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Author Topic: General photography  (Read 12585 times)
SwingWaltz
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« on: July 17, 2009, 11:12:17 AM »

Let's have a thread to talk about photography in general. I think there are a few of us who loves photography.

At the moment I don't have enough time or money to put into photography. But when ever I go on a trip somewhere nice, I'd always bring my camera. Too bad it's only a compact camera at the moment. I really really want to buy a digital SLR camera, but they are so expensive! I have my eyes set on a Canon 50D!

Time to start saving...which is hard when I don't have an income.  Sad
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dream a little dream
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 12:09:22 PM »

Panasonic FZ28.
Not a SLR, but good shutter speed to capture all the dancers I take pictures of!
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cornutt
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 01:10:16 PM »

Good topic!  I was pretty seriously into photography back in the '80s.  I had a Minolta Maxxum 7000, one of the first autofocus cameras, and a bunch of accessories.  I had three lenses: the Minolta 50mm that came with the camera (I kept it around because the aperture opened to f/1.7, and I was big into available-light photography), a Sigma 28-70 zoom, and a Sigma 75-300 zoom.  I've got boxes and boxes of things that I shot with that camera.  I even shot three weddings.  (The Maxxum was pretty noisy and would not have worked for a church wedding, but all of the weddings I shot were beach-side.)

I eventually wound that down because other things were demanding my time and attention.  Also, it was getting hard to find decent film processing, even Kodak's mail-in processing declined in quality in the late '90s.  It's been six or seven years now since I shot any film.  The advantages of digital are just too great.  I shot over 900 shots at the comp last weekend and picked out the best 30 or so.  I could not have afforded to do that with film (not to mention all the reloading time!).  My current camera is a Canon compact; it's one of the higher-end ones and has some nice features, like a true optical zoom.  But someday, I wouldn't mind having one of those Sony SLR digital camera bodies that are compatible with the Minolta A-mount lenses, so I can use all the lenses I have again.  It might be fun to get back into now that I don't have to fuss with film and processing.
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emeralddancer
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 01:12:56 PM »

So as far as digital is concerned...what is the best camera to use to shoot ballroom dance photos?

I mean for action
low light
etc ....
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It is more important who they are as people and only then is it important who they are as dancers.~Marcia Haydee
malakawa
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« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 01:13:39 PM »

soon SLR Nikon D90.

for now is just small sony camera.  Tongue
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malakawa
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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 01:14:17 PM »

So as far as digital is concerned...what is the best camera to use to shoot ballroom dance photos?

I mean for action
low light
etc ....

it is not about the camera it is all about the lenses.  Wink
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
elisedance
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« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2009, 06:26:57 PM »

exactly as MK says. 
If you really want good ballroom pictures you want to use 'available light' (as C so aptly put it).  the amount of light your camera captures depends ultimately on one thing - the size of the lens.  However, it also depends on the amount of magnification.  thus, a picture of a subject shot near you wiht a lens that is 2" in diameter will be crystal clear whereas one shot magnifying the couple into the field at the othe side of the ballroom will be blurry because you can not catch the couple in motion AND get enough light through the camera.

The only cameras with big lenses are SLRs (with a few specialized exceptions).

Note that you can get round this limitation with a flash but the result is the 'deer in the headlights' look.  pasty faces without any contrast.
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cornutt
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« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2009, 06:55:32 PM »

Note that you can get round this limitation with a flash but the result is the 'deer in the headlights' look.  pasty faces without any contrast.

The other problem is, as I've found out with my compact camera, the flash takes too long to recycle.  You can't shoot fast action when you have to wait 10 seconds for the flash to recharge before you can shoot again.  Big SLR flashes can cycle a lot faster than that.
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malakawa
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« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 07:14:46 PM »

Note that you can get round this limitation with a flash but the result is the 'deer in the headlights' look.  pasty faces without any contrast.

The other problem is, as I've found out with my compact camera, the flash takes too long to recycle.  You can't shoot fast action when you have to wait 10 seconds for the flash to recharge before you can shoot again.  Big SLR flashes can cycle a lot faster than that.

so true.  Wink
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
SwingWaltz
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 08:38:20 PM »

So as far as digital is concerned...what is the best camera to use to shoot ballroom dance photos?

I mean for action
low light
etc ....

As others said, it's the lens. You'll most likely going to be shooting in limited light, so you probably want a lens that gives you maximum aperture (fast lens). I don't think you're allowed to use flash at ballroom competitions, so the only way to "lit up" those dancers is to open the aperature as much as possible.

To keep it simple, you have two things that determine how much light you let into the camera. Firstly it's your aperature size, the bigger it is, the more light it's going to let in. The second thing is your shutter speed, the longer your shutter remains open, the more light it's going to let in. However, if you are shooting a dancing comp, you probably want the shutter speed to be as fast as possible, so the only way to compensate this is to have a wide aperature.

The other thing is ISO, or light sensitivity for the sensor. But using high ISO value will give you background noise.
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cornutt
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 08:50:58 PM »

As others said, it's the lens. You'll most likely going to be shooting in limited light, so you probably want a lens that gives you maximum aperture (fast lens). I don't think you're allowed to use flash at ballroom competitions, so the only way to "lit up" those dancers is to open the aperature as much as possible.
 

Actually, I don't think I've ever been to a comp that prohibited flash, although it wouldn't surprise me that some big comps do.  But the general point is still valid.  Even when flash is allowed, it tends to not work so well on dancers; it produces a lighting that is flat and featureless.  And there are so many cameras that either don't control the flash properly, or can't cut off the flash quickly enough to avoid overexposure on a nearby target.  (How in the heck the old-time photogs got even halfway decent exposures with flash bulbs, I'll never know.)
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SwingWaltz
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 09:24:03 PM »

It's probably different here in Australia.  Roll Eyes
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malakawa
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 10:38:45 PM »

well, i am not a fan of a flash, especially because of the stones on a dresses. a lot of times my picture is to shiny.
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Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.

It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer.
elisedance
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« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2009, 02:58:10 AM »

Note that you can get round this limitation with a flash but the result is the 'deer in the headlights' look.  pasty faces without any contrast.

The other problem is, as I've found out with my compact camera, the flash takes too long to recycle.  You can't shoot fast action when you have to wait 10 seconds for the flash to recharge before you can shoot again.  Big SLR flashes can cycle a lot faster than that.

For me the bigger problem (and I use a high-end compact) is that the picture is not taken when you hit the shutter.  All digitals suffer from this a bit but the compacts can be really bad - I have to predict mentally what I want to shoot...

This is where the film cameras are still best - what you click is exactly what you get.  I don't have an digital SLR - how good are they at speed now?  I had heard that it was no longer an issue...
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If you must leave the house, go build a home...

The limit of your love is also the limit of your art...
Lioness
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« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2009, 03:52:21 AM »

At the moment I have a Canon Powershot A470. It's quite a good little point and shoot. I really want to get a DSLR though...not sure what type.
I, too, hate flash. It makes the pictures looks washed out, and while it may catch motion better, I only use it when I absolutely have to.
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