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Thread: Photography a Modelling comp at night

  1. #1
    Member Inspired's Avatar
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    Photography a Modelling comp at night

    Hi Everyone
    I'm just after some advice please.
    A friend has organised a Modelling competetion at night, will be held outside and obviously the catwalk will be under lights.
    I would like to go along and get some pics for the experience.
    I'm thinking i will need a flash? (I have been looking at the 580EXII for other things would it be suitable for this kind of thing? ( I have absolutley no experience with flash photography!)
    Does anyone have any tips on how to 'get' the perfect shots in these circumstances. If they are no good it doesn't really matter, but i would like to have a good go of it!
    Thanks so much for your help (In advance)
    Nicole
    Learning, Learning, Learning!...I'm sure i will get it one day!!
    CC very welcome..will help me with this whole "Learning" thing i have going on

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Advice?

    This was an unanswered thread and I would probably be the last person to ask for advice on "catwalk photography" because I mainly do outdoor sports
    However I can tell you that the 580Ex would be the shot....you will need to get 1/250sec synchro if the models are moving I think? Your lens has a pretty good f2.8 so you can keep your ISO down a bit maybe ISO 400 or even 250 (which your camera has).
    Also I would put a diffuser cap on the flash especially if the models come close, don't want burn marks on the faces and a monopod would be helpful to keep out the camera shake.
    I guess someone will post that I "wouldn't have a clue " but that's photographers", best of luck anyway
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Thanks so much Richard, your advice is greatly appreciated!
    Will let you know how i go! Hehe

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Inspired View Post
    Thanks so much Richard, your advice is greatly appreciated!
    Will let you know how i go! Hehe
    Something I forgot to mention was that your lens might be a little "short" if you are too far back from the catwalk! From memory I think a lot of this stuff is done at about 100mm or more, but if it's only a workshop then the seats might be rotated so you can get a bit closer to the action.
    Anyway....best of luck and would very much like to see a few of the results
    Richard

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    At Pro events everyone uses telephoto lenses (e.g. 70-200) because you get a stage to stand on and nobody is allowed in front of you. At more informal events it's a free for all and sometimes you have to go closer and use a general zoom otherwise people will stand in front of you and block your view

    At modelling events, the photographer's ability plays only a minor part, you're at the mercy of the lighting guy basically.

    At professional gigs, they set up the lighting very nicely so you can basically just point and shoot, e.g:



    This shot goes into the trash because the model didn't look into my camera, but you can see the available light is very nice, so you don't need flash at all IF (and it's a bit IF) the organisers and lighting people know what they are doing


    Flash is only needed when the venue lighting is shocking (i.e. the lighting people don't know what they are doing)

    I was at this one event where it was quite shockingly lit (there were floodlights along the bottom...the effect was like shining a torch at someone's face...). There was no way available light was going to cut it and I had to use flash at this event and bounced it off a side

    What available light looked like was absolutely terrible...no amount of photoshop can fix this:


    How I had to deal with it (bounce flash to 3 o'clock position):

    If you want photos of EVERYONE, you will need at least 2 flashes and a battery pack otherwise your flash will overheat and auto shut down if you have to constantly fire it.
    Last edited by pollen; 01-02-2010 at 9:45pm.

  6. #6
    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Agreed

    Quote Originally Posted by pollen View Post
    At Pro events everyone uses telephoto lenses (e.g. 70-200) because you get a stage to stand on and nobody is allowed in front of you. At more informal events it's a free for all and sometimes you have to go closer and use a general zoom otherwise people will stand in front of you and block your view

    At modelling events, the photographer's ability plays only a minor part, you're at the mercy of the lighting guy basically.

    At professional gigs, they set up the lighting very nicely so you can basically just point and shoot, e.g:



    This shot goes into the trash because the model didn't look into my camera, but you can see the available light is very nice, so you don't need flash at all IF (and it's a bit IF) the organisers and lighting people know what they are doing


    Flash is only needed when the venue lighting is shocking (i.e. the lighting people don't know what they are doing)

    I was at this one event where it was quite shockingly lit (there were floodlights along the bottom...the effect was like shining a torch at someone's face...). There was no way available light was going to cut it and I had to use flash at this event and bounced it off a side

    What available light looked like was absolutely terrible...no amount of photoshop can fix this:


    How I had to deal with it (bounce flash to 3 o'clock position):

    If you want photos of EVERYONE, you will need at least 2 flashes and a battery pack otherwise your flash will overheat and auto shut down if you have to constantly fire it.
    Thoroughly agree with the above....having never been to a fashion shoot, but having seen them on TV where the pix takers are professionals, I can imagine what the shoots are like
    Cheers Richard

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    Thanks again Richard (i have the 70-200mm on my wish list) but that comes after the 24-70 unfortnatley. (gotta prioritise these things).

