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Photography Question 
Lou Scott

How to shoot action indoors,low light w/Canon SLR

I need recommendations for shooting cheerleaders while performing. This will be indoors with low lighting. I am fairly new to photography. I have a Canon Rebel EOS XS. Should I use 800? Any suggestions for settings? Action, maybe? I have a tripod that will help with stability. Unfortunately, this is to be done Friday, August 6, 2004, which leaves little time. All advice is welcome. My email is Thank you!

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8/5/2004 8:35:01 AM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  If you are not far from the cheerleaders and you can use flash, than it should be OK. Otherwise, set your camera in Av mode and select the largest aperture (smallest number, like 2.8, 3.5, etc.), use high speed film (400 or 800) and HOPE it is bright enough. Lean on something to steady your camera. Hope this helps.

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8/5/2004 12:28:57 PM

Lou Scott  
I goofed! I followed another recommendation (rather than Andy's) I used Fuji 800 and set my camera on "P" (for program?). There was more light than anticipated. I used both regular and zoom lenses as well as a tripod. The still shots were okay, at best. However, the fast motion cheerleader shots were very blurred, totally worthless! What did I do wrong? This was my first experience with 800, "P" setting and capturing fast indoor action. I have read other comments regarding the grain effect with 800 .. With the amount of light should I have used 400? Set my dial to what? And I am unfamiliar with aperture setings. Again, as a newbie, I'm asking for any help ... advice, suggestions or criticism. I wiil attempt to submit photos. Thank you for your help, Lou

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8/7/2004 9:44:43 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
I know that your session has passed already, but this may help in future situations:
As mentioned, flash is your best option if you're close enough and if it's allowed.
For shooting action in available light, the key factor is shutter speed. For cheerleaders in action, at least 1/500 second is required to freeze their routines, including jumps.
If you arrive early enough, you can test the available light with your in-camera meter. 400 speed film should work fine,...unless the lighting is really dim.
Set your camera to "metered-manual" and the ISO to 400. Take a meter reading off a neutral colored object near where the action will occur. If using your zoom lens, test the light at the maximum zoom length. If your meter doesn't recommend at least f-4 to f-5.6 for proper exposure, set the ISO to 800 and take another reading.
If that meter reading looks OK, load your 400 film, but set the ISO to 800. (Be sure to tell the processor to push the film one stop.)
Next, set your camera to shutter-priority automatic, and set the shutter speed to 1/500 second. All your shots should be properly exposed, and you can concentrate on composition and focus.

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8/7/2004 10:55:49 PM

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