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What would you have done?
I was recently at a dance performance which I found very challenging to shoot. I was shooting a 30d with a 70-200 2.8is in a very dark venue. To get proper exposure the metering on the camera was giving me roughly these settings: 1/20 - 1/30 f2.8 iso1600. Lighting conditions were constantly changing with the show but I dont recall it getting up to reasonable levels..

How do I shoot active dancers in such low light, capture all the ambient stage colors and get a sharp picture? I did pull out the flash but I didnt like it because I wanted to capture the colorful lighting with the dancers..

I was hand holding from my seat in the back if that helps. I found it pretty much impossible to get any sharp shots and eventually gave up and just watched the show. What should I have done differently? thanks in advance for any help...

Comments (8)

I would have used a tripod and extended the shutter speed to over a second. This would of course produce some movement trails, but that would simply renders well as artistic expression of motion. All the colored lights stay visible and you get the shot..

I've been in positions where there is no place to set up a tripod, and you can still use two of the legs and a railing or the back of someone's chair (after you explain that you won't be bumping them and just need it for stability people generally don't care or pretend not to)..

If I didn't have a tripod, I would try to see if I could use the floor from the sidelines (or whatever), maybe a table, there's got to be something somewhere that can help me. Maybe leaning hard against the actual corner of the room...

Comment #1

I went to a children's concert once, and used a speedlite. My lens is a EF 70-210 F4, no IS. The pictures came out fantastic still. They were jumping and dancing and the auditorium was pitch dark except the stage. I think if you frame the image inside with as much of the subject in good lighting, it will turn out well. I'll look for an image to upload when I get on my computer tomorrow.



*Can someone help me upload a photo? How do I do this on this site?*..

Comment #2

To get a ticket up front. Beyond that, if you know anything about the subject you are shooting, look for peaks in the action. That's where there might be a momentary pause such as when a movement is completed, at the top of a jump, etc...

Comment #3

Smokey123456 wrote:.

I was recently at a dance performance which I found very challengingto shoot. I was shooting a 30d with a 70-200 2.8is in a very darkvenue. To get proper exposure the metering on the camera was givingme roughly these settings: 1/20 - 1/30 f2.8 iso1600. Lightingconditions were constantly changing with the show but I dont recallit getting up to reasonable levels..

How do I shoot active dancers in such low light, capture all theambient stage colors and get a sharp picture? I did pull out theflash but I didnt like it because I wanted to capture the colorfullighting with the dancers..

I was hand holding from my seat in the back if that helps. I found itpretty much impossible to get any sharp shots and eventually gave upand just watched the show. What should I have done differently?thanks in advance for any help..

Did the right thing and watched the show. If you want good pictures of dancers and lights then you need to talk to the producer or director and get into the dress rehersal where you won't be bothering the audience as there is none..

A member of the rabble in good standing..

Comment #4

"I did pull out the flash but I didnt like it because I wanted to capture the colorful lighting with the dancers.".

With all due respect - if you weren't being paid to take those photos - you'd be tempting a punch in the neck by any number of patrons.   If you want pictures, go talk to the director, but taking them as you seem to have been with a filled auditorium, is sort of like popping your gum during a sermon at church..

It's distracting to the crowd, and it's unsafe for the dancers; notwithstanding that it's just sort of rude....no?.

Glad you decided to watch the show...THAT was the right thing to do. .

RNW123..

Comment #5

You upload an image to a website. I use http://www.pictiger.com/ because it's free and doesn't require me to sign up for anything unless I want to upload more than a MB, which you won't want to do here anyway. Best size for here is 800x600 and that's never going to be over a MB at standard 72DPI resolution..

It's really easy to load it there. Browse, upload, then click on the image. Once the image loads, click on it again so that it zooms to 100%..

Now right-click on that image & select properties. Copy all the information from the URL line up through the .jpg and then paste that line here & your picture will show up..

If you want to make sure that it will work, hit the preview button before hitting the post button...

Comment #6

Hey guys it was a really informal event otherwise I wouldn't have done it. Plus my friend was performing and she asked me to get some shots of her. I was not the only one taking pictures. If you looked at the audience there were flashes going off from p&s cameras everywhere. I just wanted to be able to capture more of the moment..

So I take it there aren't really any viable solutions to capturing tack sharp images hand held in these kind of conditions?.

BTW the show was fun to watch but I am sad to say I wasn't able to give my friend any good useable photos of her performance...

Comment #7

If you don't have enough light, then you don't have enough light..

1/30 s would get you some shots. A lot of misses, but some hits..

You can't expect to freeze the all motion at these light levels. But one technique you can try is dragging the shutter. That is shooting at the metered speed, but firing the flash too. The flash will freeze the motion and the regular shutter speed will catch the ambient light and some trails. (The speed light duration is about 1/500 s at full power, and much shorter at lower power.).

If you want to drag the shutter automatically, put the flash into second/rear curtain sync and shoot in Av. If you want more control of the ambient/flash ratio, then shoot in manual setting the exposure for a stop or so below middle,.

Brian A...

Comment #8

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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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