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Thread: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

  1. #1

    Default Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Hi ,

    i am going to attend a D&D event this friday...i only have my 50D + 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM with me...will it be enough??
    Any tips for taking photo at that situations....what should i take note of?

  2. #2
    Senior Member jlkk76's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    Hi ,

    i am going to attend a D&D event this friday...i only have my 50D + 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM with me...will it be enough??
    Any tips for taking photo at that situations....what should i take note of?
    good enough lor...maybe a flash to go along with it.

    focus on the babes...n njoy shooting..

  3. #3
    Member Adiemus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    flash. you need a flash. use a bounce card with the flash.

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    Hi ,

    i am going to attend a D&D event this friday...i only have my 50D + 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM with me...will it be enough??
    Any tips for taking photo at that situations....what should i take note of?
    Bring external flash, spare batteries, spare memory card, etc...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Oh if you are taking group shots(espcially large ones), stop down the aperture from f/2.8 to at least f/5.6 and make sure everyone look at your camera.
    Last edited by doom102938; 3rd December 2008 at 12:24 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    Hi ,

    i am going to attend a D&D event this friday...i only have my 50D + 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM with me...will it be enough??
    Any tips for taking photo at that situations....what should i take note of?
    If u r on a paid job, rent spare body. If you just go there have fun, then just bring whatever gear you have and have fun (enjoy the food and programme)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Oops...i dont have external flash .....thats the only gear that i have...intended to buy a spare battery....
    yeah..will focus on the babes .....of coz enjoying the food and programme...but really want to take a memorable and nice pictures...

    What mode should i use to be better off? Manual ? Aperture priority??

  8. #8
    Senior Member jlkk76's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    Oops...i dont have external flash .....thats the only gear that i have...intended to buy a spare battery....
    yeah..will focus on the babes .....of coz enjoying the food and programme...but really want to take a memorable and nice pictures...

    What mode should i use to be better off? Manual ? Aperture priority??
    D&D wor... for me i just use P mode...cos u dun wanna end up takin pics and adjusting stuff all the way lor then no time to njoy the food n programme.haha

    very ma fun de...

    If u got tripod and remote lagi best, just set ur tripod, focus n shoot....

    lidat lagi relax..

    just my 2cent hor..

  9. #9

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Hm...that P is it almost same as Auto Mode....let the camera do the setting on its own???

    sorry newbie question...

    I dont think will bring tripod...the camera and my lens is quite heavy enough for me hehee...

    is it possible if i want the background and foreground to be clear instead of only the foreground or subject? which is better? let the background blur / bright and sharp....

  10. #10

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    For D&D and similar events, held in a dimly-lit ballroom, a flash is necessary. Rent/borrow an external flash and diffuser/bounce card if possible, if you don't own one. The built-in flash will give hard shadows that will not be flattering to your subjects. (It's a glam event...make everyone look nice!)

    For such events, I'll just go straight to Manual mode. Adjust your shutter speed and aperture so that some of the ambient light is captured, and then do automatic fill-in flash for the subject. I usually start off with 1/60s @ f/4, ISO 800 and then adjust from there. It's not advisable to use Aperture-priority mode because the shutter speed will drop too low for handheld photography. Remember, it's useless to have the ambient lighting captured but the shot destroyed by handshake...I'm happy if my subjects are well lit.

    D&D events are mostly about people, so most of portrait photography principles apply here. It helps to make the background blur so that the focus (figuratively and literally) is on the people.

    Do remember to take "big picture" shots of the deco, place, crowd to let your audience have the sense of the event's scale. A few shots of details, e.g. table arrangements, door gifts, etc. will also be good.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Pao View Post
    For D&D and similar events, held in a dimly-lit ballroom, a flash is necessary. Rent/borrow an external flash and diffuser/bounce card if possible, if you don't own one. The built-in flash will give hard shadows that will not be flattering to your subjects. (It's a glam event...make everyone look nice!)

    For such events, I'll just go straight to Manual mode. Adjust your shutter speed and aperture so that some of the ambient light is captured, and then do automatic fill-in flash for the subject. I usually start off with 1/60s @ f/4, ISO 800 and then adjust from there. It's not advisable to use Aperture-priority mode because the shutter speed will drop too low for handheld photography. Remember, it's useless to have the ambient lighting captured but the shot destroyed by handshake...I'm happy if my subjects are well lit.

    D&D events are mostly about people, so most of portrait photography principles apply here. It helps to make the background blur so that the focus (figuratively and literally) is on the people.

    Do remember to take "big picture" shots of the deco, place, crowd to let your audience have the sense of the event's scale. A few shots of details, e.g. table arrangements, door gifts, etc. will also be good.
    What does "do automatic fill-in flash for the subject" mean?

    By using manual mode the background will also look blur rite? but sometimes its good to have both the background and foreground looks clear...how do i achieve that? is it flash again?

    Anyone kknow how much is the price for BP-511A...not the third party...i scared got cheated by the seller...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    not sure if 50D got auto ISO function or not.

    my choice is to set to manual and set the shutter spd to 1/40-1/60 slower to get more ambient light and brighter background and within this range picture blur should not be a problem unless u got vibrator hands

    aperture will range from F2.8 to F8 depending on who and how far u shooting from, a single face shot or a group, group will use 5.6 to 8 depending on the grp size and how many files, face shot will use 2.8 to 3.5 to get those bokeh

    and leave the ISO selection to the camera to compensate
    D80/D700 18-135/17-50/14-24/24-70/70-200/70-300/50/60 SB600/900

  13. #13

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Honestly, since you don't seem to understand the correlation between apeture size, flash, background, distance, and bokeh, I'd advise you not to expect too much from your photos.

