Dance movements in a low light setting..


SmOcKxY

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Aug 16, 2010
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#1
Hey guys..need some expert advice here..i'm gonna shoot a performance on open air stage where lighting may not be the brightest..most some dance and drama items..now my equipment is very basic..just a 550D with kit lens and also a 50mm prime lens..so my question is what is the best setting to capture nice shots without the people in the pics being blurred as they move?

I've tried making the shutter speed faster but it doesn't allow light to come in fast enuff and the image is very dark..what setting should I use then?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

shellshox

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Oct 15, 2008
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#3
Can try to increase higher iso, using your 50mm at widest, shoot at the brighter area of the stage?
 

Daoyin

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Nov 25, 2008
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#4
Get as close to the stage as possible, preferably right at the front edge.
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#6
Hey guys..need some expert advice here..i'm gonna shoot a performance on open air stage where lighting may not be the brightest..most some dance and drama items..now my equipment is very basic..just a 550D with kit lens and also a 50mm prime lens..so my question is what is the best setting to capture nice shots without the people in the pics being blurred as they move?

I've tried making the shutter speed faster but it doesn't allow light to come in fast enuff and the image is very dark..what setting should I use then?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
just where exactly, if we know the location then those who have been there can advise better.

my advice, dont be afraid to go up to iso 6400 if you need it for the shutter speed and aperture you want.

if its a important event, might want to rent a 70-200 f/2.8 or a 85mm f/1.8 if you need a larger aperture.
 

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Edwin Francis

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Mar 24, 2006
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#7
Yeah, agree with the recommendations for high ISO and large apertures (got to be accurate with your focusing though!). Flash might work for some situations, but some performances might not allow it, and it will tend to mute the ambient lighting. If you do use flash, think about using second curtain slow sync for some nice trails.
One other thing - you're not likely to be able to use high shutter speeds, try to anticipate pauses in the action. In many dance performances, dancers will hold some positions for a fraction of a second. Catching leaps might be trickier, but if you time it well - when the dancer is at the peak of his/her jump (when they appear almost stationary for a moment), you might end up with something dramatic.
 

SmOcKxY

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Aug 16, 2010
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#8
Thanks guys for the suggestions..getting a flash is outta of the question le..cos this is a one off thing that I'm doing and it's not professionally also..just want to have some nice pictures for the event itself..as for the setting..it's just those tentage stage out on a field at night with spotlights and stuff..not like indoor stadium or esplanade type :)

For the kit lens I dun think aperture goes to lower than f3.6 does it? So i'm better off using the 50mm prime lens in this case? This fri there's a rehearsal at night but the stage lightings are not up yet..just flourescent lights so I will just give it a try..higher ISO and larger aperture! The problem with the kit lens is that autofocus is not snappy..so it may be a problem.
 

Reportage

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Nov 24, 2008
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#9
"Getai" type of setting then...below are taken at F/1.8~F/2.8 and iso 1600 and about 1/50s without flash but timed to stage lighting to illuminate the subjects. So at kit lens of f/3.5 and sufficent shutter speed to capture the dancers, might need iso 6400 in which case noise could be an issue but can be somewhat solved by using noise removal software like noise ninja and etc.







Maybe those who do dance performances can elaborate more on this.
 

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SmOcKxY

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Aug 16, 2010
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#10
"Getai" type of setting then...below are taken at F/1.8~F/2.8 and iso 1600 and about 1/50s without flash but timed to stage lighting to illuminate the subjects. So at kit lens of f/3.5 and sufficent shutter speed to capture the dancers, might need iso 6400 in which case noise could be an issue but can be somewhat solved by using noise removal software like noise ninja and etc.








Maybe those who do dance performances can elaborate more on this.
Nice pics dude! Yeah stage setting will be alot like in your photos..I can't remember if the 50mm prime can go to F1.8 but F2.8 should be it..I'll give it a go! Thanks for sharing! Hopefully it'll turn out as good!
 

tweakmax

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Feb 3, 2002
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#12
just use iso6400 with ur 50mm @ F1.8. I once shot a karate competition with iso1600 and 50mm @ F1.8.
 

SmOcKxY

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Aug 16, 2010
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#13
just use iso6400 with ur 50mm @ F1.8. I once shot a karate competition with iso1600 and 50mm @ F1.8.
Thanks for the reassurance..we'll see how the test shots turn out at this fri's rehearsal!
 

Jul 2, 2010
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#14
Thanks for the reassurance..we'll see how the test shots turn out at this fri's rehearsal!
shot a dance competition a few weeks back. lighting was so dim that i had to use iso 6400 and f/2.8 and still get shutter speed of 1/30..it is handholdable but not able to capture action.
good if you know the dance well, as it was a locking competition and if you might know locking has those "pauses" or locks to the beat.
so i just clicked my shutter when the dancer enters a lock :)
 

Reportage

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2008
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#15
just use iso6400 with ur 50mm @ F1.8. I once shot a karate competition with iso1600 and 50mm @ F1.8.
Outdoors?

Even with f/1.8~f/2.8, there are times really no choice but to ramp the iso all the way up and pray the noise isnt that bad.

Outdoor Muay Thai. Not really related to the topic but stresses not to be afraid to max out the iso if it allow you to take the shots you want/need.
 

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