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How Photograph Dance Event? Help!

 
 
John in San Diego
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      01-18-2004
I've just received a job to photograph a Salsa dance event.

I have a Nikon D100 with a 24-85mm 2.8-4.5 lens. Should I rent a 80-200 zoom? Do I need to use Flash to stop the action?

Any help is appreciated. This is outside my comfort zone

John


 
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Randall Ainsworth
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      01-18-2004
> Any help is appreciated. This is outside my comfort zone

Maybe you shouldn't have taken the job then.
 
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Bob Shomler
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      01-18-2004
John in San Diego wrote:
> I've just received a job to photograph a Salsa dance event.
>
> I have a Nikon D100 with a 24-85mm 2.8-4.5 lens. Should I rent a 80-200
> zoom? Do I need to use Flash to stop the action?
>
> Any help is appreciated. This is outside my comfort zone
>
> John


Hard to offer much without any idea of lighting at the event and where
and how close you will be to the action. Preference would be no flash
so as to capture lighting effects and colors (assuming some lighting,
not just a room full of overhead florescents).

Salsa implies fast movement. 2.8 lenses and 800 ASA might be OK. This
is my starting point for photographing in-theatre dance under stage
lights, though sometimes with lower light levels and fast movement 1600
ASA (Canon 10D) is only marginally sufficient even on tripod.

For some insights you might try searching for past threads on concert
photography.

Bob Shomler
www.shomler.com

 
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John in San Diego
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      01-18-2004
Thanks so much, Bob. Good insights. I also was thinking 800 and a fast
lens would suffice.

John


 
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John in San Diego
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      01-18-2004
> Maybe you shouldn't have taken the job then.

Normally you'd be right, but it's a small event and I'm not being paid. The
owner of the event is a friend who loves my portrait photography, and wants
to give me a shot.

I'm going for it!



 
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KenP
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      01-18-2004
On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 02:15:36 -0800, "John in San Diego"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I've just received a job to photograph a Salsa dance event.
>
>I have a Nikon D100 with a 24-85mm 2.8-4.5 lens. Should I rent a 80-200 zoom? Do I need to use Flash to stop the action?
>
>Any help is appreciated. This is outside my comfort zone
>
>John


I've done some dances and usually keep a 35-70mm f/2.8 on for most
shots, with a W.A. available for group photos. Avoid harsh flash if
possible, try to come up with a flash diffuser or bare bulb adapter if
possible. You have to shoot from the edge of the dance floor, so the
70mm works out pretty well. And yes, you will definitely need a
flash, and a good one too, something a great deal more more powerful
than what's on the camera..
 
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John in San Diego
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      01-19-2004
Thanks Ken. Re: Flash, I have the $300 SB-80DX. Hopefully this is good
enough.

Yup, I'll be on the floor's edge. I hate harsh flash too, so I'll pop a
diffuser on.

Thanks for your tips!

John


 
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Chris Hoopes
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      01-19-2004

"John in San Diego" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Thanks Ken. Re: Flash, I have the $300 SB-80DX. Hopefully this is good
> enough.
>
> Yup, I'll be on the floor's edge. I hate harsh flash too, so I'll pop a
> diffuser on.
>
> Thanks for your tips!
>
> John
>
>


Definitely worth keeping the diffuser on, and I would also suggest at an
angle to help with harsh shadows behind. Depending on the height of the
ceiling, ISO 800 should be fine. Depending on the type of event, you may
find that if there are any spotlights on the couple, you will need to make
sure you are running at a minimum shutter speed of 1/60 to keep out the
motion-blur (unless you are looking for that effect).


 
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ericm1600@yahoo.com
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      01-19-2004
"John in San Diego" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>I hate harsh flash too, so I'll pop a diffuser on.


I'd look for a neutral-colored ceiling or wall and point the flash toward
that. To avoid harsh light, you want a large light source. Any dinky
diffuser that you can put on a flash on your camera really isn't going to
help that much. A general rule of thumb for soft light is to have your
light source's apparent size be twice as big as what you're photographing.
 
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Lionel
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      01-24-2004
Kibo informs me that "John in San Diego" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated
that:

>Thanks Ken. Re: Flash, I have the $300 SB-80DX. Hopefully this is good
>enough.
>
>Yup, I'll be on the floor's edge. I hate harsh flash too, so I'll pop a
>diffuser on.


I recommend that you turn down the flash somewhere between 0.5 to 1.5
stops, depending on your distance from the subject & the strength of the
dancefloor lighting. Do some test shots early in the event & check the
histograms - it'll give you a good feel for the lighting.

--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
\|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
 
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