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Thread: ballroom shoot

  1. #1
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    Default ballroom shoot

    hi guys really appreciate if anyone can help suggest any other film for those ballroom shoot.... i have tried once with kodak max 400 and using ATTL flash unit.... colour seems to be rather washed out.... (the settings in the ballroom was dim orange) it seems like my flash had totally wash out the orange cast and fill it totally! any suggestion on how i can improve on it? (i was shooting at Tv mode at 1/60) thanks!

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    for a start use better film than the Kodak Max 400.....
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    hmmm... any suggestion? i had read the other thread on wedding shoot, they seems to be recommending fuji press 800....

  4. #4

    Wink

    For such events, you need fast film => ISO 400 and above.

    ISO 800 film works best. And you'll need a decent flash for fill-in as well.

    Cheers.

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    Depending on how you choose to interpret this reply, it's either a lot of help or absolutely no help whatsoever.

    Let's start with the simple. Film. No, on second thoughts, that's not simple either. Certainly stick with something in the ISO 400 to 800 range. And stick to Fuji as a general rule, and you'll be alright.

    Now here's the tricky part. I considered your problem and then the answer I came up with was, I'd look at the shooting conditions and then make my decisions. I'd decide between ISO 400 and ISO 800 based on the amount of ambient light, the height of the ceiling, the client's reproduction needs, how rapidly I might need to shoot with a view towards flash recycling time, the colour of the ambient light, the colour of the ceiling and walls, the presence of reflective surfaces such as mirrors, the focal lengths I will be shooting with most of the time, the aperture I would need for the majority of the shots.

    Put another way, this is all stuff that I haven't thought about at all, just wrote down as it came to me, because it's stuff I apply automatically when I shoot in a new environment. Quite probably I've missed several factors out as well. Crystalised I supposed you could boil it down to one word; experience, but here's where my bit about being able to interpret this two ways. In the negative manner, this could be some poor sod trying to show off his apparent experience and has really told me absolutely nothing that I want to know. On the other hand, my positive input would be for you to shoot, and learn from your mistakes. Copy that list down and use that as a checklist if necessary. I know I haven't provided the answers, but the answers aren't ever clear cut. There's no magic formula because conditions are forever slightly different, and it comes through experience and practice that you'll be able to look at a situation and determine what the best things to do and use will be; where to make your tradeoffs and sacrifices.

    Good luck, and good shooting. And if you have more specific questions, I promise to be less cryptic in future.

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    What I do generally. Works for me, may not work for everyone, depending on him/her, the situation, your handhold capability, your camera, the moon phase, whether Murphy is idling, etc etc. In short, your mileage may vary, and don't blame me if it doesn't work for you. Experiment before the actual shoot.

    1. Shoot high speed film. At least ISO 400, preferably 800 if the location is dim. Forget MAX 400, that's the worst film to use, and don't use it even if it's free and process-paid.

    2. Use fast lenses. Set the aperture to something to like f/4 or bigger. If you are using a "f/3.5-4.5" type lens, you _might_ get by with f/5.6 if you are using something like ISO 800.

    3. Measure the ambient exposure. If it's dimmer than 1/30s f/4 @ ISO 400, set your shutter/aperture to just that : 1/30s f/4. Bounce the flash if possible, then let your TTL flash and camera's CPU do everything else.

    4. If ambient exposure results in a handholdable shutter speed / aperture combination, use it. Then set flash to -0.5 to -1 EV according to experience, then let TTL do everything else.

    Again, experiment, take notes, and learn from there.

    Regards
    CK

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    Great help! thanks for sharing the valuable experience! well, i guess i will need to find out the "magic" formula by trial and error, anyway really appreciate your advice and the "checklist" of things to look out for when i am shooting

    cheers!


    Originally posted by Jed
    Depending on how you choose to interpret this reply, it's either a lot of help or absolutely no help whatsoever.

    Let's start with the simple. Film. No, on second thoughts, that's not simple either. Certainly stick with something in the ISO 400 to 800 range. And stick to Fuji as a general rule, and you'll be alright.

