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Cameron Yee

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Patrick, you've been a great example of "doing the work." I remember when you were still snapping away with your point and shoots, and then you just hunkered down and really started doing and learning. I need to be more of a do-er, so thanks for being an example in my life.

The key to using on-camera and off-camera flash is to just get out there and do the work
 

Patrick Sun

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Patrick, you've been a great example of "doing the work." I remember when you were still snapping away with your point and shoots, and then you just hunkered down and really started doing and learning. I need to be more of a do-er, so thanks for being an example in my life.

Ha! Probably helps that my time and resources aren't funneled toward kids and whatnot. :)
 

Mike Frezon

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There have been a few times when I've taken my 80D to my granddaughters' church to shoot pix of them receiving awards up on the stage. This church has a worship band and all the expected staging to go along with that--including bright stage lights.

So, unfortunately, every time I have tried to shoot the girls in this environment (because I haven't had any instances in-between to practice) I have gotten pix with blown out faces and blurring. It's like there's too much light yet not enough to freeze the action.

Are there any simple all-encompassing remedies in this situation? What are the adjustments I need to make/consider?
 

JohnRice

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There have been a few times when I've taken my 80D to my granddaughters' church to shoot pix of them receiving awards up on the stage. This church has a worship band and all the expected staging to go along with that--including bright stage lights.

So, unfortunately, every time I have tried to shoot the girls in this environment (because I haven't had any instances in-between to practice) I have gotten pix with blown out faces and blurring. It's like there's too much light yet not enough to freeze the action.

Are there any simple all-encompassing remedies in this situation? What are the adjustments I need to make/consider?
Please post a couple examples.
 

Cameron Yee

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It sounds like it's a metering issue, and hence an exposure issue. If you are too far away to make your granddaughters, who are under the spotlights, fill most of the frame, then the camera meter will be trying to include the surrounding, darker areas in the exposure, and thus blowing out the exposure for the girls. You actually want the meter to largely disregard the surrounding darker areas (i.e. whatever isn't in the spotlights) and just expose for the performers, or what's under the spotlights.

There are a few options for how to get the correct exposure in this situation (which is par for the course for photographing almost all professionally lit stage performances).

Probably the simplest to try is adjusting the exposure compensation setting, as that won't require you to change whatever metering mode you are using / comfortable with. You will want to move the exposure compensation to *underexpose," maybe by as much as -1 or more, depending on how bright and focused the stage lights are. Assuming you are shooting at the largest f-stop possible for your lens (or "wide open"), the result you should see is that the shutter speed will *increase* (or get faster), which will then help with the blurring issue. Take several test shots, if you can, before your granddaughters take the stage, so you can have this exposure locked in when it comes time for them to perform.

Other methods to expose for the performers would make you possibly switch your shooting mode to manual, change your metering mode to spot metering, or a combination of the two, as well as considering what ISO you are shooting at. But explaining all that gets more complicated.

Any more specific advice would also require a sample photo like John requested, so we can look at your ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop. Also, knowing what shooting mode and metering mode you used will provide additional insights.

There have been a few times when I've taken my 80D to my granddaughters' church to shoot pix of them receiving awards up on the stage. This church has a worship band and all the expected staging to go along with that--including bright stage lights.

So, unfortunately, every time I have tried to shoot the girls in this environment (because I haven't had any instances in-between to practice) I have gotten pix with blown out faces and blurring. It's like there's too much light yet not enough to freeze the action.

Are there any simple all-encompassing remedies in this situation? What are the adjustments I need to make/consider?
 

JimmyO

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I'll post one up ASAP. Thanks, fellas.
Please go ahead and do that Mike. I am a photography instructor by trade and am happy to help if I can. That of course doesn't mean I know more than anyone else here, but I am happy to share what I do know. Having a look at the EXIF data in any one of the shots that you view as problematic will help a lot.

As a core setup for this kind of shooting, I would select shutter priority to ensure that any action (even walking about on stage qualified as 'action') is appropriately frozen by you setting the shutter speed that's needed to freeze the action. 1/125 of a second is a good starting point. That shutter speed will most assuredly freeze people walking at their regular walking speed. Faster motion than this will require faster shutter speeds to freeze. Setting the camera to AUTO ISO will ensure that the camera has permission to raise the sensors' sensitivity to light is also super useful.

And as mentioned, exposure compensation can be dialed in if the shots over/under expose. One of the challenges is: is the light for the stage actually hitting the intended subjects? Or are the subjects backlit. Shooting in an artificial lighting situation where the lights are not actually set up to properly light up the subjects on stage is kind of frustrating.

Cameron's advice was excellent, I know I am somewhat echoing bits of it.
 

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