making do with what i have: birthday photography


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Jul 17, 2005
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Clementi
#1
hi guys, i'm gonna be taking photos for my friend's birthday party. i have at my disposal, FZ5, and A95. that's all. i thought of borrowing a DSLR, but i realised it wouldn't be too good as i wuold need time to practice on it.her partys on 31jul, next sun.

would greatly appreciate some tips on shooting for birthday functions. the thing is, this is no ordinary party. she's studying in aust now, and she's gonna be doing it aussie style. her party's prob at esplanade, it would be for 80 people, a sit down 5 course western dinner. there would be speeches made by her parents, friends and relatives. there would also be a video presentation on her life. don't ask me why...im also not very sure. it's just the way australians celebrate their 21st and she;s trying to do the same here in Singapore. guys will be in suits, or at least a shirt and tie. girls will be in gowns, or formal dresses/attire.

there will be a stage, lgihting wouild prob be incandescent.

using the FZ5 and A95, what is the best way i can maximise usage of these 2 cameras? considering that i have the 12x zoom f2.8-3.3 of the FZ5. there will be a tripod of course. there would need to be a mix of candid (unposed) and formal portrait shots.

i'm not too advanced in the world of photography yet. prob still at enthusiast level. would be grateful for some guidance here. using Av, Tv, M modes are no problem for me though.

thanks guys.
 

sORe-EyEz

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Jun 28, 2005
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#2
geez, can i go shoot for u? as a back-up photographer?.... :sweat:
 

varf

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#3
two suggestions: get in close, and anticipate the action.

you'll want to be as close as possible, and will probably use the mid-to-wide range of your camera's zoom to catch the moments. use your tele-zoom sparingly, especially when the action is fast - you don't want to miss anything while zooming back out.

think about what you want to capture, the birthday girl's expressions? family ties? celebrating friends? and remember to go for them during the event.

i assume that the event will be indoors. neither of your specified cameras has a hotshoe for external flash, so you'll need to be in close anyway for your on-camera flash to be effective. bring spare batteries.

the tripod will get in the way when you move around, so consider leaving it at home, or at least putting it aside until you need it (maybe just for formals?).

good luck!
 

eow

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Jun 22, 2004
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#4
bring both the the cameras ...the batt will run real out fast if u shoot with flash on
 

mpenza

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#5
you don't need the longer end of the zoom, so u don't really have to bring along a tripod. as it's going to be indoors, go nearer where you built-in flash could be effective.
 

Jul 17, 2005
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Clementi
#7
hey guys...let me just say that im very appreciative of your advice. thanks a lot. will take note of them. i was thinking of using the tele zoom to capture candid shots. when they are least expecting. guess its not a good idea ya?

sore eyez....u wanna be backup ar? haha. i think i shd be the backup leh. i think ur more pro than me man. the FZ5 aint even mine. hehehe. so i dont think its a gd idea to get a slave flash.

erm...one question, i was thinking of using Av mode and keeping it at f2.8 throughout, to get as much bokeh as possible. and also, considering its indoors...f2.8 would be good. but i know this would result in some corner softness, be it portraits or candid shots....and the fact is that such cameras do not produce much bokeh at all. would you all agree?

tripod...ill keep it for the portraits la. think its a good idea to take portraits without flash and use a slower shutter speed? but im afraid my subjects would move. heh..and cause blurring.

oh by the way, this function is at Senses, esplanade. anyone know that place? i hope to get some idea of the layout before i go. my first ever 'small assignment' la....nervous. hehe

thanks guys!
 

Jul 17, 2005
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Clementi
#8
oh guys...my friend just told me...the lighting is gonna be dim...with a few BULBS and candles here and there. walau! and i don have the benefit of ISO800 or 1600. would this kinda lighting be ahuge problem in your opinion?
 

Oct 16, 2003
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#9
Hmm. If you use flash, then the only problem i foresee is focusing error. Your camera might find it hard to lock on to details under that kinda lighting. Try to use wideangle and goodluck! =)
 

reno77

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#10
I dont think the FZ5 can take good pictures in this kind of lighting. If you're using a DSLR you'll need to set to iso 800, bounce flash for subject and shutter of 1/15secs to get the ambient lighting.
 