    Now here's the tricky part. I considered your problem and then the answer I came up with was, I'd look at the shooting conditions and then make my decisions. I'd decide between ISO 400 and ISO 800 based on the amount of ambient light, the height of the ceiling, the client's reproduction needs, how rapidly I might need to shoot with a view towards flash recycling time, the colour of the ambient light, the colour of the ceiling and walls, the presence of reflective surfaces such as mirrors, the focal lengths I will be shooting with most of the time, the aperture I would need for the majority of the shots.

    Put another way, this is all stuff that I haven't thought about at all, just wrote down as it came to me, because it's stuff I apply automatically when I shoot in a new environment. Quite probably I've missed several factors out as well. Crystalised I supposed you could boil it down to one word; experience, but here's where my bit about being able to interpret this two ways. In the negative manner, this could be some poor sod trying to show off his apparent experience and has really told me absolutely nothing that I want to know. On the other hand, my positive input would be for you to shoot, and learn from your mistakes. Copy that list down and use that as a checklist if necessary. I know I haven't provided the answers, but the answers aren't ever clear cut. There's no magic formula because conditions are forever slightly different, and it comes through experience and practice that you'll be able to look at a situation and determine what the best things to do and use will be; where to make your tradeoffs and sacrifices.

    Good luck, and good shooting. And if you have more specific questions, I promise to be less cryptic in future.

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by andretan
    For such events, you need fast film => ISO 400 and above.

    ISO 800 film works best. And you'll need a decent flash for fill-in as well.

    Cheers.

    thanks for the advice

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    Originally posted by ckiang
    What I do generally. Works for me, may not work for everyone, depending on him/her, the situation, your handhold capability, your camera, the moon phase, whether Murphy is idling, etc etc. In short, your mileage may vary, and don't blame me if it doesn't work for you. Experiment before the actual shoot.

    1. Shoot high speed film. At least ISO 400, preferably 800 if the location is dim. Forget MAX 400, that's the worst film to use, and don't use it even if it's free and process-paid.

    2. Use fast lenses. Set the aperture to something to like f/4 or bigger. If you are using a "f/3.5-4.5" type lens, you _might_ get by with f/5.6 if you are using something like ISO 800.

    3. Measure the ambient exposure. If it's dimmer than 1/30s f/4 @ ISO 400, set your shutter/aperture to just that : 1/30s f/4. Bounce the flash if possible, then let your TTL flash and camera's CPU do everything else.

    4. If ambient exposure results in a handholdable shutter speed / aperture combination, use it. Then set flash to -0.5 to -1 EV according to experience, then let TTL do everything else.

    Again, experiment, take notes, and learn from there.

    Regards
    CK
    thanks for the advice!! great help! wah got the "gong li" from 2 old birds!!! thanks!!

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by jude


    thanks for the advice!! great help! wah got the "gong li" from 2 old birds!!! thanks!!
    they old meh????



  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Bluestrike

    they old meh????


    I very old liao. Just turned 29.

    Regards
    CK

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    wah so old liao :P

  13. #13
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    ckiang is gor gor

    just wondering for ballroom shots, generally how much ambient lighting should be captured?
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    Okay I'm trying hard to give a straight answer, but again it depends on how much there actually is and what compromises have to be made elsewhere, see that huge list above. Ideally, we're talking (IMO anyway and this is entirely subjective) 80% ambient and 20% flash, but it hardly ever reaches those levels because the ambient is simply too low.

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    Default Re: ballroom shoot

    Originally posted by jude
    hi guys really appreciate if anyone can help suggest any other film for those ballroom shoot.... i have tried once with kodak max 400 and using ATTL flash unit.... colour seems to be rather washed out.... (the settings in the ballroom was dim orange) it seems like my flash had totally wash out the orange cast and fill it totally! any suggestion on how i can improve on it? (i was shooting at Tv mode at 1/60) thanks!
    the replies above are all good.

    but they are too normal. are u game for the adventurous? do u wanna live life on the edge?

    if so, shoot the ballroom dance with high speed black and white ISO 3200 films, like the Ilford Delta 3200. pushed to 6400 if necessary. We don't need no stinking flash spoiling the ambience u're likely to get some colour cast as well with all that mixed lighting, so might as well drop the colour and use the action to tell the story.

    use the lights to create silhouettes, create flare intentionally, move around the ballroom completely mobile with just one wide angle prime lens and one camera body.

    guaranteed u'll get pictures completely different from anyone wielding a camera that night and u'll be smiling like this guy when u see the photos!

