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Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe
  
 
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


My Wife is a part of a local ballet dance troupe. For an upcoming performance a handful of the dancers have a dance where each of them hold onto a glowing orb.

I have the idea that I'd like to create a shot in the dark or outside (preferably outside). It will be at night/dark and they will perform a certain time's worth of the dance. At the end of the exposure I'd like to use rear-curtain sync to throw enough light on the dancers to freeze their current location while keeping the trails of the orbs visible throughout the entire exposure.

My gear:


  1. Canon 6D
  2. 50mm STM
  3. 430 EX II
  4. Unbrella w/ Stand
  5. Canon ST-E2


I realize that most will be experimentation during the shoot. I've done some nighttime time lapse before and it is a blast. However, I don't want to waste everyone's time either while attempting to figure some of it out.

I am thinking that honestly somewhere between 5-10 seconds worth of dancing would be optimal. Otherwise I imagine the trails from the glowing orbs would blur together too much.

Aperture: Larger or smaller for such an exposure? I'm not sure how well the orbs will be picked up on the exposure. I feel I will probably have to use Aperture to control exposure length.

For such a shot I really don't know whether it would be better to go higher ISO smaller aperture or lower ISO larger aperture. I look forward to experimenting but probably will not have as much time as I would like, that's why I'm asking for thoughts here.



Oct 12, 2016 at 08:26 PM
Paulthelefty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


I would definitely get my hands on an orb and go to your location and test before bringing any dancers out... Too many variables to offer any advice worth taking.

Paul



Oct 13, 2016 at 03:18 AM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


Paulthelefty wrote:
I would definitely get my hands on an orb and go to your location and test before bringing any dancers out... Too many variables to offer any advice worth taking.

Paul


Darn good advice. I'll definitely try to do this.




Oct 13, 2016 at 12:15 PM
Konablue
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


This sounds interesting. I'd like to see the end result if you're up to posting it. Sorry, I don't have any helpful advice but you can't beat prior testing as LinuxHack3r mentioned. If your wife could bring home one of the orbs to practice with then you'd have a good chance of nailing it the night of.



Oct 13, 2016 at 05:46 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


Konablue wrote:
This sounds interesting. I'd like to see the end result if you're up to posting it. Sorry, I don't have any helpful advice but you can't beat prior testing as LinuxHack3r mentioned. If your wife could bring home one of the orbs to practice with then you'd have a good chance of nailing it the night of.


I don't mind posting if the results turn out. I'd love to get more involved in these forums; However, lack of Taptalk support is a bummer to me



Oct 13, 2016 at 05:48 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


Your first consideration will be the ambient light source and level that enables you to get a baseline exposure on the dance segment that is acceptable to you. High ISO, small aperture is only a concern if you're worried about depth of field, otherwise you can go either way. You really need to test this for both aspects of the shot. As recommended, go out with her and her orb at your intended location and time, assess the baseline exposure, and note that. Then, determine what flash power is needed to freeze the final moment at a power level that doesn't blow out your frame. The last thing you want is a subtle travel path, only to be completed by a blown out final flash burst. As to the length of the exposure, that should be based on the nature of the dance, how complex the movement is, how far the dancer travels across the frame, etc. My sense is that less is probably more, in terms of the complexity of the dance movement. Also, you'll need to lock down the camera position on a tripod, rather than trying to pan with the dancer. Panning will just give you a sloppy mess, I suspect.


Oct 13, 2016 at 06:14 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


Just re-read your original post. So it appears that you want to get all of these dancers shot in one frame. In that case, you probably do need to worry about depth of field, unless for artistic purposes, you're okay with one focused dancer, and others out of focus. Or, you can back way off, shoot wide, and worry less about whether some are out of focus. However, this makes your flash exposure much more complex. Over what span of space are your dancers going to be moving? What's your flash position (on camera or off)? What will your flash cover? Outside, I'd be concerned that your flash will only hit one or two dancers, or if it covers everyone, it will also cover stuff you don't want lit, like the ground. This shoot is much more complex than you think, unless I'm envisioning a much different final outcome.


Oct 13, 2016 at 06:20 PM
 

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Mark_L
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


I did something similar with fire poi at a wedding. I found that the exposure was very flexible re: the fire (or in your case, orb) since you just need it to show up. I' still get an orb beforehand to test though, the orb will light the dancer somewhat so you will have to accept that. At low power levels, speedlights are great at freezing motion (fast flash duration).

