Which Settings to use for Nighttime in a Hall

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Brian, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    I would appreciate any help on using manual settings for
    a Canon A200 which I have only ever used for Happy-Snaps
    using the auto-settings.

    What I want to do is take photos of a presentation night
    which will take place in a large school hall at night.
    From memory the room will be reasonably dark without the
    usual overhead lighting but some emergency/low lights on
    the walls. The stage itself is well lit, but from memory
    not flouro lighting.
    I should be seated about 30-40 metres from the front of
    the stage and slightly right of centre.

    I was thinking of setting the camera to the following -
    Resolution = Large (My usual setting)
    Compression = SuperFine (My usual setting)
    Flash = Off
    Exposure Compensation = ? Between +1 and +2
    White Balance = Tungsten
    Photo Effect = ?
    ISO Speed = Maybe 200 ?
    AF Beam = Off

    Would these settings improve the quality of my photos
    and what, if any setting for Photo effect?
    Would setting the ISO at 200 help with the low overhead
    lighting and the Exposure Compensation with the light
    being mostly on the stage?

    I admit I am a complete novice at this and have no chance
    to take any previous test shots and there is also the
    possibility I may not be able to attend so may have to
    set the camera settings before for someone else to use.

    Sounds like a disaster in the making :)

    Any advice much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Brian.
     
    Brian, Oct 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. Brian

    Lionel Guest

    Word has it that on Tue, 28 Oct 2003 09:47:11 +1000, in this august
    forum, Brian <> said:

    >Would these settings improve the quality of my photos
    >and what, if any setting for Photo effect?
    >Would setting the ISO at 200 help with the low overhead
    >lighting and the Exposure Compensation with the light
    >being mostly on the stage?


    Turning up the ISO is going to be a neccessity, but I don't know if EC
    will help, as I don't know what kind of metering options (if any!) you
    have on the A200. I always shoot stage gigs with spot-metering, or
    whatever metering option is closest to that. (Center partial on the 10D)
    If you can find that out for your camera, you should get reliable
    results by setting that mode. The technique is then to set focus/exp on
    your main subject, recompose & shoot.

    >I admit I am a complete novice at this and have no chance
    >to take any previous test shots and there is also the
    >possibility I may not be able to attend so may have to
    >set the camera settings before for someone else to use.


    Ouch!
    I shoot stage performances regularly, & have found that it's very hard
    to judge the lighting by eye or meter. I usually do rough settings via
    the meter, then do some test shots, & fine tune by checking the LCD
    preview & histogram. This gives me a good idea of any EC that may be
    required, what shutter speeds/apertures I can get away with. This is
    pretty easy if it's your own camera, but it'd be pretty difficult to
    give someone else a crash course on the night.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Oct 28, 2003
    #2
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  3. "Brian" <> wrote in message
    news:3f9dae66$0$23598$...
    > I would appreciate any help on using manual settings for
    > a Canon A200 which I have only ever used for Happy-Snaps
    > using the auto-settings.
    >
    > What I want to do is take photos of a presentation night
    > which will take place in a large school hall at night.
    > From memory the room will be reasonably dark without the
    > usual overhead lighting but some emergency/low lights on
    > the walls. The stage itself is well lit, but from memory
    > not flouro lighting.
    > I should be seated about 30-40 metres from the front of
    > the stage and slightly right of centre.
    >
    > I was thinking of setting the camera to the following -
    > Resolution = Large (My usual setting)
    > Compression = SuperFine (My usual setting)
    > Flash = Off
    > Exposure Compensation = ? Between +1 and +2
    > White Balance = Tungsten
    > Photo Effect = ?
    > ISO Speed = Maybe 200 ?
    > AF Beam = Off
    >
    > Would these settings improve the quality of my photos
    > and what, if any setting for Photo effect?
    > Would setting the ISO at 200 help with the low overhead
    > lighting and the Exposure Compensation with the light
    > being mostly on the stage?
    >
    > I admit I am a complete novice at this and have no chance
    > to take any previous test shots and there is also the
    > possibility I may not be able to attend so may have to
    > set the camera settings before for someone else to use.
    >
    > Sounds like a disaster in the making :)
    >
    > Any advice much appreciated.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Brian.
    >


    If the stage is well lit and that's all you want to capture, then you
    shouldn't have a problem.

