Hello Everyone

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by David Collignon, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Since this is my first post...I would like to say hello to everybody in Cafe Land. Since finding out about this site I haven't been on dpreview to much, not that it's bad but this site is much warmer.
    Anyways being new to the photo stuff I have been asked to take pictures of all the children going through their first communion and confirmation at our church. First let me say that this is a new congregation and our church is in the process of being built so we are in a large room in a technical college. The lighting is fluorescent with high ceilings and good old cider brick walls...not a very warm environment.

    Since I don't want to screw things up I was wondering if anybody could help me get some ideas as to how to shoot these children coming up for their first confirmation/communion.
    I currently have a D70 with the kit lens and also a 70-300 ed which probably won't work for this session. I am picking up an SB800 tomorrow for this challenge. I would love to have more of a portrait lens, would I be wise to look at an inexpensive 50mm 1.8 to complete this task or do you feel the kit lens will give me what i need. If I new how to attach a picture to this i could send a sample of the room.

    HELP
     
  2. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    David,

    First, let me say hello, and welcome to the Cafe. Unfortunately, I'm not the best person to ask about this type of shot, as most of my experience is with birdie shooting. Having said that though, I did take some shots in a church a few months ago at an organ recital that my aunt did.

    The only lens that I happened to have with me (I wan't expecting to take pics) was my 70-200VR. It did OK, but was really too long for the interior shots. I think that you will do fine with the kit lens. It's not pro glass, but it is certainly capable.

    Hopefully some of the Cafe members with more experience in this area will jump in with some suggestions (ahem, Gordon....;-)).

    Good luck!!

    Frank
     
  3. Thanks Frank...I appreciate your reply
     
  4. Chris101

    Chris101

    Feb 2, 2005
    Arizona
    Welcome David!

    This place is warm, isn't it? You can always count on finding friends and engaging in happy friendly banter over here, as opposed to the lawlessness on dpr. That said, we have RULES here, and a 'Hello Everyone' message belongs in the PROPER forum, Dude, you are in soo much trouble.

    :) :D ;) Hee hee - just kidding! It's good to have you here!

    Your assignment sounds fascinating. When photographing children, it's important to be aware of where you are shooting from. A shot from an adult eye point can make the child look small and unimportant - even weak. From even higher, you get a detached 'all seeing' view. When you squat down and shoot from their height, you are drawn into the world of the child - a perfect line to catch their feelings at this important - and probably nervous moment in their lives.

    As for the lens, I wouldn't suggest buying a new lens for a job you do on the same day. It takes (well, me at least) some time to get used to a lens's personallity. But eventually - you may really like the 50mm.

    Try this, set your zoom to 50mm and shoot some kids with it - you like?
     
  5. Thanks Chris- I never thought of that. I want to get the priest as well as the child in the photo and I assumed (that dirty word) that I would have to shoot from a higher point looking down but never considered a lower point looking up.....correct
     
  6. David,

    Welcome to the Cafe. I look forward to seeing you photography!! :) :) :)
     
  7. Oh boy....
    Don’t buy the 50mm you would be better off with a 17-35 2.8.
    Use your SB800 off your D70 and set it at a 45-degree angle to your scene. But not pointed toward the crowd. Trigger the 800 using your onboard as a slave.
    Try to position yourself so the congregation is your backdrop. You can blur them a little in PS but with 15-20 ft. from your subjects to the beginning of a crowd you can create a good DOF if you shoot at around f4.5 - 5.6
    Shoot at the child’s height. This will allow them to remain the centre of attraction and the priest will be an add-on.
    Again on the lens… if you don’t have a 17-35 (and you don’t) then I will send you mine and you can just borrow it.
     
  8. 1. Welcome, and ignore the folks who spout about "Rules" around here. There are a few of those folks who just want to make your life difficult :wink: . That being said, there is a proper place for lighting questions, in the lighting forum don't you know :lol: :lol: :lol: .

    2. Frank is correct, he doesn't know much about this stuff. But if you have any questions on photographing Ducks, he is absolutely without a doubt your best source of information.

    3. Lastly, and the only serious bit to this "Welcome", is listen to what Doug says and to the comment from Chris regarding the height issue. As you poke around here, and may have seen on DPR, Doug is, in my opinion, at the top of folks with knowledge on this type of shoot. After his reply I'm thinking of asking the same question, just to get my hands on his 17-35 :lol: :lol:

    OK, so I said the last was the last, I lied so shoot me. A friend with a D70 showed me a neat trick with simply hand-holding an SB-800 off camera and using the onboard flash as a trigger. That was really slick. The only thing I can add to this is that if you have any chance of doing a "test run", take it. See if you can't "borrow" a couple of kids and an adult, set up where you expect to shoot and have a go. And really lastly this time, dont over-stress on it, the shoot really work out for you,.

    Good luck, welcome, let us know how it goes.
     
