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EASY dumb question.....
I know that working with lower light is a pain, but, going to shoot my little sister's graduation just showed me something that I wouldn't have realized previously..

In a very well lit auditorium, at max of 10 yards, the lighting was such that I was having to run with -2.0EV to turn the pics out without being too bright, but yet, the fastest I could run was 1/8 on the shutter, with ISO set for auto, on a 150mm f4.5...what can a person do to tweak settings and actually get better speeds from a situation where it's exceptionally bright to your eyes, but the camera says it's not...

Comments (19)

Turn off auto ISO first. It's probably going to prefer a lower setting to reduce noise..

Comment #1

Were you using flash?.

Why did you set the camera to -2.0EV? Did the histogram show blown highlights?Was there something very bright in the image, e.g. a spotlight?.

What were the ISO and aperture settings for the shot where the shutter speed was 1/8?.

In general, shooting indoors with a relatively slow lens like the f4.5 and without flash would likely require a slow shutter speed unless you turn up the ISO.Chris R..

Comment #2

If it's indoors, you can pretty much count on it being dark, not matter what your wide-open-iris eyes tell you..

I'm sure you had the fastest ISO and maximum aperature, so 1/8th is all you're going to get. Sorry!.

It makes sense that you went down to -2.0 EV, as I'm sure the background was fooling the meter and you didn't have spot metering...

Comment #3

Ok, help me out here, I'm wanting to dig in more but, some things aren't making sense.....

Aperture/f-stop: lower = brighter/fasterexposure: faster = darker image due to less time for light to come in.

What's the rule of thumb/balance for ISO? I've found my camera typically shoots at ISO 100 when on auto....what's the major change that happens when you raise ISO?..

Comment #4

Chris R-UK wrote:.

Were you using flash?.

No flash, it's an FL-36 flash, wouldn't have done any good, wasn't anywhere near close enough..

Why did you set the camera to -2.0EV? Did the histogram show blownhighlights?.

Didn't check the histogram at all....

Was there something very bright in the image, e.g. a spotlight?.

It was an auditorium/event center, lots of halogen overhead lights.....

What were the ISO and aperture settings for the shot where theshutter speed was 1/8?.

EXIF info from the one shot that I really liked the result on.

Equipment Make: OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.Camera Model: E-500Camera Software: Version 1.0Maximum Lens Aperture: f/3.5.

Image-Specific Properties:.

Image Orientation: Top, Left-HandHorizontal Resolution: 314 dpiVertical Resolution: 314 dpiImage Created: 2008:05:30 20:58:15Exposure Time: 1/13 secF-Number: f/4.5Exposure Program: Normal ProgramISO Speed Rating: 100Exposure Bias: -2.3 EVMetering Mode: Center Weighted AverageLight Source: UnknownFlash: No Flash, AutoFocal Length: 150.00 mmColor Space Information: sRGBImage Width: 3264Image Height: 2448Rendering: NormalExposure Mode: ManualWhite Balance: AutoScene Capture Type: StandardGain Control: NoneContrast: NormalSaturation: HighSharpness: NormalCompression Setting: SHQMacro Mode: Normal.

In general, shooting indoors with a relatively slow lens like thef4.5 and without flash would likely require a slow shutter speedunless you turn up the ISO..

4.5's slow? holy buckets, maybe I should move to the "not dropping a down payment on a car, for a camera lens" part of the forum.....I figured staying above the 5+ mark was decent, since one of the more popular lenses for my camera from what I've heard, without going to stupidly expensive lenses, is the ZD 70-300mm and it's a 4.0-5.6 ED lens......

Snycer wrote:.

If it's indoors, you can pretty much count on it being dark, notmatter what your wide-open-iris eyes tell you..

Really? cause shooting in my house I don't have any trouble getting clear shots.....

I'm sure you had the fastest ISO and maximum aperature, so 1/8th isall you're going to get. Sorry!.

No, it was AUTO ISO and it picked 100......

It makes sense that you went down to -2.0 EV, as I'm sure thebackground was fooling the meter and you didn't have spot metering..

Had spot metering.....but, when trying to follow a moving target, -2ish had the clearest pic....oh, and if it mattered, it was on continual auto-focus with manual...

