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Old June 26th, 2003, 09:20 AM   #1
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What settings should I use?

I am shooting a dance performace this weekend at a big theatre and was wondering how I should set up the camera? It is aa GL2. Should I use Spotlight setting for White balance? Should I use TV or manual mode to try to get the best lighting? Can anyone recommend a setting for a multi-color lit stage?

Thank you so much. Any help would be kind.

Joe
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Old June 26th, 2003, 12:43 PM   #2
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Joe,
I think Barry's remarks in this thread will hit the mark for you.

There are several other threads dealing with the subject of shooting stage performances. Search will retrieve them for you.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 12:58 PM   #3
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I agree with Ken, search the thread and I would read some of the Watchdog articles too.

My vote is to use the cam manual modes (I haven't tried spotlight yet). I think you may be better satisfied with Av (apeture) or Tv (shutter) mode, but manual lets you control both.

After you do all that reading, try shooting lots of test shots under the conditions you think you will be shooting. The more you practice the better you will be and the better the product will be too.
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Old June 27th, 2003, 01:24 PM   #4
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I agree Nathan. I just got to grips with the issue of Backlighting yesterday. The XM2 was remarkble. I'm now after a series of tests to get competent at low light - openning up the iris and adjusting Gain, then using manual focus to get THE shot.

Grazie
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Old June 30th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #5
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2 questions now

Thanks for all the help and advice you guys are awesome. The shoot went pretty good. I have just a couple of questions:

1. Auto focus does not work well and so Maunal focus is a must. I am struggling with try to keep focus in maunal mode when dancers are moving back and forth on a deep stage. How do I track a dancer or pan in manual mode? If I am using a hand held trying to get a good steady shot and track with pan and zoom and now I have to try to track with manual focusing a lens...How do I do that?

2. White balance..... The lighting at the place changed constinely. It was hard to get that right. When I white balanced during rehearsal, it was not the same during the performance. Should I have just used a standard preset on my GL2 and the XL1s?

Thanks.
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Old June 30th, 2003, 11:47 PM   #6
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Joe,
Practice, practice, practice. That's where skill and feeling for your camera comes into play.

Re: focus, use the smallest aperture (highest f-number) you can without introducing extreme gain. This will help to deepen your depth of field. Also, shoot as close to the stage as possible and as close to center stage as possible. If you shoot from a great distance and have to zoom to get your subjects you will actually be working against yourself on this front.

Why are you not using a tripod?

Re: white balance, I'm not sure what will work best. Some report that using the tungsten preset produces good results. But I think it depends on the nature of the stage's lighting.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 12:13 AM   #7
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Ken, interesting thread this.

How do you make use of WB for a stage set, where the ligthing can change from one moment to another? Come to that, how or where do you set up WB to make the best stab at it?

. . . hmmmm...

Grazie
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Old July 1st, 2003, 12:56 AM   #8
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I've little experience shooting theatrical productions so I'm speculating a bit here.

Without looking this up, I think that the tungsten preset is probably around 3200-3500deg, which is probably warmer than most theatrical spots. So ideally I would try to get the lighting director to fire up a white (unfiltered) spot and get someone to hold a white card on stage to enable me to strike a manual wb. Failing that, I'd probably try the tungsten preset and opt for the potential for the footage to look a bit cooler rather than redder. The color choices of so many theatrical productions tend to lean more toward the blues than the reds (just my observation), so a slightly cooler image might not be nearly as noticeable as a warmer shift which might make the image a bit muddy. The GL2's -slight- lean toward a warmer default image might work in your favor in this strategy, too.

Just my swing at this. I could certainly be mistaken.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:07 AM   #9
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This one Ken! I suppose one could set a Preset for the "other" complex settings and go back to the WB setting for the fired up White Light? Or have I got this wrong too? I'm thinking that have 2 options would, as they say, get me through the night.

As you say practice, practice, practice.

Grazie
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Old July 1st, 2003, 01:27 AM   #10
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I'd be inclined to set-and-forget the white balance. That way all of the colored lighting will be offsets from that single benchmark, making color corrections a bit easier in post if needed.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 02:45 AM   #11
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Got it! Thanks - Grazie
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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:39 AM   #12
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Working in a school auditorium and working dance recitals for the past 2 months i would suggust white balanceing with the spot light like Ken mentioned. All the professional companies that tape the dances do this. Also at least in our auditorium the lights change alot and can vary from full light (for the young kids) to only backlighting for some of the song to only a spot light. It can go from a colored background to a black curtain and back in one song. Go to pratices because although we change the lighting slightly everyday epending on what worked in the last show, it is usually about the same. Also if your doing this as a personal tape, be sure that cameras are allowed. This is the first year that we had to run security to catch patrons with video cameras tapeing the performances.

Brian

I just remembered some ask for a bright light que to be put up and white balance off of that to help with the colors
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