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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:
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!