    I would not fiddle with the manual settings, but instead leave it in auto
    and, if needed, just adjust the ISO, remembering that you will get a
    corresponding increase in noise. If possible, I would use a tripod to
    eliminate camera shake. You can also make test images at the beginning of
    the presentation and go with what works. Good luck.

    Juan
     
    Juan R. Pollo, Oct 29, 2003
    #3
  4. Brian

    Ray Fischer Guest

    Brian <> wrote:
    >I would appreciate any help on using manual settings for
    >a Canon A200 which I have only ever used for Happy-Snaps
    >using the auto-settings.

    [...]
    >I was thinking of setting the camera to the following -
    >Resolution = Large (My usual setting)
    >Compression = SuperFine (My usual setting)
    >Flash = Off


    Good.

    >Exposure Compensation = ? Between +1 and +2


    It's been my experience that because the stage is brightly lit in a
    dark room, you want to use a -1 exposure compensation to prevent the
    stage from being washed out. You don't care if the surroundings end
    up black.

    >White Balance = Tungsten


    Close enough.

    >Photo Effect = ?
    >ISO Speed = Maybe 200 ?


    Faster. 400.

    >AF Beam = Off


    Shouldn't be needed.

    >I admit I am a complete novice at this and have no chance
    >to take any previous test shots and there is also the
    >possibility I may not be able to attend so may have to
    >set the camera settings before for someone else to use.


    Ouch.

    >Sounds like a disaster in the making :)


    Is the show in S. California?

    --
    Ray Fischer
     
    Ray Fischer, Oct 29, 2003
    #4
  5. Brian

    Guest

    In message <3f9dae66$0$23598$>,
    Brian <> wrote:

    >I would appreciate any help on using manual settings for
    >a Canon A200 which I have only ever used for Happy-Snaps
    >using the auto-settings.
    >
    >What I want to do is take photos of a presentation night
    >which will take place in a large school hall at night.
    > From memory the room will be reasonably dark without the
    >usual overhead lighting but some emergency/low lights on
    >the walls. The stage itself is well lit, but from memory
    >not flouro lighting.
    >I should be seated about 30-40 metres from the front of
    >the stage and slightly right of centre.
    >
    >I was thinking of setting the camera to the following -
    >Resolution = Large (My usual setting)
    >Compression = SuperFine (My usual setting)


    Good. You'll need all the detail you can get, because these images may
    require a lot of processing.

    >Flash = Off


    From 30 meters the builtin flash will only illuminate the audience;
    mostly the people closest to you

    >Exposure Compensation = ? Between +1 and +2


    Bad idea. I don't know your camera, but it is most likely that if you
    do this, you will get long shutter speeds that will totally blur the
    picture.

    >White Balance = Tungsten
    >Photo Effect = ?
    >ISO Speed = Maybe 200 ?


    use the highest the camera has. You're going to need it.

    >AF Beam = Off
    >
    >Would these settings improve the quality of my photos
    >and what, if any setting for Photo effect?
    >Would setting the ISO at 200 help with the low overhead
    >lighting and the Exposure Compensation with the light
    >being mostly on the stage?


    Exposure compensation of +2 makes the camera try to make the recorded
    image brighter, but if the camera is starved for light, all that this
    may do is increase the time the shutter is open, turning everything into
    a blur.

    >I admit I am a complete novice at this and have no chance
    >to take any previous test shots and there is also the
    >possibility I may not be able to attend so may have to
    >set the camera settings before for someone else to use.
    >
    >Sounds like a disaster in the making :)


    Yep. I don't think that that camera is really equipped for the job (you
    really need ISO 800 or 1600 for this kind of work, and a large lens that
    gathers a lot of light), but you will get something. Now, your pictures
    may come out dark, even on stage, and there are basically two things you
    can do with the results. One is to just boost the levels in software,
    but this will amplify the noise. The other is to take a program like
    photoshop, convert to 16-bit mode, and then shrink the height and width
    of the picture to 25% or 50% (the smallest that is still useful to you)
    with bicubic sampling, and then do a levels boost (still in 16-bit
    mode). You should get a much less noisy picture this way. You can do
    it without 16-bit mode, if you don't have a program that does it, but it
    will be a little noisier.
    --

    <>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
    John P Sheehy <>
    ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><
     
    , Oct 31, 2003
    #5
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