Author Topic: Stage photo's  (Read 2948 times)

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Offline boknowsnuttin

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Stage photo's
« on: December 07, 2009, 01:05:57 AM »
Anyone have tips on how to capture Play Stage shots with flash?  Most of what I took were blurry.  I'm new at this and am eager to learn.

Offline peterf

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Re: Stage photo's
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 01:46:57 AM »
Lighting can be a big problem in theaters. Usually the audience is in the dark and the light on the stage could change from scene to scene. I have had some success photographing my daughters high school plays. I used my 70-200 f 2.8 lens and sat towards the rear of the floor seats. I shot aperture priority at f2.8, ISO 800 and auto white balance. I had to keep an eye on shutter speed as the light intensity changed on stage.  If you only have kit lenses you probably would have to sit as close to the stage as possible to utilize the stage lights.
A700, A230, Sony 70-400G, Sigma 70-200 f2.8, Sigma 24-70 f2.8, Sigma 105mm F2.8 Macro, Tamron 28-300

Offline Rob aka [minolta mad]

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Re: Stage photo's
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 07:23:03 PM »
Ideally a 50/1.7 lens or similar fast appeture lens is the best way, but if you have a kit lens then your only hope is to set the ISO to 800 or higher and get as close as possible as peterf mentions.


Offline philjo

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Re: Stage photo's
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 08:12:22 PM »
I take photos of the dress rehearsal for our local drama group. As it is the dress rehearsal I do have freedom to walk around the hall to get shots from different distances/angles.

One thing to remember: The Stage lighting will put a yellow cast on the photos - set the White Balance on the camera to Tungsten to offset this.

I had trouble getting many good shots in a couple of scenes last week as they were extremely dark.  if I used f2.8, then the depth of field was sometimes a bit too shallow as one of the actors was generally behind the other so he went out of focus & he was moving around the stage a lot.
In dark scenes I usually find that I need to take a wider angle photo to get the required light in for a reasonably short shutter speed - I can always crop the photo later.

One thing I am never sure of - what is the optimum aperture to use for these situations - the actors can be anywhere from the front to back of the stage (& keep moving) so getting them all in focus can be tricky sometimes in lowish light.

I was using my Tamron 35-105mm f2.8 lens on the A700 - I set the ISO to 800 & generally had aperture priority from f2.8 to f4 depending on the scene.  I also used the 70-210 f4 beercan for a few shots where the actors were all at the back of the stage.

I saved the files as Raw & Jpeg - managed to fill a 8GB card on Sunday


Offline skmalladi

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Re: Stage photo's
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 04:09:51 AM »
Well, freezing action means fast apertures.
Stage dramas are not that bad, as the actors don't move as fast as athletes, but the lighting could be dull. It doesn't help that they usually have black backgrounds.
Also, with a long lens like a 70-200/2.8, shake becomes import in low light and low shutter speeds. Depending on your position, you could use a lower FL. Or maybe a monopod/tripod?
Try to use center-weighted or spot metering, but for spot, you need to be able to pick the right spots.
50/1.7 or 1.4 or 85/1.4 are good, but primes are limiting as you can't always keep moving to zoom in or out.
Zooms limit you to 2.8 or slower. So you need a good body that can handle high ISO's. What body do you use?
Also, shoot in RAW. That way it's easier to boost the exposure compared to jpegs. WB won't be much of a problem either.

Offline JimA

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Re: Stage photo's
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 12:25:32 PM »
All of the above are true

I use 50mm 1.4 when I have freedom to move ie at dress rehersals or 70-210 2.8 if live

The key is choosing youir time to take photos - even in fast moving scenes there is usually a split second when someone is still
It helps if you have seen the show before but essentially it is practice  - at first you'll be lucky to get 2 or 3 good shots out of hundreds  but you ratio will increase - just be thankful you aren't shooting film !