Comment #5

Why did it pick ISO 100, when if it used ISO 400 you'd have gotten 1/32 sec ? It's well capable of handling ISO 400 without problems. Choose ISO yourself. Don't rely on the camera. This is why learning about basic exposure and at least the way to use Shutter and Aperture priority modes is so important..

Use the histogram to decide what too bright is. If in doubt or you don't have time to mess with this then use exposure bracketing. For example you can make your best guess exposure ans shoot that and one at +1EV and one at -1EV as well..

Your E-500 has a number of features that include three different spot modes. I'd suggest you experiment with these and compare them with the center-weighed mode you used on the shot you liked..

The basic problem is you are relying on the camera to guess what you want. That works OK for simple shots, but, as you can see, when it gets difficult you need to know how to take charge..

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

Well, here's the ONE shot that turned out usable...(the rest had way too much blur).

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

The problem is, the gown that looks blue in that picture, was purple, so, SOMETHING was off, and we're pretty sure it was the lighting, because my E-500, the mother in law's panasonic Point & Shoot, and a few other people all had the pics turn out blue gowned instead of purple......

That, and from as close as I was, I still couldn't get a decent shot because it was taking WAY too long.......

Comment #7

Oh, and to clarify, the above pic, is the only one that turned out clear enough that you can blame it on being artistically soft .

And I had it on burst mode, and shot from the time she stepped onto the stage, across, paused, down the steps, and that shot was about 5 steps from her seat...... time was a luxury I didn't have, I'd test shot at other people and decided on the EV that I'd use......

Comment #8

Ok, in my opinion get it off that -2 ev. Then set the ISO to 400, like some others have said. You need to get the shutter speed up. That's not the fasted lens..

Finally, your white balance setting is what's causing the color shift, IMO, but then if you're shooting RAW, that's easily fixed in post. If you're not, why?.

You might also invest in a good flash, if you're going to do much of this type of photos. Get it up on a bracket with a good extender and diffuser..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #9

Don't plan on doing a ton of these kinds of shots, more of a "I screwed up and I'd like to know what I did wrong so I can apply it in the future" situation. as far as a flash, if you know of one that'll fire 10+ YARDS over other people, point me at it, past that, if someone knows how to force the stupid FL36 to fire full power each shot, let me know, cause I could have used that bit of info too..

As far as shooting at -2EV, if I'd shot at 0EV I'd have been shooting at 1.5 SECONDS per shot, I tried it, that was my balance to get it to the point where I could actually shoot at something in motion.....

Beyond that.....I'm heading to Hawaii in about 5 weeks, and trying to find out what I'm missing on simple/stupid mistakes so that I don't make as many while I'm there.......

Comment #10

Dhyde79 wrote:.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

The problem is, the gown that looks blue in that picture, was purple,so, SOMETHING was off, and we're pretty sure it was the lighting,because my E-500, the mother in law's panasonic Point & Shoot, and afew other people all had the pics turn out blue gowned instead ofpurple......

Actually digital cameras can't reproduce purple that easily since they are a combination of red and blue, opposing color temperatures. This is why some RAW converters allow you to calibrate them to get purples correct. Also, purple isn't even the color spectrum. Violet is NOT the same..

Http://www.davidberryart.com/articles/purple.html..

Comment #11

Dhyde79 wrote:as far as a flash, if you know of one that'll.

Fire 10+ YARDS over other people, point me at it, past that, ifsomeone knows how to force the stupid FL36 to fire full power eachshot, let me know, cause I could have used that bit of info too..

I'm not sure on that flash, but I often use a Nikon SB600 or SB800 on a fairly large bracket and get it up in the air. I switch from fill flash and even with a small softbox light up way farther than 10 yards..

Anyway, have fun on your trip and show us some pics when you get back..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #12

Dhyde79 wrote:.

Ok, help me out here, I'm wanting to dig in more but, some thingsaren't making sense.....

Aperture - The "/" in the f/number stands for division. That's why the "smaller" numbers are really higher (e.g., 1/2 is bigger than 1/4). The stops have "funny" steps because aperture is a measure of a circle's width and the light that a circle admits is proportional to it's area. Width is proportional to SQRT(2) times area SQRT(2) is 1.414... - hence the sequence f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, ....

