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Thread: my harrowing prom shooting experience

  1. #1
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    Default my harrowing prom shooting experience

    i went along to ACJC prom night last night to shoot for my bro. it was a volunteer thingy la. hehe. unpaid. brought along my 350D, tamron 28-75, kit lens, sigma 500super and canon 380ex as backup.

    was quite nervous la. it was my first time shooting alone and being quite inexperienced i didnt know what to expect. i shot everything in RAW (which is quite unpro i know :P) basically because i didnt know how to deal with the ever changing white balance. cos inside the hotels, some parts have tungsten lighting and others have fluorescent.

    to keep a long story short, i shall summarise my main thoughts and feelings

    1) should i use bounce card or direct flash?
    2) should i use 1/60 or 1/80? (was quite nervous tt i couldnt handhold although i had used 1/40 quite well many times before) ISO 400? or 800?
    3) how much compensation to use on my flash for bounce? +1/3 or +2/3?
    4) crap....there goes canon's ETTL system again. screwing up on me. ( i had 2 of the same shots....one was underexposed, one overexposed, both taken in succession with partial metering on the same area)
    5) hmm...maybe i should have brought my 50mm 1.8 along
    6) what if my lens is not sharp enough? (this was a totally paranoid thought as i know my tmaron 28-75 has performed admirably for me before.)
    7) wahhhh the girls are so pretty. and look at their dresses **dreaamingggg
    8) full body shots? or should i cut off somewhere?
    9) shall i try weird angles? (in the end i didnt)
    10) argh...my brother's white suit is making things difficult for me!!

    that pretty summarises my thoughts la. in the end, i learnt that theory counts for nothing if you don't practice. equipment also is useless if you dont know how to use it well. i came out quite a bit wiser and a bit more confident and familiar with my equipment. and i really take my hat off to all you pros out there. it certainly is not easy shooting. it involves split second thinking and off-the-cuff decisions. it requires in-depth analysis of the scene, lighting and composition. it demands calmness in order not to fumble and screw up.speed is also of the essence, as you may miss good shots.

    oh well....quite a harrowing experience for me. but in the end, i'm happy to say that 90% of my shots came out well, and certianly showed that my initial fears were quite unfounded.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    It is recommended that you follow a few pros to shoot events and weddings, with more practice you will be very familar with ur equipment and know what to do in ever changing situations..my 2 cents
    I lup SG, but SG don't love me...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    I also went through the same experience as you, cept that mine was a wedding, for a friend, and just for experience, so I guess there was not AS MUCH pressure on me...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    my first time shooting a proper event was a wedding too.. for my fren for fun.. cos she knows that i need the experience so she dun mind letting him tag along with e main photog to see see..

    of cse the main photog was a really friendly guy too.. dunno if he's in CS also.. that was a few yrs ago liaoz...

    and that time i shot in film.. it was HORRIBLE... cos then i didn have an external flash too.. was relying on the pop up flash and a iso 400 film.. geez...

    well.. once bitten twice shy.. experience do help a lot, just do them a few more times, and u'll get more used to the settings n ur eq.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by ~Arcanic~
    my first time shooting a proper event was a wedding too.. for my fren for fun.. cos she knows that i need the experience so she dun mind letting him tag along with e main photog to see see..

    of cse the main photog was a really friendly guy too.. dunno if he's in CS also.. that was a few yrs ago liaoz...

    and that time i shot in film.. it was HORRIBLE... cos then i didn have an external flash too.. was relying on the pop up flash and a iso 400 film.. geez...

    well.. once bitten twice shy.. experience do help a lot, just do them a few more times, and u'll get more used to the settings n ur eq.

    wah pop up flash? ISO400 film? Kodak MAX ar? tt is one film i will never use again. i count my lucky stars tt my first experience wasn't that bad

  6. #6
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahfortythirtyone
    wah pop up flash? ISO400 film? Kodak MAX ar? tt is one film i will never use again. i count my lucky stars tt my first experience wasn't that bad
    I was shooting with pop-up that day too...and iso 1600

  7. #7
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    i guess u didn't shoot in b&w then. ahah

  8. #8
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    yeah. my friend who was supposed to shoot digital for me (i was initially gonna shoot B&W) couldnt make it in the end. i shot only abt 10 shots B&W in my bro's hotel room of him dressing up etc. but at the actual event, i tried juggling 2 SLRs but realised it was pure photographic suicide. hahaha

    will be keeping the rest of my film for another possible shoot in 2 weeks time.

  9. #9

    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    1) should i use bounce card or direct flash?, depends,depends,depends. if you want to make your subjects stand out, direct, if bounce, got anything to bounce on?, open up your iso. i use 1600 on 350D


    2) should i use 1/60 or 1/80? (was quite nervous tt i couldnt handhold although i had used 1/40 quite well many times before) ISO 400? or 800?

