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01-27-2013, 08:24 AM   #1
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My first time shooting a school play

Hi Everyone,
I have a K5 and a 40mm pancake lens. First time I have really shot in a low light situation with no flash. Shot in manual. The K5 did an amazing job! I love my camera!

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01-27-2013, 08:48 AM   #2
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Nice shots. What did you use for white balance and exposure determination?
01-27-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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School plays can be challenging to shoot due to difficult lighting, those turned out looking great.
01-27-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for the kind words. I shot with a tungsten white balance. Do you think they look too cool? I could warm them up a bit in Lightroom? I just took a meter reading before the play started of the curtains and steps and went from there. I left my shutter at 1/160 and adjusted my ISO according to my meter reading in my camera. Most were shot at 1,000 ISO with an aperture of 2/8. Wish I could have gotten a bit closer, but I would have had to layed on the floor and I am too old for that. It was wonderful not to have to use a flash!

01-27-2013, 11:51 AM   #5
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Congratulations for nice shots!

What is the shooting distance?
01-27-2013, 02:08 PM   #6
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Shooting distance was not very far I was sitting in the very front, probably about 25 to 30 ft. I guess.
01-27-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ocqueoc Quote
Do you think they look too cool?
They look fine on my monitor.
01-27-2013, 05:54 PM   #8
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The shots look really good. I'm fairly impressed with the low light performance. I'm considering a purchase of a k5 and this certainly is encouraging because this is the sort of thing I can never do with my current gear.

There does seem to be some sort of distortion in the dark around each object almost a ghosting. I don't quite think it's chromatic aberration because it looks a little to digital blocky but I may be mistaken. Is this simply sensor noise? Anyone have any ideas how this can be cleaned up in post?

Best,

-Q

01-27-2013, 06:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by qleak Quote
The shots look really good. I'm fairly impressed with the low light performance. I'm considering a purchase of a k5 and this certainly is encouraging because this is the sort of thing I can never do with my current gear.

There does seem to be some sort of distortion in the dark around each object almost a ghosting. I don't quite think it's chromatic aberration because it looks a little to digital blocky but I may be mistaken. Is this simply sensor noise? Anyone have any ideas how this can be cleaned up in post?

Best,

-Q
It could be because of viewing down-sized images uploaded to the forums.
I use Topaz De-noise plug-in with images that are really noisy.

Topaz DeNoise - Remove Noise, Recover Detail
01-27-2013, 11:16 PM   #10
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Not a bad effort at all for a first time. Nice job.

I shoot a lot of theatrical productions. Best is when the producer/director arranges for me to shoot at a dress rehearsal. I can move around freely for best angles and not worry about being in someone's way when I stand up to shoot from audience seating. If that is not possible, I do what you did and get the best shots I can during the actual performance.

That said, I'd encourage you to get some longer glass if the budget allows. That will allow you to get in tighter without actually getting too close to the stage. I'd also encourage you to not be afraid of higher ISOs. Many of my stage shots are made at ISO 6400 or even ISO 8000. With the speed up that much, you can shoot at a smaller aperture, say f/5.6 or higher. That way you can still shoot at higher shutter speeds and deeper DOF, freezing motion better and not losing sharpness on actors behind your immediate focus plane. You will probably have to run shots at such high ISO through noise reduction software (I use Topaz Denoise 5) but that is the cost of doing business in theater lighting. I'd also avoid Tungsten WB as theater lights are much warmer than that. Since they use colored gels on most lights, it is difficult to get it right anyway so I usually just leave WB on Auto and make any needed corrections in post.

Not to highjack your thread, but here are a couple from a recent production on an outdoor stage at night to illustrate. #1 is at ISO 6400 and #2 is at 8000. Posted in low-res as I don't have releases to publish. Please don't rat me out.

Last edited by abmj; 12-05-2014 at 01:25 PM.
01-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #11
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Thanks abmj,
I will use your suggestions. I do have a 55- 300 mm, maybe I will try that next time. I don't have a lot of experience with this so all the suggestions are greatly appreciated. Nice shots by the way...and I won't rat you out.
01-28-2013, 11:52 AM   #12
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I would also suggest upping the ISO. The K-5 handles 3200 very well. In my experience 6400 is still very useable, but you do start to see some grain there, but NR software handles that nicely. It would allow you to up your SS and stop down a little to increase your DOF some. Good shots.
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