Shutter speed - Smaller shutter speeds let in less light. But note that it is common for all sorts of film and digital cameras to display a speed like 1/60th of a second as simply "60". So while 125 is bigger than 60, if you see a camera shutter speed dial with those numbers, the 125 is 1/125, which is smaller than 1/60..

ISO - Simple linear relationship. ISO 400 is twice as sensitive (i.e., one stop more sensitive) than ISO 200. Note that a digital camera's sensor only has one true sensitivity. Others are simulated and may increase noise...

Comment #13

This is what I'd do:.

1) Crank up the ISO, maybe 400 or 800.

2) Either: At the start of the event, play around with the metering until the histogram says you are getting a good exposure, then lock it in to manual mode with the shutter speed + aperture you ended up with.

Or: Check out on the net the "Ultimate Exposure Computer" and have a look at it's tables of Ev values versus scene descriptions, then look at the Ev versus iso vs aperture vs shutter speeds and choose from that..

Twice a year I photograph a stage show and it's usually EV7 which you can plug into those tables and get some idea of not only what settings to use but how much better a faster lens is - first time I used a f/5.6 lens, second time I used a f/1.8 lens, it's astonishing how much lower your ISO can be set with f/1.8 than 5.6 !!!!!.

I usually go along with an idea of what iso, shutter speed and aperture to use and just fine tune it when I get there..

Another tip: Turn down the brightness on your LCD when indoors, or it will make images look brighter than they are, or better yet, make no exposure judgments off the image on the LCD, only the histogram!!.

Dhyde79 wrote:.

I know that working with lower light is a pain, but, going to shootmy little sister's graduation just showed me something that Iwouldn't have realized previously..

In a very well lit auditorium, at max of 10 yards, the lighting wassuch that I was having to run with -2.0EV to turn the pics outwithout being too bright, but yet, the fastest I could run was 1/8 onthe shutter, with ISO set for auto, on a 150mm f4.5...what can aperson do to tweak settings and actually get better speeds from asituation where it's exceptionally bright to your eyes, but thecamera says it's not...

Comment #14

Hi,.

Just a couple of points. Shots like that are tricky for most cameras and photographers and you have to have either an expensive lens and powerful flash or else a lot of luck when taking it (or access to the stage)..

And you asked or made a couple of points; dare I point out that auto ISO is plain old fashioned daft? Stick to deciding the ISO yourself and go as low as you can. So 80 or 100 in summer outdoors and 800 or 1600 indoors and then RAW. Or buy a flash with a bit of power and a tele setting..

As for fast lenses; in the 1930's you could get f/2 on the front of a lens, not so brilliant by today's standards but OK. By the 80's f/2 was normal and any maker with a reasonable line up offered F/12 or f/14 on the standard lens. Nowadays they give you f/4's and f/5's at the widest and f/8 at the tele end and people don't notice they're getting second rate stuff. OK so f/2 on a long tele is expensive but f/2 on a medium tele is reasonable and, of course, can be hired. And you don't have to buy new or zooms. And also, with 10 or 12 mp's available to use, you can crop down to 3, 4 or 5 mp's and still get a decent picture.



I noticed you did some test shots but you said you didn't look at the histrogram, it might be an idea for next time. And centre weighted for stages at least. Also burst mode might get a good shot but rehearsing and then taking 2 or 3 deliberate shots might just do the trick more easily..

Lastly, now the show's over it might make sense to read the manual again in the light of your experience and, perhaps, a couple of other books on the subject because there's more than one way to skin a cat..

Hope this is some help..

Regards, David..

Comment #15

This is a version of your photo reworked a bit ( and with a rather extreme purple cloak )..

Basically that purple can be recovered with the right tools and a bit of practice. A less extreme version is also possible..

The blurring is mostly due to movement and shake and I can't get rid of it completely, so this is as good as I can manage on that front..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

StephenG.

Fuji S3 ProPentax K100DFuji S9600Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #16

Sort of a general reaction to your original question, the EXIF data and sample you provided, and the responses you received..

