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07-24-2014, 06:12 AM   #1
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Advise Please

Greetings Everyone,
I will be attending a sweet sixteen this weekend and want to take some photos and need advise on settings. It will be mostly portraits in low light conditions. I have K3 18-135 mm, 50mm, and 55-300mm. Very little experience with type shooting and trying to gain all the practice I can get have very basic understanding of camera settings and don't want to shoot in auto mode.

Thank You,

07-24-2014, 06:16 AM   #2
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Use the 50. Lighting will dictate the exposure. I'd start at ISO 400, 1/60 sec.
07-24-2014, 07:08 AM   #3
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Use the 50. As special k said, start at ISo 400. Iso 800 should be ok if you need it (and when I tried out the k3, I personally thought ISO 1600 was ok, although ymmv). I'd probably recommend shooting in AV, and stop the 50 down a notch or two (eg f2, f2.4) to start with (the dial on the back, unless you've reconfigured it), possibly opening it back up towards f1.8 if you need more light.

Try to avoid blue lights in the background (they can cause issues in low light). Shoot in raw (you may need to adjust exposure, saturation, and white balance afterwards in Lightroom to get good looking skin tones)

I usually try to scout the party venue first looking for where the best lights are (and use the venue lighting rather than dropping down to flash).

On the first few shots, it's worth trying out a few apertures (which hopefully will avoid shots where the nose is in focus, but the rest of the face isn't!).

I know the k3 autofocus is better in this regard than my k5, but sometimes I find it easier to manually focus in low light (it can be more reliable)
07-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #4
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Is this an indoor or outdoor event and at what time? Recommendations as far as exposure and techniques will be completely different depending on lighting conditions.

07-24-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrankC Quote
Is this an indoor or outdoor event and at what time? Recommendations as far as exposure and techniques will be completely different depending on lighting conditions.
it is indoor and evening
07-24-2014, 10:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by awilli290 Quote
Greetings Everyone,
I will be attending a sweet sixteen this weekend and want to take some photos and need advise on settings. It will be mostly portraits in low light conditions. I have K3 18-135 mm, 50mm, and 55-300mm. Very little experience with type shooting and trying to gain all the practice I can get have very basic understanding of camera settings and don't want to shoot in auto mode.

Thank You,
My daughter's sweet sixteen was earlier this year and I attempted similar shooting. It wasn't easy as the young women have little patience for dad's camera when they can be taking selfies endlessly.
Are you hosting? In retrospect I wish I had set up a separate fun little portrait shooting space with mirrors so the girls can be more involved. That would have allowed more optimal lighting.
If you don't have any control, then I'd reiterate the prior advice: use the fast fifty, ISO 800 or higher should work just fine with the K-3.
Enjoy!

M
07-24-2014, 12:07 PM   #7
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First, no matter what else you do, shoot the event in RAW. Not only because of highlight and shadow control, but your light balance could be all over the place since many homes, restaurants and reception halls typically have mixed lighting.


If you're shooting at equal focusing distances, then f/2.8 to f/4 is good enough. If you've got people huddled in groups, or standing behind others, then f/5.6 to f/8 is a better choice.


If you're using an external flash, then get a diffuser such as Gary Fong or Vello. A quick search at B&H for flash diffuser will show a lot of options. The diffuser will soften the harsh light, and since you'll need to tilt the flash up in order to use the diffuser, you will lower the chances of getting red eye. This, of course, means that you have an external flash with a head that can tilt and/or rotate. If getting a diffuser is out of the question, then try bouncing the light off of the ceiling keeping in mind that the light will pick up any color on the ceiling. So if the ceilings aren't white, then don't bounce.


Take several shots of the same scene. When you review the images, you'll notice that they're all different: some with eyes closed or one with better expressions.


Make a shot list. Girl by herself; girl with mom; girl with mom, sister & grandmother(s), etc...


In the end you'll be better off spending more time thinking about what to shoot than how.
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