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04-21-2012, 09:28 AM   #1
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need some tips on prom pics

Hey guys my son wants me to take some pics tonight on his prom with his girlfriend, can some one give some tips (lens, flash, F, back ground, distance......etc)
We are going to be inside (limited lighting) and outside on a garden if it doesn't rain or maybe my back yard.
I have a pentax Kr and a smc DA 35mm 2.4, tamron 28-75 2.8 macro, albinar 28mm 2.8 macro and a smc DAL 55-300 4-5.8 ED and only the built in flash, I was looking into making a DIY diffuser.

Thanks!!

04-21-2012, 09:41 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rodny Quote
Hey guys my son wants me to take some pics tonight on his prom with his girlfriend, can some one give some tips (lens, flash, F, back ground, distance......etc)
We are going to be inside (limited lighting) and outside on a garden if it doesn't rain or maybe my back yard.
I have a pentax Kr and a smc DA 35mm 2.4, tamron 28-75 2.8 macro, albinar 28mm 2.8 macro and a smc DAL 55-300 4-5.8 ED and only the built in flash, I was looking into making a DIY diffuser.

Thanks!!
I think the 28-75 is the place to star(it most likely covers the useful range of all your lenses.) a diffuser will be a big help; you might try ceiling bounce too. Take some test shots beforehand.
04-21-2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Thanks!!
04-21-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
I think the 28-75 is the place to star(it most likely covers the useful range of all your lenses.) a diffuser will be a big help; you might try ceiling bounce too. Take some test shots beforehand.
Bit tough with only the built-in flash

04-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #5
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Another vote for the 28-75, a must. Make sure you have a spare battery to hand as you will need the flash for virtually all shots.

An easy diffuser that works well is tissue paper and a rubber band. Fold the tissue paper and test, fold it again and test, fold it again and test. Carry enough tissue and some spare rubber bands in case it falls off / they break. Tissue works surprisingly well.

If shooting singles/couples then f4 is enough (it will be 1/180 for flash) , for larger groups then f5.6 (and 1/180 of course) is good. In each case try the tissue flash test at the approximate distance for singles /couples / groups so you know what ISO to set, start at 100, if not bright enough then 200 and so on up to 800. Write down the results of your testing on a card and put it in your pocket .. no guessing or getting it wrong later !

Also tell everyone to close their eyes on a count of 1 and everyone open their eyes on 3 .. so you say 1,2,3 OPEN - and fire ! No closed eyes - ever

Take two shots of each pose, just in case something happens/is in the background, that you didn't want.
04-21-2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Bit tough with only the built-in flash
A mirror or white 3x5 card work wonders with a white ceiling!
04-21-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Always focus and meter (and bracket) on her and not him. Also realizing that a majority of better prom pics are taken outdoors and also effected by color temperatures - of the time of day, cloud cover - and darn even polution.

Also factor in her skin tones. Most people of the younger generation like to get tans a lot; especially before major events in their life such as this.

For lighting outside of the one built in flash, try comething reflective such as a grey card.

DO NOT try to make a built in diffuser; I heard of items such as this causing more problems than they could ever possibly be worth, it also voids any and all warranties.
04-21-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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Ditto on the recommendation for the 28-75. I have taken photos at a number of these events and have appreciated zoom flexibility. My guess is that 28 will be wide enough. Background - we usually try to go as much for the natural background as possible - trees, gardens, etc. Try not to shoot too much toward the sun. On my last event I thought we were out of the influence of the lowering sun, and did not use the lens hood, and most of the photos turned out a little hazy. I also agree that if you can, take a few test photos. I haven't worried about F stop too much - just try to get everyone in the group in focus. If the photo is of a couple, I try to go as wide as possible to try to blur the background as much as I can. My 17-70 is only F 4.0, so your 2.8 will work even better. Outside has worked a lot better for me than inside where amount of light and lighting has been an issue. If you are close enough (at at that point, depending on the group size will the 28 be wide enough?) the on board flash will probably be sufficient, but try to get most of the people, if a group shot, at close to same distance from camera. At one point we had a bunch of kids beautifully lined up on a staircase, when I used a large enough aperture to get enough light, not everyone was then in focus. When I narrowed the aperture to get greater depth, then the amount of light from the flash was not enough. If you have a tripod and the use of it would not be a problem in the situation, consider using that also.

04-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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Thanks guys!!
Ill try the tissue paper.
I was using poly fill batting on the flash with a rubber band worked pretty good.
Using the 28-75 should I stay on 75mm or play with it?
04-21-2012, 11:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rodny Quote
Thanks guys!!
Ill try the tissue paper.
I was using poly fill batting on the flash with a rubber band worked pretty good.
Using the 28-75 should I stay on 75mm or play with it?

Play with it - she especially will want to see her dress. Like a wedding, this is mostly about her.
04-21-2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
Play with it - she especially will want to see her dress. Like a wedding, this is mostly about her.
+1, definitely, and, quite often they even want to be able to get the shoes in the photo. Mostly, they are not shy about telling you this.
04-21-2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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I had the same questions a year ago. Just in case you didn't see this in your search...

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/142762-need-hel...-dg-super.html
04-21-2012, 12:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
+1, definitely, and, quite often they even want to be able to get the shoes in the photo. Mostly, they are not shy about telling you this.
hahaha!

thanks again for the info!!
04-21-2012, 04:34 PM   #14
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OK just took couple of pics of my kid and his vest suppose to be royal purple. It doesn't matter what setting on my camera still looks blue
No tripod just testing.
any input here

thanks!!
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04-21-2012, 08:02 PM   #15
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The second pic shows the exif data as being at a 1/250th shitter; which is a considerably higher speed than the first pic.

...And also theres the general thing where most people prefer that portraits should perhaps be done at a wider aperature. But IF I would have had that much shutter spped to deal with I would have tried to close the aperature a bit; just to see and perhaps compare the results - just a thought. Yet also noting; the bottom pic looks much better as is - unedited, yet the upper most pic could proabably be edited to look bettter - if I even worded all of that correctly??

As for the accurate color representation... Is it just the royal blue thing - and also did the skin tones turn out accurately??

Although it can be sometimes difficult to do with a live subject... I prefer to use a true color meter; or perhaps a grey chart or even a color one as well. A good alternative; run to a place that has paint swatches and then match them up - preferably on a calibrated screen and/or printer. To get them all calibrated properly can be an issue sometimes.
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