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Photography Question 
Joyce L. Flynn
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/21/2007

Shooting a School Play in Dark Auditorum

What settings should I set my camera on to take pictures at my daughter's talent show? It is going to be dark in the auditorium and the stage will be well-lit. Thanks.

2/24/2007 2:24:55 PM

Erin Tyler
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/30/2005
  I do a lot of theatre photography. The first rule of thumb is NO FLASH! 1). You will only end up lighting up the audience in front of you. 2). It's very bad etiquette.
Next, even with the bright stage lights, you'll want to bump your ISO up to 800, 1600 depending on the light.
You will need to watch your shutter speed and aperture, so it is probably easiest to set it on Aperture or Shutter Speed priority, depending on which is your biggest concern. I tend to work wide open so I can have somewhat faster shutter speeds. Depending on your camera and the lenses you have to choose from, you'll want a fast lens (I use the 50 mm 1.4).
HTH! :)

2/24/2007 4:44:27 PM

Michael A. Bielat
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 2/23/2007
  You should follow the same guidelines as you would band photography:
1) Higher ISO. 2) Fast lens (f/1.4 to f/2.8). 3) No flash.
This will be your best bet for low lighting. This should get you those extra shutter speeds and allow you to freeze the action.

2/24/2007 9:21:08 PM

Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/17/2005
  Joyce: here's a link you'll probably find pretty useful over at Photo Net.
Covers all the fundamentals of low light concert photography.

BTW, if you intend to use flash, it's not likely that they'll let you do that, so beforehand ask someone who's in charge OR better yet, make arrangements to attend the dress rehearsal instead. Probably you'd get better seats at the dress than during a live performance anyway.

Take it ummmmmmmmmm......light ;>)

2/25/2007 6:54:39 PM

Dale M. Garvey

member since: 3/13/2006
  Dress rehersal is a great time to shoot if they are going to use stage lighting. Shoot in raw if you have that option. It is more forgiving. If you daughter is in the spotlight your camera might tend to overexpose because of the dark background. If the school is filming the play you might have to shoot from the back. I had to stand on a table and shoot with a telephoto lens.

2/28/2007 7:37:56 AM


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