  9. Thanks Bill,
    Thanks for your comments, I appreciate all you that can shed some light.
    Yes Doug is one of the best and I am not only saying that because he is my brother in law.....right Doug. I just wished we lived a bit closer to one another and he could be there to assist as i know how much he enjoys these kinds of tasks. I picked up my SB800 today and in fact do have some stand ins to practice this weekend. Will let you know how it turns out
     
  10. Larry Gleason

    Larry Gleason

    373
    Jan 26, 2005
    As usual, good advice already given. Most significant is Doug's idea to use the people as a blurred background. As soon as I saw the words cinder block walls I saw nightmare city (unless cider brick is really what you meant and that is something unknown to me). White, green, blue yellow; I've seen it all and it is worse background I've ever seen. Especially with flash. I do hand held flash off camera for a variety of situations and here I sit with a new SB800 and a SC-17 cord. Well back to B&H for a SC-29. I suppose someone will say that my MC-30 remote shutter cord won't work on the D2X either (need to look it up). Anyway, hand held off camera flash is a very useful technique. Whatever you do, don't let those ugly cinder block walls in your background. Welcome aboard. Aha, MC-30 works.
     
  11. You know for a guy who is suppose to be SO GOOD and know SO MUCH... I sure wished I knew my rear from a hole in the ground.
    I normally just listen to Chris and do what ever he says....
    You really need to remember Dave that I only offered the lens so you could not blame a potential bad shoot on that lens you got from Gaye (GeeJay). I would hate for that POOR lady to be blamed for anything....
     
  12. Hello David. Welcome aboard! You will surely find your niche here.

    Ive attended several communions for my grand kids and can offer some advice. Find out from the pastor about shooting during the service, mass and specifically when the communicants receive their first Holy Communion. He has a great responsibilty and a lot of things to keep on top of and may actually ask that this time is too sacred to to have flashes, Camcorders and stuff firing away during it.

    If he gives you the go ahead your next concern is capturing the moment. From my experience I wish I had practiced with the camera and learned how to get off a string of 4-6 images to capture the "right" moment. Remember, it's real time and you can get way behind awfully fast. The lighting conditions will be tricky. Can you get them to light the place the way it'll be during the service and shoot a bunch to get preliminary settings? Personally I make it a rule never to use flash during any religious services unless it's freely encouraged. People are entitled to not be interrupted in a holy place. If you can use flash, put the fifth battery attachment on the SB800. You'll be able to pop off shots almost one each second. Obviously if you want to capture the exact moment, the SB800 won't let you shoot a quick string. Maybe...maybe not. But if not and the child is returning to his/her seat it's over...

    People will be eagerly trying to photograph, record and see their young one during this time and money will bet they stand up right in front of your field of view. At the services I've attended one pastor wanted to use a professional for the actual communion...the next pastor didn't care. I could live with either. I have no criticism about using a pro because you can be sure he'll be positioned to get a clear shot of the child....yeah, the parents have to pay...so what? IT's a nice picture. The other way is chaos. The better prepared you can be the more successfuly you'll be. Take three complete (15) sets of 2300 mah NiMH fully charged batteries for the flash. Keep the CF cards (and plenty of them) handy with real easy access. Once again if Bobby is next for Communion and the D70 says "full" it's over.

    Good luck!

    Rich
     
  13. you know Dave....
    Rich has a GOOD POINT here...

    If you use an 85-1.4 you (should) have the ability to shoot this event without any flash at all. The lighting will be much more natural and your shooting will not disrupt the ceremony at all.
    Now I don 't have a 1.4 but I'm sure you could use this (Important Event) to get the purchase approval from the War Department.
    :twisted: :twisted:
     
  14. Doug,
    You have the most inspiring tagline!

    'My camera is for creating memories.... Not taking pictures'

    Rich
     
  15. Thanks Rich,
    The priest was the one who had asked that there only be one person taking the pictures. As he put it...he didn't want the paparatzzi there flashing everywhere. Yes indeed...this is a holy event.He has allowed me to use the flash should I wish but it would be nice not to have to if possible. Regardless it got approved in the family budget and it's staying...(if you know what I mean). I plan to shoot in Raw so I have the flexibility of modifying afterwards.

    Dave
     
  16. David, good luck on your shoot.
     
  17. Dave and Doug....being related is cheating, dang it, and here I thought I had discovered a way to con Doug out of a 17-35 for a year or two :lol: .

    Man, we sure are a bunch, aren't we? Now, I don't have an 85 f1.4, just the poor man's f1.8, and if the war dept can't spring for the 1.4, the 1.8 is quite a bit less, and still pretty dang good. If that doesn't work, there must be a decent rental place out your way, right?

    Brother-in-Law, and here I am, telling him about Doug, sheesh, what a doof.......crawling back in my hole for now....... :oops:
     
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