Pre-focus and have enough depth of field to make sure the dancer will be in focus (ie. vary your iso to get an aperture that's 'safe'). I'd suggest a mark on the floor so they know they have to be there at the end when you pop the flash.

5-10 seconds of dancing sounds like way too much, I think it'll turn into an abstract mess. I'd try more like 3secs. I'd use a bare speedlight, the light from a brolly will be too soft to fit the low key dramatic nature of the shot.

I'd also try some with the flash back-lighting the dancer too. You could also try repeating flashes like Joe Mcnally





Oct 13, 2016 at 07:21 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


I initially had performed this shoot but never came back and updated the thread. I'm trying to become more involved on FredMiranda so here are the results!

Overall I was very happy with the results. At some point I'd love to redo it with more formal attire, a much better location (I imagine a cliff-side with the night sky as your only backdrop would be perfect).

I'd also like to mess with the flash in 1/2 stops in order to bring out just enough detail of the dancers but not expose them completely as in the examples below.

I consider the below examples moreso proof of concept and experience. I think take two I could do even better.












































Apr 19, 2017 at 02:43 PM
rico
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


Good first attempt! Exposure looks hot, so 1/2 stop down seems about right. More important is deciding if that flat lighting is your desire, although other options can be difficult to implement on this scale. A hard, focussed source allows you to place it far away for enough "depth of light" on the stage. Two such sources could give you a key/fill scheme. Soft light is all but impossible, unless you have a large white wall nearby and a really powerful strobe.


Apr 19, 2017 at 11:41 PM
LinuxHack3r
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


rico wrote:
Good first attempt! Exposure looks hot, so 1/2 stop down seems about right. More important is deciding if that flat lighting is your desire, although other options can be difficult to implement on this scale. A hard, focussed source allows you to place it far away for enough "depth of light" on the stage. Two such sources could give you a key/fill scheme. Soft light is all but impossible, unless you have a large white wall nearby and a really powerful strobe.


Thanks! The RAW's were actually quite a bit lower exposed than this, what you are currently seeing are what I bumped it up to. It felt right for the actual exposures in this specific case.

The flat lighting wouldn't have been my desire . I had initially brought an umbrella and was going to use off camera flash but then I realized two things: Optical triggering sucks outside and you cannot use Rear Curtain Sync with off camera flash with Canon gear.

I did the above shots with a 430 EX II. The next day I sold my 430 EX II and ST-E2. I now have a 600 EX RT and 430 EX III RT. That still does not solve the problem that you cannot use Rear Curtain Sync with off camera wireless flash (that I know of anyways).

I'd love the opportunity to give this a better go sometime. Also, I think Yongnuo makes a radio trigger that will allow Rear Curtain Sync, but I'm not 100% on this.



Apr 21, 2017 at 05:20 PM
rico
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


I just checked my old system (1Ds/550EX/430EX), and it doesn't support optically-slaved rear curtain. Presumably, Canon supports this feature with current gear. Nikon certainly does with both optical and radio control. You could use an E-TTL extension cable, but it's inelegant to say the least.


Apr 22, 2017 at 05:28 AM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


To do this "right", you really need two (or three)different zones of exposure. One (or two) depending on how many dancers you want to expose, and a second (or third) zone for the orb light. Let's assume that you have one dancer swirling an orb. You want to properly expose the orb light, without much if any ambient. Then you want to expose the dancer at the end of the movement, without affecting the orb light exposure. For that, you need to control your flash coverage. Off-camera, and tightly restricted in terms of spill. I'd put the camera on a tripod and make two exposures, one for the traveling dancer's orb exposure, then another one with flash tripped at the final moment at the end of her movement. Then blend the two captures in Photoshop. This is similar to the post above by Mark_L.


Apr 23, 2017 at 07:02 PM
sk66
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Ballet Dancers Nightime Time Lapse w/ Strobe


LinuxHack3r wrote:
I feel I will probably have to use Aperture to control exposure length.


I wouldn't...
The recording of the orb is similar to flash/FW exposure, and since you have no control of how bright it will be or how long it will be in one place, the *only* control you have over how much light is recorded is aperture.

You will have to use ISO to compensate if you have to stop down because orb light output is too low, or DOF is too shallow.



Apr 25, 2017 at 04:15 PM







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