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09-26-2014, 07:21 AM   #1
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White Balance and flash

I shoot 99.9% outdoors, in mail yesterday new toys Tamron 28-70 f2.8 and Cactus RF-60, V6.
Was told that I will be taking photos at a pre shoot preforming arts play. (The guy with no time with flash etc.....funny)
I have k5lls about a year but only have used onboard to this day. I need help with the following please!
1- Not sure on white balance setting? Temp etc.
2-In this setting will be using RF-60 on camera
3- Think I need to fire from V6? P-TTL ?
4- Shoot manual with set up?
5- The stage will have lights and house lights will be on. Type of lights anyones guess?
Any help would be grateful! Thank you

09-26-2014, 07:37 AM   #2
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Color temperature of most flashes is the same as (or close enough to) daylight. I often shoot with white balance set to cloudy, because I like warmer tones. Your shooting conditions are going to be tough, though. You likely won't be able to (or won't be allowed to) overpower the ambient, so you will need to balance the flash to the ambient. Are the stage lights going to be colored? Are you sure you'll be permitted to use flash?

Your best bet is to schedule a practice session if possible so you'll know in advance what the shooting conditions are going to be.
09-26-2014, 09:20 AM   #3
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MPrince, the pre shoot we will be able to use flash. The lights is anyones guess, they will have colored lights and dim house lights on. Show up early and hope for the best. Fish out of water on the one! Thank you,for your repley.
09-26-2014, 09:44 AM   #4
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You've got a good setup for the task ahead of you. Here are a couple tips:

1) Shoot in manual mode on the camera. You will need to experiment with the right aperture/ISO/shutter speed settings and once you've found them, you don't want the camera to change them.

2) Plan on using flash or daylight white balance, and also turn off the menu option that allows the camera to make small changes in the white balance even when you specify it. (I can't remember what it's called, but it's in there). The stage lights are probably in the 3000 K neighborhood, if you find that they are so bright that they compete with your flash, you may want to add a full cut CTO gel to the flash. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. [edit: Don't worry about trying to balance out the theatrical gel lighting, you want those colors to be there.]

3) Don't be afraid to take your ISO up fairly high. It will effectively make your flash more powerful, and allow you to keep your shutter speed up. You really don't want to be shooting slower than 1/90th because the actors will move even if you have a good solid tripod.

4) You can shoot wide open to capture individual actors, but if you want to capture the entire set front to back, you may need to stop down, and boost your flash power and/or ISO.

5) With a V6 and and RF-60 you will have no pTTL, but you really don't want it anyway for this situation. Take a test shot, evaluate, and adjust. Because you are shooting in manual mode, once you've found the right setting, you won't need to change it unless the actors move. Try to choose an ISO that will allow you to set your RF-60 at maybe quarter power, or half -2/3rds. That will allow you to adjust your power up if the actors move further away from you. Remember your inverse square law as they move.

6. Almost every theater I've ever been in has a high, dark ceiling. Don't bother trying to bounce the flash, you'd just waste your battery. If you really need softer shadows a small softbox will be the best thing, but it will cost you a stop of power, and then you may not have enough to get the job done. Bare bulb direct flash may be your only option. Since you have a wireless transmitter though, you can put the flash on a light stand and get it off-axis a bit.

09-26-2014, 10:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
2) Plan on using flash or daylight white balance, and also turn off the menu option that allows the camera to make small changes in the white balance even when you specify it. (I can't remember what it's called, but it's in there).
Custom settings page 2 has this setting and a couple of others on flash.

I've read complaints about Auto ISO and flash together. The camera is likely to choose a very high ISO; why is not clear. So avoid that.
09-26-2014, 10:58 AM   #6
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Maxfield_Photo, lots of usefull information and a huge help at this point. I will have to say V6 & RF60 for the money is alot, and will work great for off camera shoots! Thank you for your help!
09-26-2014, 02:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Storm Chaser Quote
I shoot 99.9% outdoors, in mail yesterday new toys Tamron 28-70 f2.8 and Cactus RF-60, V6.
Was told that I will be taking photos at a pre shoot preforming arts play. (The guy with no time with flash etc.....funny)

4- Shoot manual with set up?
5- The stage will have lights and house lights will be on. Type of lights anyones guess?
Any help would be grateful! Thank you
Not too sure what a pre shoot is but in theater, with theater lighting, unless you have a lot of time and understand off camera lighting, I recommend using the theater lighting.

Forget the flash (congratulations on new gear), especially mounted on the camera. Use the stage light which will probably be hot lights, so tungsten balance.

Shoot manual and shoot RAW, DNG. If they are static poses, 1/125th or so at f4 and ISO 1600 or 3200 should do. Move the actors to use the stage light. Work with the lighting person.

Stages are typically EV 7 or 8 at ISO 100 so you can adjust with your histogram up or down stop, easy to figsure with Sunny 16 rule. Don't be afraid to underexpose when shooting raw, lots of DR in K5 sensor. I'm betting the 70-200 will be too long unless its for head shots. Here's an example done during a rehearsal for Giselle. K-5 & 12-24. 15MM, f4, 1/125th, ISO 1600. The flare was on purpose. I akse the lighting person for a down spot and liked the way it looked. Work with the director to pose.

09-26-2014, 03:58 PM   #8
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Brooke Meyer, thanks for all the great information this has been the best site I have found. Love the flare! Use it in the outdoors when I think it's right. I will get there someday, maybe? Thank you for your time and help!
(Photography is a wonderful art)

09-26-2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Storm Chaser Quote
Brooke Meyer, thanks for all the great information this has been the best site I have found. Love the flare! Use it in the outdoors when I think it's right. I will get there someday, maybe? Thank you for your time and help!
(Photography is a wonderful art)
Please excuse my clumsy fingers typos.
09-27-2014, 11:44 AM   #10
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I don't know about theater, either.
But a few things I would consider... with RAW images.

If you know the temp of the lights, it can be good to set it in the camera. If I am unsure of the temp, I might use Auto WB instead of a preset... This way, I get the camera's best guess and later I can try my software 'auto' and WB presets. 'Auto WB' in the camera just gives another take on the scene to compare at home.

WB can be refined by eye, but often a thing in the scene can be used in place of the gray card that is sometimes impractical to include in a sample picture... If there is a suitable part of an object or costume, WB can be picked from that. And, still, the picked WB may not look good for the picture... It may not be suitable to have that neutral item be 146,146,147 and you might refine WB because 148,146,145 looks better or whatever.

When I am setting WB, I always try to use a couple variants in the software. I find looking at before/after helps me refine my choices.

Just some things I try or think about for setting WB.
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