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General photography questions and answers: Discuss URGENT!!! Advice needed!...I'm off to ottery st mary this afternoon/evening for the annual tar barrels festival. basically it involves a bunch of ...
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Old 05-11-2005, 13:23   #1 (permalink)
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URGENT!!! Advice needed!

I'm off to ottery st mary this afternoon/evening for the annual tar barrels festival. basically it involves a bunch of nutters setting fire to tar soaked barrels and running down the road with them on their shoulders!

Now how am I gonna shoot this?

I've found my old Flashgun which is safe to use on my new camera, it'll do about 10m (so i guess the guide number is about 10@iso100) It does have an auto setting, and will run on 1/16, 1/4 and full power. The cam will either operate in preset mode (iso100, f4, 1/125) or let me choose manual settings, i.e. any shuter speed between 1sec and 1/2000. as to whether or not it'll sync at those speeds I can only guess. btw, the flash also has manual mode.

So any advice?

I've never shot this sort of stuff before and will not have many chances to get it right!
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Old 05-11-2005, 13:32   #2 (permalink)
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I duuno tbh, but I would try the camera in manual mode with say a shutter of 1/125 and play around with the flash settings. The problem as I see it is that the light from the flaming barrels is way out of the available light so either you are going to overexpose the barrels or lose loads of detail in the people..it may just look like a torch in a dark room. Your only chance is to use the flash to illuminate the people and set the camera to expose of the flames?

All guess work my friend so check your histograms alot and shoot in raw to give you your best chance. Ohh and one last thing, don't get to close, it sounds like an activity for mental people
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Old 05-11-2005, 13:48   #3 (permalink)
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Check your ISO, if the histogram is showing a very narrow usage up the ISO to get the best (least noise) effect!

Don't be afraid of high ISO!
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Old 05-11-2005, 14:08   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SammyC
Don't be afraid of high ISO!
But do be afraid of people who think it's fun to run with flaming tar soaked barrels on their shoulders
 
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Old 05-11-2005, 14:19   #5 (permalink)
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I think the place gets so busy, the only way I'm gonna get a good shot is by placing myself directly in the way! ha hahahahahh!

I think I'm probably just gonna leave the flash on auto, and use the cam to adjust the exposure. Basically, I want just enough flash to fill in the detail in the darker areas without ruining the ambience. I've just botched a diffuser out of greaseproof paper (combustible danger?) so will try that too.

I think steves theory will probably work best, meter for the barrels and just use the flash to fill.

I'll post the results tomorrow, regardless of how they come out!

This will also be the first outing of the new camera, so good time to get familiar with it's quirks!

Thanks for the advice guides! (and guys)

Last edited by Gandhi; 05-11-2005 at 14:21. Reason: spanner form gramma!
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Old 05-11-2005, 14:47   #6 (permalink)
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It would be a big help if you knew the actual guide no of your old flashgun. If you do a Google search on the brand/model, you may get lucky and find some specs for it.

Is there going to be any street or other ambient lighting? If you shoot RAW you'll be surprised what you can get away with and how much exposure latitude it gives you, and you may get a better looking result without flash. I took some available light night shots recently at 800 ISO. They were on the noisy side but a run through Noiseware made them perfectly acceptable.
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Old 05-11-2005, 15:16   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandhi
Now how am I gonna shoot this?

From a safe distance?
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Old 05-11-2005, 15:52   #8 (permalink)
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Don't forget to pan with them when they start running and just get tonnes of shots!
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Old 05-11-2005, 15:56   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CT

Is there going to be any street or other ambient lighting? If you shoot RAW you'll be surprised what you can get away with and how much exposure latitude it gives you, and you may get a better looking result without flash. I took some available light night shots recently at 800 ISO. They were on the noisy side but a run through Noiseware made them perfectly acceptable.
I understand your theoru here but I have photographed motocyclists going through flaming hoops and bails of haigh in twilight, the results without flash were disapointing. I am guessing it will be even more tricky in more or less complete darkness. Plus there is going to be much more confusion, excitement and unpredicatability with this shoot.
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Old 05-11-2005, 16:16   #10 (permalink)
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Fair comment Steve, which is why I was querying the likely available light, if there's none, or its poor, then flash will be essential.
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Old 06-11-2005, 21:05   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice again. Some of it was indeed helpful!

However, somebody could've advised me NOT to drink half a bottle of bruichladdich before i got there!

Also nothing could've prepared me for the general mayhem that ensued. It was like being at a cross between Monsters of rock, glastonbury, a pagan celebration and a medieval battle!

Pictures to follow!
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Old 06-11-2005, 21:32   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandhi
However, somebody could've advised me NOT to drink half a bottle of bruichladdich before i got there!
LOL you needed somebody to tell you that ? :coat:
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Old 06-11-2005, 22:03   #13 (permalink)
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yes! I have no sense of moderation!
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:17   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gandhi
Also nothing could've prepared me for the general mayhem that ensued. It was like being at a cross between Monsters of rock, glastonbury, a pagan celebration and a medieval battle!

Pictures to follow!
So you think that people (men women and boys) runing through streets with flaming barrels on their backs is going to be a sain and sensible night out :lol:

I am glad you enjoyed it and made it back safely. I will view and comment on the pictures in a few minutes.
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