How Photograph Dance Event? Help!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John in San Diego, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. 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
    John in San Diego, Jan 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. > Any help is appreciated. This is outside my comfort zone :)

    Maybe you shouldn't have taken the job then.
    Randall Ainsworth, Jan 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. John in San Diego

    Bob Shomler Guest

    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
    Bob Shomler, Jan 18, 2004
    #3
  4. Thanks so much, Bob. Good insights. I also was thinking 800 and a fast
    lens would suffice.

    John
    John in San Diego, Jan 18, 2004
    #4
  5. > 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!
    John in San Diego, Jan 18, 2004
    #5
  6. John in San Diego

    KenP Guest

    On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 02:15:36 -0800, "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


    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..
    KenP, Jan 18, 2004
    #6
  7. 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
    John in San Diego, Jan 19, 2004
    #7
  8. John in San Diego

    Chris Hoopes Guest

    "John in San Diego" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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).
    Chris Hoopes, Jan 19, 2004
    #8
  9. John in San Diego

    Guest

    "John in San Diego" <> 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.
    , Jan 19, 2004
    #9
  10. John in San Diego

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that "John in San Diego" <> 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
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
    Lionel, Jan 24, 2004
    #10
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