    Try your best to rent/borrow an external flash. IT'S IMPORTANT. Chances are, the ballroom will NOT be well lit, and you'll end up with very noisy photos due to high iso, harsh/blown highlights, or hand-shake issues due to long exposures. If you do get an external flash, don't shoot direct. bounce it. be careful of using the walls/ceiling to bounce, because the lighting in most of the ball rooms i've shot in are rather warm (orange/yellow tint), and the flash produces white light, so you have to be careful that the flash reaches the whole image evenly, so that you don't get part of the picture cool (bluish) and part of the picture warm (orange/yellow)

    as some have said, for the group shots, go to at least f5.6 and if its a big group, f8 to ensure that everyone is sharp. try to take group shots PARALLEL to the subjects.

    Having said all that, if you're just shooting for fun, don't be too bothered to get an external flash. If you're shooting for assignment, GET A FLASH and go read up how to take group shots, there are several threads on that in this section.
    It is such a quiet thing to fall,
    But far more terrible is to admit it

  14. #14

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    What does "do automatic fill-in flash for the subject" mean?

    By using manual mode the background will also look blur rite? but sometimes its good to have both the background and foreground looks clear...how do i achieve that? is it flash again?

    Anyone kknow how much is the price for BP-511A...not the third party...i scared got cheated by the seller...
    This is Newbies Corner after all, so let's have a bit more patience and help as much as we can.

    "Automatic fill-in flash" means you fix the ISO, aperture and shutter speed, and let the flash vary its power according to the scene. This is really to reduce the number of variables that can affect your exposure and hence you can be clearer on what the picture will be like.

    To make both the background and foreground in focus, you'll need to stop down your aperture. As a consequence, you'll need more light, and hence you'll need a flash to light your subjects. However, do note that your background will be darker if you intend to keep a shutter speed at a manageable 1/60s thereabouts. The flash is not like the sun, has limited power and therefore will not light up the whole place.

    As an alternative, you can bump up your ISO, which as a side-effect will introduce more noise.

    The Depth of Field increases with distance from subject, so if you are taking group shots, your DoF increases accordingly. f/5.6 and smaller usually works for small group shots.

    Lastly, battery price, I'm not sure, but I guess its about $70 to $80 for an original BP-511A.

    As a side note, why I recommend using Manual is because if you use Av mode, you'll realise the camera will try to expose using ambient lighting, and your shutter speed will drop like crazy. If you're not confident of using M, then go for Tv (set to a manageable shutter speed to minimise handshake) or just P or Auto. Whatever the case, get hold of an external flash and learn the bounce flash techniques.
    Last edited by Ah Pao; 4th December 2008 at 02:29 PM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Ah Pao View Post
    This is Newbies Corner after all, so let's have a bit more patience and help as much as we can.

    "Automatic fill-in flash" means you fix the ISO, aperture and shutter speed, and let the flash vary its power according to the scene. This is really to reduce the number of variables that can affect your exposure and hence you can be clearer on what the picture will be like.

    To make both the background and foreground in focus, you'll need to stop down your aperture. As a consequence, you'll need more light, and hence you'll need a flash to light your subjects. However, do note that your background will be darker if you intend to keep a shutter speed at a manageable 1/60s thereabouts. The flash is not like the sun, has limited power and therefore will not light up the whole place.

    As an alternative, you can bump up your ISO, which as a side-effect will introduce more noise.

    The Depth of Field increases with distance from subject, so if you are taking group shots, your DoF increases accordingly. f/5.6 and smaller usually works for small group shots.

    Lastly, battery price, I'm not sure, but I guess its about $70 to $80 for an original BP-511A.

    As a side note, why I recommend using Manual is because if you use Av mode, you'll realise the camera will try to expose using ambient lighting, and your shutter speed will drop like crazy. If you're not confident of using M, then go for Tv (set to a manageable shutter speed to minimise handshake) or just P or Auto. Whatever the case, get hold of an external flash and learn the bounce flash techniques.
    Thanks Ah Pao...

    One more thing, i forgot to bring my lens hood... :S.....would it be a big problem for this lens particularly known for the flare 17-55mm IS F2.8.....

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    I think worrying about lens flare is the least of your problem. If you have no external flash to take indoor pictures, expect to take lousy pictures.

    Even you managed to get a flash, you seem totally blur about using a an external flash. So, again, expect to take mediocre flash photos. My suggestion is to set your camera to P or the green square full auto setting and let the camera take control of flash and exposure.

    If you are just taking pictures of the D & D tonight as a casual photographer, then I wouldn't be too worried about how the shots turn out. It will probably turn bad but you'll learn from this experience.

    If you are the main photographer recording the event, then better pray hard hard!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Tumbleweed View Post
    I think worrying about lens flare is the least of your problem. If you have no external flash to take indoor pictures, expect to take lousy pictures.

    Even you managed to get a flash, you seem totally blur about using a an external flash. So, again, expect to take mediocre flash photos. My suggestion is to set your camera to P or the green square full auto setting and let the camera take control of flash and exposure.

    If you are just taking pictures of the D & D tonight as a casual photographer, then I wouldn't be too worried about how the shots turn out. It will probably turn bad but you'll learn from this experience.

    If you are the main photographer recording the event, then better pray hard hard!
    Which is why this is called Newbies section....for new people like me......
    "sigh".....hope you are rite...i will learn from this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dinner & Dance Photography Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Abun83 View Post
    Which is why this is called Newbies section....for new people like me......
    "sigh".....hope you are rite...i will learn from this.
    Keep shooting and learn from your mistakes...

    You'd need to be daring to try different settings till you find the method that works best for you...
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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