    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  16. #16

    Default Re: ballroom shoot

    Originally posted by jude
    hi guys really appreciate if anyone can help suggest any other film for those ballroom shoot.... i have tried once with kodak max 400 and using ATTL flash unit.... colour seems to be rather washed out.... (the settings in the ballroom was dim orange) it seems like my flash had totally wash out the orange cast and fill it totally! any suggestion on how i can improve on it? (i was shooting at Tv mode at 1/60) thanks!
    Fujipress 800

  17. #17

    Default Re: Re: ballroom shoot

    Originally posted by Red Dawn


    the replies above are all good.

    but they are too normal. are u game for the adventurous? do u wanna live life on the edge?

    if so, shoot the ballroom dance with high speed black and white ISO 3200 films, like the Ilford Delta 3200. pushed to 6400 if necessary. We don't need no stinking flash spoiling the ambience u're likely to get some colour cast as well with all that mixed lighting, so might as well drop the colour and use the action to tell the story.

    use the lights to create silhouettes, create flare intentionally, move around the ballroom completely mobile with just one wide angle prime lens and one camera body.

    guaranteed u'll get pictures completely different from anyone wielding a camera that night and u'll be smiling like this guy when u see the photos!

    Really nice shot!
    Anyway, just to ask you, this shot was done in what ISO?
    with your D30 perhaps?

    I'm intending to shoot some film for ball room too...
    So here are my questions:

    50mm f1.8 is enough right?
    The pic was using fill-in flash too right? (And judging from the photo, how much flash compensation did you use? -1? )

    would really be happy if I could take shots like this...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Re: Re: ballroom shoot

    Originally posted by SNAG


    Really nice shot!
    Anyway, just to ask you, this shot was done in what ISO?
    with your D30 perhaps?

    I'm intending to shoot some film for ball room too...
    So here are my questions:

    50mm f1.8 is enough right?
    The pic was using fill-in flash too right? (And judging from the photo, how much flash compensation did you use? -1? )

    would really be happy if I could take shots like this...
    Hi

    this is a D30 shot, at ISO 1600, with 420EX flash providing ETTL coverage.

    No flash exposure compensation was used because i have deliberately underexposed the background 1 or 2 stops. No way am i going to be able to expose the background properly - discos lights were dancing but it was simply too dark. Exposing the background properly would have shutter speeds too low for handholding, even at f2, which is the max aperture of the Sigma 20 f1.8 i was using......

    therefore, i used flash as the main source of illumination.

    the same principles should apply to film.

    There's actually another stylistic way to take such shots - meter background properly even with inhuman shutter speeds, set flash to second curtain sync and faslh exposure compensation -1. This gives you slow sync effects with sharp subjects (due to the flash) and blurred backgrounds and some ghosting of the main subject (double images).

    the slow sync effect is very nice when used well, but may not sit well with some viewers.
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  19. #19

    Default Re: Re: Re: Re: ballroom shoot

    Originally posted by Red Dawn


    Hi

    this is a D30 shot, at ISO 1600, with 420EX flash providing ETTL coverage.

    No flash exposure compensation was used because i have deliberately underexposed the background 1 or 2 stops. No way am i going to be able to expose the background properly - discos lights were dancing but it was simply too dark. Exposing the background properly would have shutter speeds too low for handholding, even at f2, which is the max aperture of the Sigma 20 f1.8 i was using......

    therefore, i used flash as the main source of illumination.

    the same principles should apply to film.

    There's actually another stylistic way to take such shots - meter background properly even with inhuman shutter speeds, set flash to second curtain sync and faslh exposure compensation -1. This gives you slow sync effects with sharp subjects (due to the flash) and blurred backgrounds and some ghosting of the main subject (double images).

    the slow sync effect is very nice when used well, but may not sit well with some viewers.
    Hmm..
    Thanks for the info too.
    Wow, at ISO1600, still no noise?
    That's good!

    I think that's quite a good technique!
    I'll try it out when I shoot..
    Thanks a lot!

  20. #20
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    what about shooting in slides? any recommendations?

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