Jul 17, 2005
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Clementi
#11
yah i agree. but the thing is i dont have a DSLR. and neither do i have an option to get a DSLR. i'm faced with 2 choices now

1) use normal flash and a faster shutter and forget about ambient lgihting, just light up the people.

2) use night/slow sync flash with a slower shutter and capture ambient lighting, BUT running the risk of getting blurred images of people when they move. the blurring is made worse with candid shots, where people are likely to be gesturing wildly or laughing hard. i think slow sync flash is a bad idea. hmmm

i have no choice of cams. yup. :) oh well. what would you guys do? option 1 or 2?
 

eow

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Jun 22, 2004
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#12
I would pick choice no 1
 

varf

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#13
i would say better to have no ambient background than no clear subject.. unless that's your artistic intent.
 

espn

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Dec 20, 2002
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#14
Isaiahfortythirtyone said:
hi guys, i'm gonna be taking photos for my friend's birthday party. i have at my disposal, FZ5, and A95. that's all. i thought of borrowing a DSLR, but i realised it wouldn't be too good as i wuold need time to practice on it.her partys on 31jul, next sun.

would greatly appreciate some tips on shooting for birthday functions. the thing is, this is no ordinary party. she's studying in aust now, and she's gonna be doing it aussie style. her party's prob at esplanade, it would be for 80 people, a sit down 5 course western dinner. there would be speeches made by her parents, friends and relatives. there would also be a video presentation on her life. don't ask me why...im also not very sure. it's just the way australians celebrate their 21st and she;s trying to do the same here in Singapore. guys will be in suits, or at least a shirt and tie. girls will be in gowns, or formal dresses/attire.

there will be a stage, lgihting wouild prob be incandescent.

using the FZ5 and A95, what is the best way i can maximise usage of these 2 cameras? considering that i have the 12x zoom f2.8-3.3 of the FZ5. there will be a tripod of course. there would need to be a mix of candid (unposed) and formal portrait shots.

i'm not too advanced in the world of photography yet. prob still at enthusiast level. would be grateful for some guidance here. using Av, Tv, M modes are no problem for me though.

thanks guys.
I presume you are just there to shoot... so just set everything to P(lofessional) mode and just shoot with inbuilt flash. Nothing much to worry about. :)

The more you worry the worse you'll be during the event.
 

Vulpix0r

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Oct 2, 2002
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#15
Don't bring a tripod along as it will be too cumbersome. It will get in your way moreso than it will help you.
 

yanyewkay

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Sep 22, 2004
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Cons digger.
#16
since you are the appointed cameraman of the night, don't be shy to ask ppl to pose for the camera. individual/Group poses or even staged shots. Don't not just go around taking candids. With poor lighting and built in flash, you'll be better with staged/poses than long range candids. FZ5 with OIS is a tremendous plus point over the A95 (although 95 has better colours and consistent AWB, to me..:sticktong) bring spare batts if possible. borrow lots of AAs for the A95 would be easier than borrow many FZ5 batts.

Ask for the flow/schedule of event so anticipate moments or events. (don't keep flashing during speeches/presentations)

Lastly, know your equipment VERY WELL.. you wun want to fumble between the 2 cams and press all the wrong stuff and miss the shots. You might want to get comfortable with the flash recharge (recycling) times of the 2 cameras.

Relax, just a normal event coverage nothing to be panicky about.
 

sORe-EyEz

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Jun 28, 2005
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#17
no lar, i not pro de la. jus more eager oni. besides, i really m keen.....:bsmilie: :bigeyes:
 

sORe-EyEz

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Jun 28, 2005
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#18
u may 1 2 ask ppl here if they can lend u an ext. slave flash.

if u can get it, place it somewhere so when ur cam flash is used, it also triggers d slave flash. there, more light liao, pronto? :bsmilie:
 

yanyewkay

Senior Member
Sep 22, 2004
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#19
where would you position your slave?

more light = more chance to overexpose. Your camera wun know you're using a slave flash. Therefore it would meter the current situation and set for the current exposure. with the slave, you add in more light suddenly, different from what is metered.

it is a good idea but you'll need to understand the equipment to use it correctly.
 

Snowcrash

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Jan 18, 2002
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#20
I agree with espn, use p mode and do posed shots. If possible just before the event start and at places with better lighting. During dinner, sit, eat and enjoy it:)
 

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