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Old 19-12-2005, 21:23   #1 (permalink)
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Quick question!

Hey guys,stupid question for you all. My kids christmas concert is tomorrow night and I want to get some good shots of them. It's my first year with camera as most of you know so I don't know how it will go. The room is usually dark with just a few spotlights. The only flash I own is the built in one on the d70. What I want to know is what is the best settings for my camera to get good shots in that environment? I have never even so much as taken night shots with the camera so I don't know! Will that built in flash do the job??? Sorry if it's a silly question. :

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Old 19-12-2005, 21:27   #2 (permalink)
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A tripod.
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Old 19-12-2005, 21:39   #3 (permalink)
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Your success will depend on how close to the front you are able to get. Built in flash units are usually weaker than add on units and if you are out of range then there is little you will be able to do. Check your histogram after the first couple of shots, use a small F stop and increase your iso if needed. I guess that is about all the help I can offer without being there.
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Old 19-12-2005, 21:45   #4 (permalink)
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Other than Steve's contribution, very valid for the D70s so probably the same for the D70 I suppose the big question is will you be permitted to take photos with flash ? Might be off putting for the kids ... then a tripod will be essential with increased iso and as slow shutter as you can get away with ?

Hope this helps a bit ?
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Old 19-12-2005, 21:48   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys for your quick' replies. Steve, you don't want to come over and show me, it's not that far,lol. Anyhoo I don't own a tripod yet so that's a no go, thanks anyway. I'll keep the rest in mind Steve, thanks. I guess I'll be showing up first thing tomorrow morning to get my seat,lol. I'll be sure to post a few so you can all see how it went.

Cheers,

Jules
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Old 19-12-2005, 21:55   #6 (permalink)
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Can't you have a practice at home at the same sort of distance to see how it goes? Will give you a chance to play with settings without worrying about missing the vital moment....
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Old 19-12-2005, 22:08   #7 (permalink)
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this is a situation where i ' have no shame ' and stand right up the front or even sit on the floor in between the aisles ,

as said before , get as close as you can , and if possible ( without a tripod ) find something to rest the camera on , or even take a small beanbag to do so,,

good luck and i look forward to the results

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Old 19-12-2005, 22:29   #8 (permalink)
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Oh, try a video camera.

(But you should run out and but a tripod tomorrow morning, otherwise).
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Old 19-12-2005, 22:59   #9 (permalink)
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I'm with MyPix and Steve on this one, oh and Kamion.

I tripod is likely to be essential.
High ISO is likely to be required, as is a large aperture (small f-stop).

What MyPix says makes perfect sense. As long as you aren't doing anything dangerous, I would adopt a policy of having 'no shame' as he so eloquently puts it

Get close, sit in aisles, who care's what other people think (as long as you're not rudely stood infront of someone of course)...If you worry about other people thinking you're silly and missing the shots, just think, in 20 years time, will you be happy saying "Hey we didn't get any shots of you in that play, but at least everyone didn't think I was silly for being the only one stood up near the front". lol.

Oh and try a video camera instead
I personally video all my daughters plays etc instead of attempting still photography, as it's more of a memory for me.
 
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Old 20-12-2005, 07:04   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcel
I personally video all my daughters plays etc instead of attempting still photography, as it's more of a memory for me.
It's gratifying to hear that there are still some sensible schools left - all I seem to hear/read is "NO PHOTOGRAPHS UNLESS AGREEMENT SIGNED BY ALL PARENTS, TEACHERS, GOVERNORS, CARETAKERS, CATS & DOGS" if it's even allowed at all.

regards
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Old 20-12-2005, 08:19   #11 (permalink)
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I've done a few of these and it's not as bad as you'd think.
If they have half-decent stage lights then you'll get away with reasonable shutter speeds at about 400 or 800 iso.
I did my step-son's christmas play last year with the camera still on 125iso (D1X) and used an 80-200 f/2.8. I was often able to use speeds up to 250 sec at f/4. I did all of it hand-held; even though I took a mono-pod, I never used it in the end.
If you can get hold of an old hand-held light-meter, ask the school if you can get up on stage and take light readings before the performance.

As others have said, don't be shy, get out of your seat and move around - the audience will assume you're the official photographer and the Staff can't handle confrontation with adults as they spend their whole lives bullying children (ooohh bitter childhood memories, perhaps?).
Work from the front at both sides and in the middle - your priority is taking photos, not watching the performance, remember, so "get it done, Johnny Reb" (I watch John Ford Westerns too...)
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Old 20-12-2005, 13:30   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepheno
It's gratifying to hear that there are still some sensible schools left - all I seem to hear/read is "NO PHOTOGRAPHS UNLESS AGREEMENT SIGNED BY ALL PARENTS, TEACHERS, GOVERNORS, CARETAKERS, CATS & DOGS" if it's even allowed at all.

regards
LOl isnt' that the truth. Over here at the beginning of the school year they get you to sign a general release form. Do they do that over there at all? Anyway I spoke with hubby last night and he is bringing the camcorder which he wasn't impressed with at all,lol. It's an old one. Not very compact at all,lol and I will have my camera on hand. So were covered,lol thanks for all the advice guys.

Cheers,

jules
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Old 20-12-2005, 14:41   #13 (permalink)
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At my daughters school, as I tend to only take video, I get verbal permission from the teacher or headteacher, "Just to make sure it's still OK".

The response this year from the headteacher was "We've had no official policy passed to us, so until someone complains or says no, then feel free", which I think is a brilliant attitude to take. Obviously they have to be careful, but I think this is a good medium. Letting a parent video it.

This year though, one of the parents videoed the christmas play and is selling them for a fiver each on DVD (with *some* proceeds going to the school...not sure how much though :suspect: ), so they sent a letter home warning parents that unless they objected to it specifically and in writing, then it would be going ahead.

Spose thats a good stance to take too, stops the easy-whingers stopping things with a quick comment. If you're serious enough about not wanting your child videoed in the play, then you'll be serious enough to put it in writing.
 
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Old 20-12-2005, 17:59   #14 (permalink)
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people are just getting too paranoid these days I think. It's sad really.
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Old 20-12-2005, 18:08   #15 (permalink)
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When I was helping my mate take photos for the Henley Standard a few weeks back we covered a few school Christmas fairs. At one of them my friend had taken a photo of a child playing on one of the stalls and he was getting the child's name and age (for the caption in the paper) when a woman jumped up and started screeching "you can't do that, it's against school policy. We don't give out names for health and safety reasons."

My friend went to find the Head Teacher and they cleared it. None of the other schools complained (although my friend did say that it had happened before) and all of the parents were delighted that their kids were going to be in the paper.

I think it's pretty ridiculous myself. Rapists don't look through local papers and use them as some sort of catalogue. Frankly, and I apologise if this offends anyone, if someone wants to rape your son/daughter they're going to do it regardless of whether the paper publishes their name and age or not. Some people can't keep track of the bigger picture IMO.
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