suggestions for event photography..

Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
73
Location
Arcadia, CA
i didn't know where to put it, so i felt that this was maybe the most appropriate. if there is a better place, please feel free to move.



i will be shooting a dance competition in about a month. i can shoot right in front of the stage. i was just wondering if there are any suggestions as to what equipment i should bring/acquire and any tips from those who have done such or similar events.

my current equipment..

nikon d200
nikkor 17-55 f/2.8
nikon sb-600


i doubt i will be able to use flash. i was thinking maybe the 50 f/1.8, manual settings w/ iso at 800 since it seems ok. i was also looking at maybe just getting the 24-70. i WOULD like to get the d300 but i don't want to jump the gun because my d200 is several months old.

i'd rather have a little bit less iso but feel that the shutter speed will be slow or it will be underexposed or blurred movement, which i want to avoid.



thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
12,083
Location
Hamilton , New Zealand
I did a "multi cultural dance festival " a few months ago . I used the 17-50 f2.8 quite a bit and the 70-200 f2.8 which I have heard mentioned is good for "concerts" etc. The lighting was terrible because it was bright from the front and dies out toward the back ...

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mostly at 1/125th sec

Sometimes it worked out ok but the light changed constantly , I had my metering set to matrix with about 1 stop underexposure dialed in , a pro would probably shoot manual [?] ....

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there were a few options ...

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I stayed around iso 800 and used available light because the few I did take with flash killed the atmosphere of the 'natural' light .
The 70-200 is well worth it . I took most of the shots from the side and front corner , my mate sat in the front row because the organizers also wanted plain frontal shots of what was happening .
 
Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
73
Location
Arcadia, CA
hmmm.. then I might get the 70-200 f/2.8. but I heard there was a rumor of a slight upgrade for that lens. but I will be staying right in front of the stage typically.

I hope my 17-55 f/2.8 will be good enough. I might just get the 50 f/1.8 too and another lens if I needed.

do you think the 70-200 is a bit much being right in front of the stage?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
12,083
Location
Hamilton , New Zealand
do you think the 70-200 is a bit much being right in front of the stage?
Probably , if there are large groups but for one or two dancers
70-200 should be good . I think you need to go in there first and see how much you get in with the 17-55mm lens , then you will know what you need .
Then again , you can also move to the back and walk around behind everyone with the 70-200 ....
Even if the 70-200 gets an upgrade the present one is still excellent and you may only notice the upgrade in price !
I would say go in there and take some shots with the 17-55 and decide if that will cover enough . With only one body you might miss something chnaging lenses . I also had my D50 with me so never needed to change lenses .
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
241
Location
Louisiana
Shooting at a competition depends on the place where it is going to be held. Sometimes they are in hotels with a portable stage sometimes they are in a theater. If it is in a hotel an 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, or 35mm f2 is needed. The few that I have shot in a hotel convention rooms were horrible. If it is in a theater you might luck out and they will have a bright stage. I've shot venues with my 70-200 and my 17-55 and have resorted to my 85mm f1.4 90% of the time.

If you are selling pictures most of the parents are going to want close shots of their kid and not the groups with the exception of a final pose. At least that has been the majority of my sales from my wifes dance school's recital and the competitions that her kids competed in. What stinks is that most of the big competitions have now formed a "federation" and will not allow any cameras or picture taking period with the exception of the Hired photographer.

Good luck.
Larry
 
Joined
May 8, 2005
Messages
4,638
Location
Orlando, FL
Ideally, a pair of D3's with a 24-70 on one and 70-200 on the other :biggrin:

Seriously though, the 70-200 on a D200 might be too much reach for anything except tight individual shots if you right in front of the stage. Great if you have a second body, otherwise I'd stick with the 17-55. It really depends on the kind of shots you want.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
12,083
Location
Hamilton , New Zealand
Some 70-200 closeups ... [ I have only done the one event like this so I'm just sharing what happened at my event and in no way trying to say you need the same gear as I had , there are some more knowledgeable people here who do it for a living ]

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Joined
Feb 21, 2007
Messages
73
Location
Arcadia, CA
Shooting at a competition depends on the place where it is going to be held. Sometimes they are in hotels with a portable stage sometimes they are in a theater. If it is in a hotel an 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, or 35mm f2 is needed. The few that I have shot in a hotel convention rooms were horrible. If it is in a theater you might luck out and they will have a bright stage. I've shot venues with my 70-200 and my 17-55 and have resorted to my 85mm f1.4 90% of the time.

If you are selling pictures most of the parents are going to want close shots of their kid and not the groups with the exception of a final pose. At least that has been the majority of my sales from my wifes dance school's recital and the competitions that her kids competed in. What stinks is that most of the big competitions have now formed a "federation" and will not allow any cameras or picture taking period with the exception of the Hired photographer.

Good luck.
Larry
It's more like a theater, a convention like place. It's at University of California: Irvine, called Bren Events center. You might be able to see pictures from google. Or look up videos on a dance competition called 'Vibe'. I feel that since I will literally be right in front of the stage, the 17-55 might be the best bet w/o changing lenses because I can get some of the close ups of those who come up close. But then again, it's going to almost be looking up towards a person, which might not be so good sometimes.
 

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