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Photography Question 
Joseph S. Oliver

how to shoot action in low light

I attempted to shoot my daughters ballet. The stage had low light and I wanted to freeze the action. Flash was not allowed. I was shooting hand held with my canon Ae1. I was an average of 20 to thirty feet from the stage using an iso800 fuji film. At the reciteal I used elactronic mounted flash but was lost at the real performance being I couldnt use flash. Any coments on any of this would help dearly. thank you joey

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5/20/2007 2:28:29 AM

Marius Liebenberg
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/21/2005
  Do a search on this site on fast lenses and image stabilizer, there is allot of information on this topic. The first to come to mind to shoot someone on a dark stage at a distance from you would be high ISO, around 200mm focal length, no slower than f2.8, spot meter and manual mode.

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5/20/2007 2:55:25 AM

Joseph S. Oliver   thank you very much. I did fail to mention that I was using a 200mm lens

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5/20/2007 2:59:43 AM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
  Since you have been to the recital, you know the music and the dance. There are moments that the dancer will freeze the pose, even just for a very short moment. That's the time you press the shutter. You can also pre-focus at the point where the dancer is most likely to stop moving. It is tough because your AE-1 is manual focus.

Like Marius said, spot meter on the dancer. If the dancer is in spot light, the better, because you can use faster shutter speed. Use the maximum aperture on your lens. Some professional films can be push processed up to 2 stops. That means you can use the 800 speed film and manually set it to 3200 speed and ask the film lab to add processing time on the film later. But the print will be grainly. Also if you can use a monopod (or a tripod but only extend one leg), or rest your camera on the back of a chair or something, it may help steady your hand.

You can google for more information on push processing or you can ask here. Someone have experience will help you with that. Hope this helps.

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5/20/2007 8:41:07 AM

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