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Archive 2012 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!
  
 
mjhoward
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p.1 #1 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!


For me, photography has been a hobby that I enjoy but havn't been able to devote as much time to as I'd like. Last weekend I was able to shoot a High School pageant that my sister-in-law was a participant in and my mother-in-law was running. This was a first for me, really shooting people in general was a first for me, and I had a fun time doing it.

It was definitely a challenge, especially given my gear and where observers were allowed to be. The longest lens I have is the 50-135 and the girls were anywhere from 50-75 ft away so I ended up having to crop some of the photos by more than I would have liked. The other challenge was lighting. Lighting on the stage was provided by those multi-colored can lights (most were either red or blue), which depending on where they're standing can give a slightly different color cast. I was allowed to use flash so I mounted a speed light with a CTO gel, which btw was also my first time using for something other than experimenting and learning, and tried to lower the power enough to provide some fill but not overpower the stage lights. I've found that the best results with flash are those in which you can't tell flash was used. So here are the results from some of the better ones:

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The one in the black dress is my sister-in-law and was my main 'target'. Since she was wearing black, I tried to keep the ISO down as much as possible to prevent noise. I ended up shooting ISO 1600, f/5, 1/160. Unfortunately I wasn't able notice that some were coming out slighty soft and a few had very slight motion blur on the camera LCD or I would have tried to bump the shutter speed just a bit more... 1/200 would have probably been enough.

Anyway, I'd really appreciate some feedback. I kept getting the feeling they were underexposed but when I tried bumping the exposure up in post some areas of skin were clearly blown out so I don't know if it's the black background that plays tricks on my eyes or what. Hopefully many of you are familiar with these kinds of conditions. Anything I could have done different to help improve? Thanks in advance!



Oct 27, 2012 at 09:46 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!


Got a question ...

BG, East or Central

Edited on Oct 28, 2012 at 05:41 AM · View previous versions



Oct 27, 2012 at 10:32 PM
mjhoward
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p.1 #3 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!


Warren Central


Oct 27, 2012 at 11:33 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #4 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!


Go Dragons ...

I'm a bit curious @ why the CTO gel?

That to me is only adding additional warmth (cast) to an otherwise mixed lighting (theatrical red/blue). I'd likely go with neutral flash. While it may not fully correct either the red/blue, it can at least "split the diff" between warm & cool somewhat.

Also, I understand not wanting the "flash look" ... but you will either need enough light to overpower the color of the mixed lighting (or at least reduce it's effect some) or you mostly have to accept those casts. It's kinda hard to have it both ways (shooting from the cheap seats, anyway).

Probably not much help ... but shoot neutral, correct in PP as needed is my .02 (unless you have a KNOWN light temp that you can offset via gel).

Took a stab at it ... but skin color is NOT my thing (Karen, might be able to chime in on that), so I merely assumed the pageant number was black ink on white paper and the curtain was black and went from there to make adjustments in the shadows & highlights. Likely not "correct", but hopefully illustrative of the diff from the CTO influence.

Skin being "warm", combined with "warm" CTO light and any "warm" lighting @ the stage ... I'm guessing is responsible for the red channel being as strong as it is.

Anyway, hope this helps ...

Class of '80







Oct 28, 2012 at 01:29 AM
mjhoward
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p.1 #5 · HS Pageant - Feedback Please!


Thanks for the comments. I used the CTO gel because I tried setting the WB manually by taking a few test shots before the girls came out. I ended up on 3700K which seemed right on the camera LCD so I used the closest gel I had which was to convert 5000K to 3800K. I took a bare flash shot prior as well and it stood out a lot. After getting the photos on my cinema display, they were obviously a bit too warm but I think the gel still helped... just a WB adjustment in post. I tried a few different adjustments, but when I got away from being a touch on the warm side, for some reason everything looked to have a greenish tint to me. The background curtain was navy I think btw but the paper was definitely white. I tried using their paper as a grey point but in some of the photos it gave bad color cast... I guess it depended on how close to one of the colored lights they were. There were also some 'Incandescent' colored can lights along with the blue and red ones that gave the overall light a warmer look... I probably should have mentioned that. I do agree with ya about the 'a bit too warm' issue though. It was pretty tough lighting and I gave it my best shot! It was good experience and hopefully I can improve on the next one


Oct 28, 2012 at 10:37 PM





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