BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: All About Photography : Photographing Specific Subjects : Indoor/Low-Light Photography

Photography Question 
Katie L. Chaves

Lighting for Stage Performance

I was wondering if anyone know what kind of flash would be best for taking photos of a dance recital? Also if I need a diffuser of any sorts. Keep in mind the harsh spotlights on stage. Any help would be greaty appreciated.

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5/8/2007 9:29:26 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  The "harsh spotlights" often give enough light that you don't need flash. You just need specialized metering (such as using Spot or Partial metering on the performer) to keep the meter from being fooled by the dark stage and background.
Check with the instructor as to whether they even allow flash. Even if they do, to use flash you need to be relatively close to the performers - even with a high powered speedlight like the 580EX. At ISO 100 and a lens with maximum aperture of f/5.6, the 580EX is limited to subjects less than 34 feet away.

Editor's Note: Also check out this excellent BP article by instructor and portrait photographer Ibarionex Perello:
How to Photograph Performers on Stage

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5/8/2007 11:55:26 AM

Katie L. Chaves   The insructor is actually my sister-in-law and I would be taking the photographs during the dress rehersal right up next to the stage.

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5/8/2007 12:13:47 PM

Julie A. Young   Hi, my name is Julie Y and I am new. I took 189 photos @ my daughters fashion show. I was so excited, until I got home and saw all my yellow pictures. The flourescent lights and the distance back from the stage was my biggest problem. I am doing a photography course @ home and know now that my camera has specific settings for specific lighting situations and to change the ISO settings according to each subject matter. 189 pictures! What a hard way to learn!! I hope this helps. Julie Y

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5/15/2007 11:54:06 AM

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