10.21.2010

Some Advice would be NICE!!

I know I've came to you all before. It's hard to give advice from photographer to photographer because it seems like a "you just gotta be there" situation...but it doesn't hurt to ask and get some tips from the seasoned pros right! I have had so much help in learning my camera from you guys already I feel like I am taking a photography class myself :-).

Tomorrow night (yes, Friday night) I have been asked to attend a school event where a homecoming queen and king will be crowned. My job is to take photos of the actual crowning and then photos of the newly crowned king and queen and other couples afterwards. It will be held on a stage in the cafeteria and I'm informed that the lighting is pretty decent. I can't even BEGIN to explain how absolutely nervous I am about this. Terrified isn't even the word. I have been to these things before and know that normally the photographers you see there are very seasoned and have lots of equipment.

I myself am new to the photography world, still learning and so far only have two lenses and a wireless remote. I am borrowing a tripod because I know that will most definitely be a must but I'm most nervous about the lighting. I know how gym lighting can be, been there, done that. So if the cafeteria lighting is anywhere similar to gym lighting I have no idea what my best bet would be. Auto? Manual? Shutter Priority? Aperature Priority?!?!?! AHHH! Plus I only have my stock flash,,which makes me feel a little inadequate to get the job done because I am searching for an external but have yet to scrape up finances for it. But I know I've toggled the flash a little bit on my menu settings.

Can anyone tell me anything about the differences in like Slow flash, Rear flash, Fill flash..etc? Plus should I set my white balance differently or any of that in-depth stuff to make the indoor photos the best they can be! ANY advice would be very much so appreciated. The photos will be PUBLISHED in the newspaper so it's a big deal to me..if not anyone else..because it will be my name out there for everyone to see. So again, any adice would be soooooooo appreciated! THANKS!

9 Lovely Reader(s) Said:

Sheri said...

Comments are being putzy so if you get this 8,000 times I apologize!

I have no flash advice...but I'd go in early and snap around to get a feel for the light.

Ashley Sisk said...

The best option would be to have an external flash with a diffuser and I would run several test shots. I wouldn't use my onboard flash, but I just think it's a little harsh. Hmmm, let me think about this one a little more.

Natalie said...

I agree with u both..i am gonna get there a lil early to do some testing to see what im dealin with..but ashley...i do not own an ext flash yet!!! I have a sony a230 and i need an ext flash desperately! Good quality without the huge price tag! I have a few bookmarked that i like and just havent got the money for at the present!! Also ashley what is a diffuser? Would i purchase it seperately from the flash itself? And yes i think on board flash is harsh too..there is one circumstance where i had my manual settings adjusted right then turned flash on and it worked nicely..shoulda wrote those settings down cause i cant remember now

Mom of M&Ms said...

I would guess that you are going to get flourescent lighting... bummer.. but if the pics in the newspaper are going to be black and white you may be able to use this to your advantage, if the light is too harsh in your photos then convert them and adjust the fill light or even the exposure.. Does your high school have a journalism department? they mave a speed light that you could borrow.. or if there is a camera shop near by you may rent a light.. it would be worth it, plus give you an idea of what you would like to purchase when you have the funds...

When I was first getting started, and the weather turned bad on me so my shoot had to move indoors, a very nice established photographer let me borrow some stands, and fixed lights.. jsut a thought...

Hope it goes well....If I think of more I will come back and comment.. I kow that you will do great!

Tiffany said...

She had asked me about doing that sunday but I wasnt about too since ryan is working. See if there is any places that are around here that you could rent a flash Im not sure if there is but I would look around that was something I was nervous about until I get my sb600 speed light in the next few weeks harsh indoor night photos are a bummer.

Jeanette said...

I was also going to suggest renting a flash at a local camera shop. I've never done it but have a friend that rents equipment all the time. If you do end up using a flash under fluorescent light, I would recommend taping a green gel over your flash. I know that sounds crazy but I learned that years ago (of course it was with film/I've never used it w/ digital). What it does is color the light from the flash the same as the ambient fluorescent light, that way the processing isn't as hard, it's an overall correction instead of one correction for your subject and a different one for the background. Play around with it first before the actual event though to make sure it works for you. Okay, that's all I can type right now with this screaming baby on my lap. I hope it all makes sense. Good luck. Oh, if you do rent an external flash and the ceiling in the cafeteria is low and white, I HIGHLY suggest bouncing the flash off the ceiling. It will get rid of the horrible shadows a straight on flash would produce and it will give you a softer over all light.

Okay, NOW that's all!

Natalie said...

Mom of M&Ms-I thought of that, need to search ASAP to see if there may be some little shop or rental place nearby I could get one from tomorrow morning! Thanks for suggesting...

Tiffany-yeah I told her I would ..she told me she had asked other people and whoever said they would ..etc. But Im getting a speedlight too ASAP


Jeanette--what is a green gel and where would I get it..or can it be kinda homemade?? thanks for the help!!

Jeanette said...

Hi Natalie,
I am so sorry, I only gave you 1/2 of what I meant to. I was so distracted when I was writing. When you put the green gel on your flash, you need a pink filter on your lens to counter the effect! I can't believe I forgot to put that. I'm not sure of the number of the filter or gel, but there is one. Someone at a camera shop would know and I'm not sure of the pricing either or if they would have them in stock. They used to keep them in stock when I was in college so they may still, unless they are now obsolete with digital. I would suggest calling your local camera store or even googling it.

As far as the flash terms you asked about... Slow flash is going to allow you to have a slow shutter speed and still use your flash. This is great to catch some ambient light and not loose all the detail in the background, also, it helps knock down some of the harsh shadows a flash can cause. Be careful not to get too carried away with the slow shutter speed. Even though your flash will stop the action, if the subject is moving too quickly then you'll still get a motion blur with too slow of a shutter speed. I generally use the slow shutter w/ flash while photographing something like a wedding dance or anything with nice lights in a dark location. I ALWAYS use the rear curtain sync when doing this. I'm assuming that is what your camera is calling rear flash. It simply means that the flash will go off right before the shutter closes as opposed to when it first opens. This is how you get beautiful light trails on a dancing couple or take a great picture of a runner with the motion blur behind them. If the flash is set to sync with the first curtain of the shutter then your subject is frozen and well lit at the beginning of the exposure and the light trail from the ambient light will proceed over your subject. When it is set at the rear curtain then the light trail comes first and then the flash lights/freezes your subject at the end of the trail. I hope that makes sense.
Fill flash is going to be at a lower intensity. Ideally in that situation you would be metering for the background to be exposed correctly and the flash would "fill in" the light on your subject in the foreground. This is not something that you'll want to use in the high school cafeteria. It is generally for use on a bright sunny day to compensate for shadows on a persons face or something in the foreground.

I hope that helps and isn't too confusing. I would definitely use slow shutter (not too slow) and rear curtain sync. Definitely rent a flash if you can- that would be your best bet. Don't worry too much about the filter thing I talked about. It's a great trick and very handy but if you are already stressed out it's probably not worth it. I needed it when I used it because everything was on film and it was very hard to adjust color in the darkroom and impossible to do selective color on a machine printer. Now, with digital, if you are good with Photoshop, it won't be an issue. Except on your time.
I hope this is somewhat helpful. I can't wait to see your finished images! You'll do a great job.

Natalie said...

Jeanette you are a LIFE saver!!! I had my idea of what each flash option didbut never knew for certain!! I will definitely write this down and use it! Thanks to all of you for this awesome advice! It is saving me!! Keep it coming if you think you got something that will help!

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