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Photography Question 
Anja Lenner
 

Low light danceparty photography


I would be very pleased if anyone could give me some tips and ideas re photographing at a dance party... I will be using my Nikon D70, and I do have the SB800 flash. But will need to have pretty fast exp times, since people will be moving around and dancing.


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5/30/2005 3:51:12 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
 
 
 
It would seem logical. It depends. I do the opposite. I shoot wide open. A typical setting for me might be, 50mm f/1.4, ISO 800 or maybe 1600, 1/30, f/1.4, flash set on 2nd curtain sync, using E-TTL.

You get a result like this:


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5/30/2005 7:14:53 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
 
 
  Dancing Sample
Dancing Sample
© x
Canon EOS 20D Digi...
 
 
It would seem logical. It depends. I do the opposite. I shoot wide open. A typical setting for me might be, 50mm f/1.4, ISO 800 or maybe 1600, 1/30, f/1.4, flash set on 2nd curtain sync, using E-TTL.

You get a result like this:


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5/30/2005 7:15:19 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  The above was shot with a 15mm @ f/4.0, not 50mm @ f/1.4. But, all the rest was correct.


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5/30/2005 7:20:27 PM

 
Anja Lenner   Thanks for the tips! This will be very helpful since I am feeling a bit lost when it comes to this kind of photography... The photo you posted looks great, but I also wanna be able to have a fast exposure so I can freeze people. So I will try a bit of both... But I guess going for a higher ISO setting can not be avoided!!


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5/30/2005 7:21:39 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  I'm into creating motion right now. So, I'm not looking to freeze action. But, all you have to do is shoot at 1/60 at maybe f/2.8 up to f/4.0. And use 1st curtain sync. And the action will freeze. The flash will freeze the subject, while the image is captured. Easy.

Take some safe shots in program mode and see what your camera does in low light. Then, start playing with it. The thing is, if you let your camera do it's thing, your images will not look professional, you will have flash fall off the subject, and behind will be blackness. In order to balance the lighting all around, you need to shoot with a 1.4 or 1.2 or something, and adjust your speed to the slowest possible to pick up as much ambient room light as possible. Then, just splash some flash to illuminate the subject, and you'll have some great looking stuff.

I'm not sure exactly what you are doing, but motion blur is very in, very cool, and very artistic for dancing. I wouldn't worry about it all. In fact, I just tell my clients that I shoot blurry, so don't worry about it.


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5/30/2005 7:57:54 PM

 
Anja Lenner   Thanks Jerry, I will shoot on longer exoposures as well, but know that the client would like pretty sharp photos!! I am hoping that the venue will be pretty lit up from time to time, so I can get some "portraits" of the dancers... It is to promote the DJ so I think the blurry ones will look pretty awesome, just a question of pleasing client with giving them what they want, but also show them that I've done what I think would be the best, and then they can pick and choose what they want. Usually hard to try to get them to understand what will look good, if they have thier mind set...


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5/30/2005 8:02:07 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  I set expectations by showing them what I do. I don't do things that I don't do. In other words, I turn clients away. If I shoot one style, and they want something else, I just cut the meeting short, smile shake their hands, and part ways.


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5/30/2005 8:07:32 PM

 
Anja Lenner   I agree to a certain point. I don't mind to do new things, and dance partys haven't really been my thing before... So after this party I will hopefully have some good photos to show future clients. I do udnerstand what you mean... I would just love to do this party, and try out a few different ways of doing it...


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5/30/2005 8:12:10 PM

 
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