Posts Tagged ‘11-16’
—-Nikon D300s + Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 at f/5.6, 1/80 sec ISO800
One question I’m often asked is something like : “How do I get sharp photos when taking pictures of my friends dancing indoors? What lens should I get for this purpose?”
Well, in most cases, the answer has less to do with your lens and more to do with whether or not you’re using flash. Just so happened to have hosted a dance party last night at my house, so I took the opportunity to demonstrate what I mean, using a variety of lenses and shutter speeds, and of course, my hot shoe flashes. The dancing took place in my living room at night, which means no daylight pouring through the window to give me f-stoppage. The room is lit by two floor lamps, providing, I dunno, just about f/0.1 inside. Seriously though, even using my fastest lens, I ‘d probably squeeze out a shutter speed of about 1/80th shooting wide open at f/1.4 at ISO3200 in this room. Ouch…not nearly fast enough to stop action under these conditions.
—-Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/5.6, 1/125 sec ISO800
Freezing motion in bright day light out doors is relatively simple, right? You can easily hit say 1/640 or 1/1000 and higher, even stopped down, effectively freezing motion. Can’t really do that in a room like this. There’s simply not enough ambient. Using flash lets you shoot at lower shutter speeds and still freeze action.
Wait a minute! How is it that you can freeze motion with low shutter speeds when you use your flash? Another question I get asked a lot. They key, again, is in the pop of light you’re throwing at your subject. The shutter may be going at say 1/80 or even 1/15, but that flash is hitting your subject at like 1/1500th, fast enough to freeze them in their tracks. If you want to imply motion in your dancing shots, you can drag the shutter at around 1/10 to 1/15 (make sure you camera is set to rear curtain sync):
—-Nikon D300s + Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 at f/5.6, 1/15 sec ISO800
Or select higher shutter speeds to freeze them completely:
—–Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 14mm f/5.6, 1/80 ISO800
Another note: you gotta go manual exposure in scenes like this. Throw your camera into aperture priority, for instance, and it will select what it thinks is an appropriate shutter speed to expose the scene. Well, you’re pointing your camera at darkness, which means it’ll select shutter speeds that are far too low. Use shutter priority and you camera will open up your lens to its maximum, limiting your depth of field options. For the entire night, I dictated the shutter speed and aperture and let the camera’s intelligent flash system work its magic. Worked well in this case too because in such a small, dimly lit room, almost all of the light is coming from my flash units.
Another question I get asked: “My lens doesn’t have VC/VR/IS. Can I still get sharp shots with it?” Yes! None of the lenses I used last night are stabilized:
—-Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 at 95mm f/5.6, 1/80 sec ISO800
—-Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-135 f/2.8
—-Nikon D300s + Tokina 50-135 f/2.8
—-Nikon D300s + Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8
It’s important to remember that neither lens nor sensor based image stabilization systems help freeze subject motion. They only help reduce blur induced by small movements caused by the photographer hand-holding the camera. They key, again, is the flash.
Of course, when people are standing still, it’s even easier. =)
Suki and I headed out to the beach for a stroll along the water this evening after I got off work. The weather has been totally gloomy in San Francisco lately, however, so there wasn’t any dramatic light to make use of when arrived on sight. The test shot I took of her above gives you an indication of what kind of light was out there tonight. Blegh…Suki knows it too.
There was simply too much wind to use any sort of large light modifier, so I had to add some light in with my bare strobes. What to do? Thought I’d create a sunset-like effect with a single SB-900 placed maybe 20 or 30 feet from our position. Here’s how it turned out:
Placed a full cut of orange gel (CTO) over the bare SB-900 to give it the orange glow you’d expect from the sun when it’s low on the horizon. See? Flash doesn’t have to look like “flash,” right?
Now Suki is getting into it!
Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
[ Canon S90 at 6mm f/3.2 1/30 second ISO160 ]
Wow, had such a great time this weekend! Two great friends from Japan visited our home and stayed for a few days. We took them on a tour of the city, heading to the usual “tourist spots” as well as places we locals like to visit. Running around with them made me realize that I can’t even remember the last time I drove around SF just to see the sights. It was pretty fun actually! Ready for a long post with tons of images spanning the course of 3 days? Ok, here we go!
The wife decided to start sprucing up various rooms in our house this week. Had a friend come over and help paint the walls of one of our rooms in Tiffany blue. I played the lazy photographer husband while they did all the work =)
Gotta hurry! We have some friends coming in from Japan this weekend who will occupy this room during their stay.
Even Suki got involved…well, no more involved than I was actually. No, she’s not sleepy here. It’s just that every time I set my camera to rear curtain sync, she blinks! Oops!
Nikon D300s + Nikkor AF 10.5mm DX // Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8