Ballroom shooting


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Aug 18, 2004
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#1
Hi,

I'll be shooting in December for my graduation dinner, but the lighting will be quite low because of the location/occasion. The fastest lens I have is f/4. I'm thinking of using 400/800 film (maybe even 1600) and weaker fill flash because I don't want to use too much strong flash. Is this a better way of capturing the ambience (WYSIWYG), or should I use 100/200 film and blast the flash away instead?

I'm intending to have the negatives scanned, not printed, so the problem of grains won't be too apparent even if I used higher rating film, right?

On a side note, I read in previous posts that underrating the ISO on the camera gives better pictures, less grainy. How is this so?

TIA =)
 

Witness

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#2
coz the faster the speed the more the grain...
even if u scan the grains will be apparent... in fact if u do a lose res scan the noise will add to the grain...

F4 is ya smallest aperture...i suggest u get something like a 50mm 1.8.. also i depends on wat u wanna take...if u wanna take like the events etc... this would be a good idea... but if u are tinking of table shots etc... iso400 with a good flash would be better...

if i were u.....for shots tt i wanna capture i will shoot BnW iso 400 uprated to 800....
for the table shots iso400 colour with flash....

then do a high res scan...

cheers...
 

glennyong

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May 2, 2004
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#3
radioactive28 said:
Hi,

I'll be shooting in December for my graduation dinner, but the lighting will be quite low because of the location/occasion. The fastest lens I have is f/4. I'm thinking of using 400/800 film (maybe even 1600) and weaker fill flash because I don't want to use too much strong flash. Is this a better way of capturing the ambience (WYSIWYG), or should I use 100/200 film and blast the flash away instead?

I'm intending to have the negatives scanned, not printed, so the problem of grains won't be too apparent even if I used higher rating film, right?

On a side note, I read in previous posts that underrating the ISO on the camera gives better pictures, less grainy. How is this so?

TIA =)
Witness has pointed out certain important facts that u should really take note off. and since its in a ballroom, and u are flashing happily away... and its better for u to have a omni-bounce so that the flash wouldnt be too harsh on the subject.. sometimes, when the flash is too strong, the subject will become like having "extra" makeups on.. nt very nice though.. u will need to give it sufficient or if not proper lightings.... ;)

if all becomes too complicated... i have a simple way out... put omni bounce on flash. set to aperature priority and u are out shooting... hahaha...

for me.. i take full manual.. haha... but u will need to experiment the settings urself kaes ?? ;)
 

Aug 18, 2004
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#4
I won't be getting a faster lens, or anything, for that matter, 'cos my parents aren't finanically supportive of me taking up photography. They want me to learn how to spend within my means, and that means all I can afford is the film. =[

Got any good film to recommend? I remember reading a thread saying that one particular brand's ISO400 had very fine grains.

My flash can bounce, but I don't think I can find omni-bounce for it. Metz 32CT7 is quite old... Plastic bounce card maybe...
 

Witness

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spending within ya limits is good.... makes u know the meaning of money hehe....

honestly...if u are not doin big prints...u wun notice the diff up to iso400... even so, iso200 and iso400 there is not much increase in grain for most film

for omnibounce, eastgear is selling this cloth like material one for $15...coz of the elastic band, i fits probably all flash heads.... for me.....my omnibounce is on all the time...i use a bounce card with the omnibounce together most of the time to reflect light into shadow areas in the face for portraits.... for table shots...omnibounce is enough....

good films...for me i use porta 400 for events, porta 160 for portraits, HP5 for BnW (normally uprated to iso800)....

i dun really shoot slides...too much of a hassle...porta gives great skin colours...nice and soft....such tt i have been trying means and ways to create the colours on photoshop..... hehe

if these films are too costly for u...juz use the fuji superia 200 or 400....good enough....good contrast on the RGB...but i am afraid tt the skin tones will be overpowered...but nonetheless good....
 

leadwe

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Sep 18, 2003
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#6
Witness, is porta slide filmor negative film? How much do they cost?
 

Witness

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#7
its negative...like i said...i shoot only negs...

kodak porta 160 is 6.30 a roll
kodak porta 400 is 7.20 a roll

if i dun remember wrongly... 120 format also the same price...juz tt lesser prints..
this film for some reason is always sold out when i need it...and always in stock when i dun haha...

if i dun recall wrongly....i have not seen it anywhere other than ruby....
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#8
Will ther be a spot light on the dancers?
In my concert shots, we are NOT allowed to use flash, So I used a F2.8 lens with Kodak Ektapress 1600 iso film pushed 1 stop to 3200 iso, the results are great. Slight grain but it adds to the atmosphere. see here for sample Ballroom dancing has elegant movements, try capturing that movement with a slow shutter speed and finish off with a burst of flash to freeze. Good luck with your shoot.
 

Aug 18, 2004
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#9
Paiseh, I called it a ballroom shoot only because the dinner is happening in a ballroom, and I think the lighting conditions are pretty much the same no matter what event is going on. People either book a ballroom for its space or for occasions, which they would appreciate ambient lighting befitting the situation. So I think =)

Thanks for the tips, everyone =)
 

ortega

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Nov 2, 2004
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#10
OK, I see now, must have tought that you were graduating from ballroom dancing, ha ha silly of me, Back to the subject, you will still have to use flash to light the subject, the only problem is that the background will be dark, so using a faster film and/or lens will make the background brighter and thus nicer looking photos (you can actually see where the pictures were taken) I would suggest lowering the shutter speed (for more ambient light) to one that you can hand hold to. Try with different speeds to find out how slow you can go. Too slow and you will get camera shake, too fast and the bg will be darker. I feel that I am teaching in a photography school. hmmmm ....
 

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