I received a brand-new Digital Rebel T3 with 18-55 kit lens and 75-300 telephoto lens as a gift some months ago. To date, I have no external flashes to other hardware. Since that time, I'm taken mostly outdoor shots using the Rebel's "Landscape" mode. I have never owned an SLR before.
This evening Im travelling with some friends to an awards banquet. Our local trails organization in to be recognized there. I have never seen the venue, but it's safe to assume the dinner and award are inside. I will be taking my Canon HDV camcorder and the Rebel along to try to get photos and video. I have a tripod and a monopod.
This is obviously going to be flash territory. I'd like to avoid silly goofs like shadow halos and redeye, so I hope to arrive early to check out the venue.
I typed a lengthy reply and it just vanished?
I suggest making a bounce card for your flash and playing around with the gear and learn,it just takes time and practice.
Also the Nifty-50 lens is a great thing to have for the price as a first fast lens.
"Bounce card" = an index card bent in half. Rubber band one half of the card to the top of your flash to give it an awning.
These are GENERIC tips from several years ago, but very nice ones from one of our fellow contributors over at MousePlanet that you might enjoy:
Photo Tips #1 (More Mouse) by Frank Anzalone
Photo Tips #2 (More Mouse) by Frank Anzalone
Photo Tips #3: Low Light (More Mouse) by Frank Anzalone (<-- low-light environments)
Photo Tips #4 (More Mouse) by Frank Anzalone
Photo Tips #5 (More Mouse) by Frank Anzalone
If you don't already shoot RAW, or at least RAW+JPEG, you can fix a lot in post. Also to an extent high ISO noise is better and easier to correct than blurry pictures. A bounce card can help, but depending on the shooting distance, height of the ceiling, and color of the ceiling it may not do much. As AVService suggested a nifty fifty is great for low light (50mm f1.8) and you can usually get a new one for under $100. also sense your camera's sensor has a crop factor of around 1.6 (would have to look up the exact number) it would also make a good portrait lens sense the effective focal length would be around 80mm, with a 1.8 aperture you should also be able to get some nice shallow depth of field shots.
This evening's event was a challenge. The banquet was in a fairly good-sized dining hall with cathedral ceilings and tall windows at the end where the presentations were made. This made taking photos early on in the evening a challenge because the sun was shining right through those windows and it was tricky coping with all that backlighting.
Finally, someone started drawing shades and the flashes started firing on everyone's cameras. Actually, the flash photos were better than the flashless ones. Redeye wasn't a serious problem. What I wound up needing to know was how to force the flash to fire, rather than preventing it from firing.
There were lots of overhead presentations, and I took great telephoto shots of some of the slides. (A crude but quick way to capture key parts of a presentation.)
The 18-55 kit lens did a good job with some of the group photos. But the telephoto was great for snapping some of the keynote speakers at the podium by themselves.
Events like this are tricky because things happen so fast and you have to find the right place to stand, the right composition, and have the camera set up with the right lens and the right mode all in a few seconds. You get some good shots and some botched ones. It gets exasperating because you don't have time to get every shot right and reconfigure the camera for optimal performance. Not exactly the best training ground for learning new techniques. I wish I could figure out a setting to practice so I could be ready the next time there's an event like this.
The biggest flub of the evening was when there was a group shot and we have 4 or 5 people taking photos all at once, and the people in the shot were looking in different directions. Not easy to get everyone to work together in a dining hall with 100 to 200 people present, every group is different, and people come rushing up front with their camera to get just one or two shots.
Kinda like herding cats...
Just be the most obvious one. It works for waiters, too. We call it the "Alex method" named after my husband. We were all half-joking one evening while we were dining out, about how the easiest way to get your waiter's attention is to hold your hand up REALLY HIGH and wave it a lot. Like you've been looking for your lost child and you just saw him on the other side of the carousel. "HEY! OVER HERE!"-type wave, without saying anything. For those times when the waiters are too busy to look up and notice, this method works really well. I've done it and made people at my table blush with embarrassment, but I didn't care. I don't do it all the time, but it works when you need it to.
Originally Posted by MtnMan
Same thing with competing photos.
Hold your camera up but below your face so they can hear you. Then wave your hand, and say "OK Look this way! Say cheese!" and then snap their photo. Hehehe