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Photography Question 
Kate Foley

Shooting in low light

shot with Pentax ZX-50
© Kate Foley
Miscellaneous Does...
I'm going to be shooting my sister's fashion show. I wanted to get a consensus on what speed film would be best for shooting in run-way lighting and spotlights. In the past I've shot with 800 speed film, but the photos are often grainy; and, although 800 speed is good for capturing movement, because of the type of lighting my images are often blurred.

I'll be shooting with my Pentax ZX-50, and possibly a 100-300mm zoom.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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4/8/2006 8:30:24 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Actually, 800 speed film is not ideal for capturing movement and one reason your images may be blurred is camera shake if you're not using a sturdy tripod and cable release or other camera support.

To shoot fashion shows, the ideal set up is to get a position at the end of the runway, (or walkway) set your camera and tripod there along with at least one electronic flash, preferably something with reasonable power of 1000 watt seconds or more and with a light modifier of some kind like a softbox or umbrella. Find a mark where the models will (with instruction) hit, stop, strike a pose while looking directly at the camera and wait until they see the strobe go off (preferably twice) before moving on. Your camera should be prefocused on that mark and lens should be set at an f-stop that will provide you with adequate depth of field to have the model in focus when they stop.
That's another reason, btw, why your images may be blurred. Again, it's not the lighting, it's the fact your targe is moving and you may not be able to focus quickly enough to get them in focus. Have them hit a mark and STOP.

That mark is where you take your light meter reading from back towards the camera (using an incident flash meter). And, with the light I mentioned, or something similar, you should be able to work comfortably at ISO 100 and stop motion at the same time.
BTW, you can also rent this type of equipment for a few bucks a day from any reasonably sized camera shop or rental house. If you don't live near one, they can UPS it to you in time to let you figure out how to get it set up and use it.
Get the picture? ;>)

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4/9/2006 11:47:32 AM

Gale    I'm shooting a fashion show at a church benefit. This is my 3rd year. I understand about shooting from the end of the runway (it's about 3 feet tall), but this seems like the angle of view will not be straight on at eye level with the models. Maybe I have to catch the models as soon as they enter the runway.
Please comment.

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9/23/2006 7:06:36 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  I'm really not clear as to what the problem is. Why do you need to be at eye level??

But if you really need to be at eye level, get a step ladder. I'm 6'1 and have used them for this before. It's helpful if your tripod goes up to that level too, OR use a Bogen Super Clamp with a camera mount attached.

Also try following the advice I gave to Kate above.

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10/17/2006 5:18:52 PM

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