What would you do?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by JonA_CT, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    My school is holding a "Name That Tune" Contest next week in this space:

    [​IMG]Untitled by jwa04, on Flickr

    I volunteered as the photographer for the event because it was better than the other positions being suggested for me ;)

    I'm going to need to take photos of both the presenters -- who will be on stage, with some basic stage lighting -- and the contestants and audience which will be in the areas in front of the stage. The event is going to be at night, and my understanding is that the lights will be on but lowered.

    If I were going to attempt to light the space using speedlights, what would you do? Even if it means that I can shoot at 1600/3200 instead of 6400 I'd be happy.

    I have 5 Yongnuo YN685s that I can control with my wireless transmitter, and another Neewer flash that can be used as an optical slave. Is it worth pulling them out? Or would you do something different entirely?


     
  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Too bad, there's a nice window over there. This is actually looks not too bad, there are a number of spotlights up there (over the stage). If I've done anything at all like this I tried to get whoever was under a light or when someone had a spotlight on them; I'd avoid trying to get someone when they're off toward one side and out of the light.

    The most recent thing I can think of is an ice show at the university near me, but you do get some light reflecting off the ice which maybe helps. The seating was in the dark with house lights down, and I got some nice photos from a seat close to ice level. I don't remember how I set the camera, I think I had 400 speed film.

    It's sort of like shooting the moon, or Christmas lights; I don't remember in December when we had that huge supermoon and I took photos of the moon over the lights, how I had the camera set. I was out of film by then so was using the digital. For me I guess using the existing light gets the nuances of colors that are there, or the warm golden glow.

    It looks like a nice open stage which should help not have kids in corners that are darker. If you do want to put up lights I'd check with the school and check on your insurance and personal liability if one of them comes down (I've read about it with sports, although I don't think it seems to happen often, but still.)

    I think I mentally just did what I've done shooting sports, case the joint! lol wander around and notice the lighting (and what are those geometric shapes in the ceiling??), figure out some good vantage points, etc. The walls and ceiling are a nice light color, that should help. I'd do test shots from each side and hopefully you won't be stuck standing next to the garbage cans all night.

    You're Cougars?
     
  3. Rick50

    Rick50 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just some thoughts..

    I would worry about the speedlite batteries lasting as you may need to run at a high power level.

    Plug in studio strobes and shoot through umbrellas may be a better choice. If you have to shoot the audience then some flash will be required.

    Do you know the color temperature of those ceiling lights?

    What about using the row of black stage lights on the ceiling?
     
  4. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    1. Yeah, that's my concern too. I think assuming the event runs about 2 hours, I have enough batteries if I wanted to change out in the middle if I wanted. Which I don't, haha.

    2. No studio strobes. That would be ideal for sure, and make this problem much easier.

    3. Great question. They definitely have a green cast to them.

    4. I'm not sure I can convince the drama coach to adjust them for this event.


    Bottom line -- whatever I get them will be better than the point and shoot the school has will get.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do the math; take your speedlight's GN, measure the distance, and you will know if it's feasible. I'm guessing two sets of two ganged together, with one at each corner of the stage(ish) should get you something workable. If they have enough oomph, bouncing the off the ceiling is workable too.
     
  6. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How much work do you want to do?
    I would use a shoe flash on a bracket. With a 2nd shoe flash to swap to, when #1 needs to cool down.
    Then for the audience, ask the organizers to raise the light level, for a few minutes, for the audience shot.

    If I want to make a lot of work for myself, I would bring the pack strobes. A pack or maybe 2 packs + heads + RF remotes. But that is a LOT of stuff and weight to haul, and I would rather it just stay in the garage. A couple of mono-lights (which I don't have) would be easier to transport than my pack lights.

    Personally, I do not trust the general public around light stands. They will move around trying to get a shot and not care what they run into, until after it falls to the ground...CRASH !!!
    I would position a helper/assistant at the light stand to keep people away from it. The BIGGER the helper/assistant are, the better they can keep people away from the light stands. Smaller people are easily pushed away by an uncaring crowd.
    Sorry, but I have seen the bad side of people at some events.

    Do you have or can you buy/make an external battery pack for your flash. That would free you from the need to monitor the battery level of the flash. Just be careful to not shoot too many sequential shots, without giving it time to cool down, or you could/will overheat the flash. Plastic is an insulator, not conductor of heat. So the heat will be trapped inside the flash, and dissipate very slowly.
    Lower power = less heat generated. So raise the ISO on the camera, to shoot at a low flash power setting.
     
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  7. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    So event update -- I tried setting up some to bounce off the ceiling. I didn't have enough for the space though, and it was hard to find safe places to put them towards the back of the room.

    I ended up using a Flashbender and just a bare flash bounced off of whatever usable surface I could find. I ended up staying in the 800-1600 ISO range, and I got the images that the event required. I learned a lot. I can't share a lot of the images from this event because they have students in them, but I can show a picture of the DJ Shannonigans that helped MC the event.

    Thanks for all of your help!

    (Quick levels adjustment and crop only...)

    D800, Sigma 50mm f1.4 @ 1/100s, F4.0, ISO 2500

    namethattune2018-023.jpg


    Oh, and PS...I thought I'd be using my 80-200mm for this entire event. Way too long for the needed pictures. I ended up using a 50mm, but wish I had brought a 24-70mm (or my 28-75mm) lens. I think it's time to start saving my pennies towards a higher-res normal zoom that I'd be more likely to use.
     
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  8. Rick50

    Rick50 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Very good Jon, the Flashbender was a good choice. My 24-70 lives on the camera.
     
  9. JonA_CT

    JonA_CT TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Thanks!

    Yeah, if I'm going to do event work like this, I need to make the investment in one that I actually like. For my own personal uses, I almost always have my 15mm or 50mm or 85mm lens mounted.
     
  10. zulu42

    zulu42 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nice shot, Jon. If the rest are anywhere close to that you did awesome.
     

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