BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Christine Zipps
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/30/2007

How to shoot dancers from dark theater, no flash?

I was hired (today) to be a sub photographer for a colorful, local Mexican dance troup performing Dia de los Muertos this weekend as their photographer is out of town.
I SO want to do a great job of course, but am fairly new at this (started first of year shooting creatively...)
I have an Olympus 8.0 MP, Evolt 500 DSLR with wide angle and 40-150 mm zoom.
the challenges are, no flash, inability to move around much (MAY be able to get into wings and in the "back, back photographer's booth" and will have seat near back of theater, but need to be very discreet.
I shoot in RAW and have had great luck with action setting. When I try to do manual settings of aperture, etc., they don't tend to hold, so with frustration, I go back to auto settings that seem to do better. With memory card, I can take 800 shots, so plan to experiment with auto settings (low light, fireworks, etc.) as well as action and use both lenses. I should be able to find someone who works for the venue to help me get access here and there for creative shots, but can't count on that.
Doing this TOMORROW night - any suggestions for me out there, PLEASE? I have read "How to shoot a stage performance" here and found it helpful, but am feeling a bit anxious yet, I guess.
Many thanks,

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9/25/2008 6:06:19 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  See this article at

One day's notice eh? I hear that "fear is the beginning of wisdom." Good luck.
Mark ;>)

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9/25/2008 8:30:06 PM

Set a high ISO (800 or 1600), set Av (aperture priority) F2.8, and use support (tripod, monopod, or leaning) at every possibility.

Have fun!

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9/25/2008 11:59:26 PM

Christine Zipps
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/30/2007
  Thanks SO much, Mark and W --

Great advice - I am feeling anxious but also excited, just a major case of performance anxiety, I guess - normal, am thinkin... Just wanna do SUCH a great job with this gig!

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9/26/2008 1:50:25 PM

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