    1/60-1/80 not much difference. should be able to stop motion blur, you can experment with lower shutter speeds with panning and or flash for dance. makes cool effects. i go as low as 1/13 handheld, 1 sec on timer with support.

    3) how much compensation to use on my flash for bounce? +1/3 or +2/3? canon ??? sometimes 2/3 sometimes up to 2 1/3 stops, as my shoot today shows, bloodly inconsisitency.


    4) crap....there goes canon's ETTL system again. screwing up on me. ( i had 2 of the same shots....one was underexposed, one overexposed, both taken in succession with partial if metering on the same area) if you have 6 of the same shots, you can stitch into one shot in photoshop CS2 to increase DR.


    5) hmm...maybe i should have brought my 50mm 1.8 along. Yes!


    6) what if my lens is not sharp enough? (this was a totally paranoid thought as i know my tmaron 28-75 has performed admirably for me before.) dun worry, if print 4r sometimes cannot tell one


    7) wahhhh the girls are so pretty. and look at their dresses **dreaamingggg
    post pictures, sure got ppl look at your thread!

    8) full body shots? or should i cut off somewhere? anything, just do not cut at the joints like on stomach, on neck, on ankles etc.


    9) shall i try weird angles? (in the end i didnt) of course you should, next time!

    10) argh...my brother's white suit is making things difficult for me!! if you use levels/curves, you can auto white balance using your brother's white suit!

  10. #10

    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahfortythirtyone
    yeah. my friend who was supposed to shoot digital for me (i was initially gonna shoot B&W) couldnt make it in the end. i shot only abt 10 shots B&W in my bro's hotel room of him dressing up etc. but at the actual event, i tried juggling 2 SLRs but realised it was pure photographic suicide. hahaha

    will be keeping the rest of my film for another possible shoot in 2 weeks time.
    Great learning exp for you bro!.
    Heh, next time no backup photog, can call me?? Hehe

  11. #11
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    hey thanks belle&sebastian! really encouraging words you have there!

    exhibitJ: sure! never say earlier! haha. but im scared la. next time advert on CS: volunteer photog needed!! -> sure kena flamed for degrading value of photogs! will keep u in mind man

  12. #12

    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    basically, just take a step back and stop looking at the technicalities as much.

    think- what do your clients (your bro and his friends) want to see? what are they gonna get printed up and framed on their wall?

    usually nobody's going to care about cool angles or how the lighting's balanced with the background. if you portray
    1. the mood and atmosphere of the prom night
    2. make everyone look good
    basically you're done. think about how to achieve this and all your questions will be answered.

    balance your lighting (bounce cards are good for that), nothing wrong with shooting raw, nobody is gonna care how noisy the shots are as long as they dont interfere with how thye look on a noticeble level so adjust your ISO accordingly (you should be more worried about camera blur), dont worry about your lenses being sharp, i have friends that shoot any kind of glass and they produce amazingly focused good looking shots.

    again, most important thing is to focus on what your clients want.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    yeah true. but i guess i was kinda nervous.

    hmm you dont think noise is a prob? im kinda apprehensive abt using 350D at 1600ISO. i really don't fancy noise in my shots :P but yea, given the choice between a noisy picutre and a sharp picture, i'd go for a sharp picture anytime

  14. #14

    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaiahfortythirtyone
    yeah true. but i guess i was kinda nervous.

    hmm you dont think noise is a prob? im kinda apprehensive abt using 350D at 1600ISO. i really don't fancy noise in my shots :P but yea, given the choice between a noisy picutre and a sharp picture, i'd go for a sharp picture anytime
    i just guess but you may have never used film before. gain/noise adds character to the shots, i rather have a noisy picture than dear in the headlights pictures.

    in fact i purposely add noise 7 to 16% to all my b/w images.

    every camera i have i push to the max, 1D iso800, 1Dmk2 iso1600, 350D iso1600, 10D iso800, 20D iso1600. You be hard press to see noise on the 4r print unless in the shadow areas. Computer and print is slightly different, print your pictures and you will know what i mean.

  15. #15

    Default Re: my harrowing prom shooting experience

    Quote Originally Posted by dslang
    basically, just take a step back and stop looking at the technicalities as much.

    think- what do your clients (your bro and his friends) want to see? what are they gonna get printed up and framed on their wall?

    usually nobody's going to care about cool angles or how the lighting's balanced with the background. if you portray
    1. the mood and atmosphere of the prom night
    2. make everyone look good
    basically you're done. think about how to achieve this and all your questions will be answered.

    balance your lighting (bounce cards are good for that), nothing wrong with shooting raw, nobody is gonna care how noisy the shots are as long as they dont interfere with how thye look on a noticeble level so adjust your ISO accordingly (you should be more worried about camera blur), dont worry about your lenses being sharp, i have friends that shoot any kind of glass and they produce amazingly focused good looking shots.

    again, most important thing is to focus on what your clients want.
    very true!

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