1) Puzzled by your statement that it was so bright that you had to dial in such a large negative exposure compensation. The image you provided is WAY underexposed. Dropped it into Photoshop, checked the histogram; you have no data of any significance in the upper 50% of the histogram. If this is typical of the rest of your exposures, the compensation adjustment was a mistake. Do you think that the image you posted was well exposed?.

2) In situations with difficult lighting, it is critical that you check the camera's histogram to get a good idea of what's going on. If the lighting is constant, pick your best compromise exposure and set it manually so that the camera is not varying it without your participation. Check the histogram occasionally to make sure that things have not changed. You probably will have to accept some blown highlights and blocked shadows if the lighting is harsh. These are, to some extent, recoverable if you shoot RAW..

3) Auto ISO was a blunder. Not sure why the camera selected 100, but you needed a lot more gain. 800 would have been a decent choice here, 1600 if you have a noise reduction program and are happy with the results..

4) You needed to watch and control shutter speed. Rule of thumb, translated into 4/3's speak: at 150mm you need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/300 second exposure, with good technique, to get handheld shots that don't exhibit camera shake blurring. A tripod or monopod (or even a beanbag) would have helped here, because there's no way you could have used a shutter setting that fast without a lot of extra light..

5) FL36 is a zooming flash, and should throw a significant amount of light out a distance of 10 yards at it's telephoto setting... it helps if you are shooting at a higher ISO. Mine shows a max range of 13m at ISO 100, but 24m at ISO 400. If I turn off auto-zoom the numbers are much less. Flash must be straight-on, without a diffuser to get any range; forget bounce. ANY additional light would have helped here...

Set the camera to an acceptable shutter speed, set the camera to mandatory (or perhaps second curtain) flash, and let the flash work with the existing light..

6) Because you asked...the FL50 unit has twice the light output and would not have struggled with this distance and lower ISOs. (I have both units). Bounce might have been possible..

7) I'm smiling at the suggestion that you go out and buy yourself a f2.0 lens in the 150mm to 200mm range. Got a spare $2k to $3k? (They're all expensive, and heavy, not just the Zuiko lenses). Yes, this would have come in handy, but the suggestion does not address the question of how to best utilize the gear that you actually own. But, while I'm off on new gear, the IS feature on the 510 and 520 models of your camera would help minimize camera shake (but would not address blur caused by subject movement)..

8) Colors. A manual white balance frequently provides better JPG results than auto does under artificial light. RAW would have given you a lot of flexibility here. Try it..

9) Sometimes it is possible to "scout" a site and to experiment with settings and strategy so that you are not having to figure things out as the event you want to document unfolds. Sometimes you can find someone who is familiar with the specific venue, and has photographed in it, who can tell you what has worked for him/her..

Enough rambling. Hope you got a few good shots. We learn as we go, eh?Regards, John...

Comment #17

Don't use Auto ISO, uso ISO 1600 and see if that's good enough... Other than that you can use lenses with wider apertures (think f/2.8 or wider) and lenses with stabilization as well..

Dhyde79 wrote:.

I know that working with lower light is a pain, but, going to shootmy little sister's graduation just showed me something that Iwouldn't have realized previously..

In a very well lit auditorium, at max of 10 yards, the lighting wassuch that I was having to run with -2.0EV to turn the pics outwithout being too bright, but yet, the fastest I could run was 1/8 onthe shutter, with ISO set for auto, on a 150mm f4.5...what can aperson do to tweak settings and actually get better speeds from asituation where it's exceptionally bright to your eyes, but thecamera says it's not..

'The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.' Abraham Lincoln..

Comment #18

Obie1 wrote:.

1) Puzzled by your statement that it was so bright that you had todial in such a large negative exposure compensation. The image youprovided is WAY underexposed. Dropped it into Photoshop, checked thehistogram; you have no data of any significance in the upper 50% ofthe histogram. If this is typical of the rest of your exposures, thecompensation adjustment was a mistake. Do you think that the imageyou posted was well exposed?Enough rambling. Hope you got a few good shots.



I was also confused by the use of negative EV. Still am. Underexposing to get a faster shutter speed was mentioned, but seems to me a strange way to go about it. Maybe I can be enlightend..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #19

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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