because there are a lot of variables such as the size of the club, what color the ceilings and walls are, your opinion on what looks good, etc...

Personally I don't mind some motion blur, but if I needed to freeze the subjects I would start out by:

Set flash to manual full power, and bounce it off the ceiling.

Set ISO based on what quality I needed (are these for a website, 8"x12" prints, or 20"x30" posters?).

Set shutter to the slowest speed that I think will freeze the performers, crowd, etc... 1/60th may be fast enough for casual movement, but if everyone's really shaking it up, it'll need to be faster than 1/125th for sure.

Set the aperture based on what I think my flash is going to do bouncing off the ceiling. This is going to depend on how high the ceiling is, what color it is, and how far away my subjects are.

A flash meter is really helpful in situations like this, but you should be able to figure it out with a few test shots with a DSLR. You may not have enough flash power, high enough flash sync speed, and fast enough lenses to get everything you want, but possibly you can find a compromise that you like. You can get more flash power by pointing it directly at the subject, but depending on the ambient lighting, it can look horrible.
 
Wow, it never emailed me that someone responded! I just stumbled on my own thread and found all of your replies! So thank you!

I found that 200 iso, with a 1 second (1 full second) shutter worked best. It was dark enough to not blur (only the flash grabbed the subjects) and the shutter was long enough to capture the atmosphere.

Here are some that I snapped..... I know it's not the gallery, but feel free to comment!

Thanks again,

-Ricky

1IMG_7121%20%28Small%29.JPG



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1IMG_7174exposure%20%28Small%29.JPG




1IMG_7175edited%20%28Small%29.JPG



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1IMG_7189mask%20%28Small%29.JPG




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1IMG_7245%20%28Small%29.JPG





I was happy with the results (especially for my first time shooting in those conditions) I guess the company I was shooting for was not satisfied though, the only response received was "Could have been better"

:(
 
RickyN29 said:
Hey everyone!

It's been a while, but I am picking up the camera after 6 months for a gig I was offered.

Some sort of exclusive downtown Night Club.

350d body
430ex flash
stock 18-55 3.5 lens

I am wondering what your recommendation would be for settings. I definitely want to eliminate blur of the subjects, yet I would like to pick up some of the background/colors.

I find shooting 1600 with a flash results in a blur. 400 or so does not light up the background though.

What about 1600 with a manual setting of f3.5 and say, 1/200th shutter? I assume my flash gun will be able to properly expose the subject, and hopefully the 1600 will pick up some of the background.

I'm getting rusty!

Help!

(this is tomorrow night, so kinda urgent on the replies! thanks)


take a support, you will be forced to shoot slower than 1/200 unless it is particularly well lit... more like 1/2 -1 sec+

get a cable release or use a timer.
 

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