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10-11-2010, 06:25 PM   #1
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Photographing local school spring fair

Hi, so I've (insanely) volunteered to photograph our local spring fair at my daughters school. I've made them well aware that I am only an amateur and not to expect perfect shots. I've just been given the list of photos they want taken, mostly acts by the students, plus some atmosphere shots, stalls and one of the mayor with the principal, this one may be printed in the local paper. One of the shots mentioned was kids on the jumping castle, will I just use fast shutter speed + onboard flash for that, to freeze movement? At the moment besides my K-x, I only have a tripod and kit lens (18-55) plus a new to me, tamron 18-250 lens (chose that because I didn't want to have to swap out lens all the time). I'm as nervous as all heck about it, as I want to take decent photos for the school. Can anyone give me any handy tips? Has anyone else shot a school fair?

10-11-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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I don't have any experience with a large function like that but I can't imagine it being much different from a large family function. Your Kit lens will probably get you most of what you need unless you are far away from the action.

As for stopping action in the jumping room, you're on the right track. Take a few test shots, you max shutter speed with the built in flash will be 1/180s, to get a good aperture (probably around f8), and fire away.

K20d, FA31 Limited, AF540 flash, 1/60 sec, f5.



The camera lens and flash are kind of irrelevant here, the exposure info is the point of showing you the photo.

10-11-2010, 07:32 PM   #3
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good luck. I recommend bringing lots of batteries.

the flash will likely be on for 90% of your shots even those taken outdoors aka fill flash.

Last edited by Reportage; 10-11-2010 at 07:47 PM.
10-12-2010, 04:32 PM   #4
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I've never shoot an event before but I think bringing a few extra sets of batteries is a very good point, with flash use the batteries goes pretty fast.

Is it an outdoor event? Your Tamron 18-250 should cover most of the situation there IMHO, and its IQ is on par if not better than you DAL 18-55 in good light(I've got the Pentax version of 18-250 and loved it), as long as you stopped down to f8 or so. Just remember it's not a fast lens in both sense of auto focus speed and max aperture, in low light it will struggle.

Just some thoughts from a fellow novice

10-12-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
good luck. I recommend bringing lots of batteries.

the flash will likely be on for 90% of your shots even those taken outdoors aka fill flash.
I shot a few arts events (K-x also) recently and only have on-board flash too. I'd recomend a 35mm film can some gaffa tape and a stanley knife to make a Diffuser... The difference in skin tones is pretty outstanding considering the price! (local camera shop gave me 6 empty cans for nothing) I also turn down the flash level a little bit if it helps...
10-12-2010, 07:47 PM   #6
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So fill flash outdoors would probably just be dialed down to -2.0? I don't usually use a flash outdoors as I much prefer natural light.

I try to use manual focus where I can, but I have noticed with the tammy it's harder to get right, however have only had it 2 days, so I need time to get used to it more. On Saturday, if the fair goes ahead (weather permitting, rain forecasted) I'll probably use auto focus most of the time, when I need to shoot quickly.

Thanks for the tip Dave, I may have an old film can somewhere that I can use. No camera shops close enough to take advantage of before then unfortunately!
10-12-2010, 08:33 PM   #7
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I would use the Tamron. It's way more versatile in this environment.

Get close, even with the Tamron.

I doubt the tripod will be of much use; too much going on. Plus you'll want to be walking around.

How old are the kids? Try to get down to their eye level to take shots. Also, if possible have someone watch your daughter. It's difficult to split your attention between watching your kid and taking pictures.

For the jumping castle shots, experiment with a slower shutter speed and/or no flash. You'll get motion blur to convey the energy of the kids.

Use the Hi Continuous Mode.

Take a lot of pictures.

Walk around to get different vantage points of the same thing.

For the shot with the mayor, slow down, shot lots and lots of pictures. Maybe shoot RAW.

Autofocus.

Shoot lots of pics.

Share the pics with people; the stuff that we think looks like crap, other people appreciate seeing. I shoot my kids soccer and baseball games and I send some photos to the parents following the games. The parents love the pics (or they're lying to me :0) and appreciate the ability to share the pics with their friends.

Enjoy it.

Bring extra batteries.
10-13-2010, 06:21 PM   #8
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My husband will be looking after the kids for the day, thank goodness, would be too hard otherwise. Most of the kids are between 6 and 12 I guess.

I will be taking 3 sets of batteries with me I think and probably around 16gb of memory should do?

Thanks for all the tips everyone.

10-14-2010, 07:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleAu Quote
My husband will be looking after the kids for the day, thank goodness, would be too hard otherwise. Most of the kids are between 6 and 12 I guess.

I will be taking 3 sets of batteries with me I think and probably around 16gb of memory should do?

Thanks for all the tips everyone.
The weather is not looking good I am afraid If the fair is still a go maybe you should bring a plastic bag to cover the camera in case of sudden down pour.

Are you shooting RAW or JPG? Either way I think you will be fine with 16GB, but a back up memory card will also come in handy, you know, just in case... And bring you P&S along as an added security I guess.
10-14-2010, 10:08 PM   #10
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The fair organiser seems to thing the only will be wind tomorrow. Hopefully, she's correct!

Yeah I will pack an extra plastic bag too thanks Eric. I was planning on shooting most of the important shots in RAW and using Jpg later, if I needed to. Worse comes to worse, I can get hubby to come with the laptop and take the cards and empty them onto the laptop for me to give me more space.

Thanks for the extra advice Eric You keen on another Pentax walkaround/shoot again soonish?
10-14-2010, 10:37 PM   #11
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No time for me untill the end of the month I am afraid, maybe ask Ben and Peter?
10-15-2010, 01:36 AM   #12
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I was thinking around the 31st anyway?
10-19-2010, 02:24 AM   #13
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Not so sure yet.

How did the shoot go? Everything went well?
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