    Thanks for the pics Pollen...The ones where they did a great job on the lighting are great!
    I'm thinking that the lighting is going to be pretty shocking.
    Basically, what it is is a Modelling Competetion Outdoors at night in the middle of a speedway track lotsa dirt, wind etc - so i think i will have an interesting time...hopefully i can get a few keepers half as good as yours.
    BTW I really like the one the model isn't looking, the expression you have caught is very flattering to her...

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    Ausphotography Veteran Analog6's Avatar
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    The speedway track may be well lit though, but it will be from above so probably some fill flash for the faces. It will be an interesting job to shoot, anyway, and you will learn something from it re lighting, that's for sure. Do come back and show us how you get on.

    If you know the organisers or they are approachable maybe you can talk to the models first and ask them to look at the camera as they come down the runway, and you could offer your shots too, to the organisers, if you feel so inclined, they may use them for publicity and that will get your name out there. And if you are quick to process there is always the local paper the next day or issue.
    Odille

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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    The speedway track may be well lit though, but it will be from above so probably some fill flash for the faces. It will be an interesting job to shoot, anyway, and you will learn something from it re lighting, that's for sure. Do come back and show us how you get on.

    If you know the organisers or they are approachable maybe you can talk to the models first and ask them to look at the camera as they come down the runway, and you could offer your shots too, to the organisers, if you feel so inclined, they may use them for publicity and that will get your name out there. And if you are quick to process there is always the local paper the next day or issue.
    Yeh the lights will be all from above..will definatley be interested conditions! lol
    I will def come back and post a few (even if they are a flop!) lol
    Its on 13th Feb.
    I'm gonna see if i can take some practise shots with the lights and one of the models before the event starts so i can get a feel for it..hopefully it will help!
    They have actually asked if they can use for publicity I said sure if they turn out! lol
    So hopefully they work and it gets my name out in a positive way!

    I have ordered my flash so hoping it gets here in time to give me time to figure out how to use it! argh!

  10. #10
    Well i suppose I better throw my two cents in here. I spent about 3 or 4 years shooting modelling comps here in Perth a while back.
    So my first question... where is it? In case i've already been there.

    Unfortunately modelling comps, are no catwalk event. At proper catwalk events you can usually expect to get some
    form of decent lighting to shoot without flash. This is usually common becuse they dont allow flash and obviously
    they want to light the walking product range properly. Id highly recomend a custom white balance adjustment though!

    Modelling events such as all your nightclub events, your Ralph comps etc etc, you will be dealing with craptastic
    lighting conditions. If this thing is at night dont count on having any useful light. Typically you will get the
    nastiest light you can possibly think of to illuminate the girls sufficient enough for the crowd to see, but not the
    camera. So your going to need flash!

    You can stick the flash on and blast away at 1/250 at the models, but your photos will be very unflattering, and with no atmosphere.
    Your going to have to make use of that ISO (dont be afraid to increase it), and the fastest lens you can get your hands on.
    I've always used a 2.8. Then you drag the shutter a little (slow the shutter speed down) and use the flash straight on to freeze the action.
    I play around with shutter speeds between 1/20 and 1/100th. It all depends on what ambient light the venue gives.
    If the models dont like to stay still then you need a faster shutter speed.
    After a while you will get the feel of how the girls move and when they stop to pose. This is when you get your shots, just time them
    carefully. Moving shots are usually unflattering anyway.

    This might be a bit out of reach for you being a flash newbie... but If the lighting providing by the club is some really strong horrible
    tungsten lights, then throw a CTO gel on your flash and set your white balance to tungsten to balance things out.

    I'd have a practice run with ETTL.
    Fill the frame! Zoom in close to the girls. A nice composition is not only good advice, but when experimenting with your flash you will
    probably get all sorts of weird and wonderful exposures happening. Too bright / too dark etc. If you zoom in on the girls nice and tight,
    it will assist the camera to meter a lot better and you will find the shots much better.

    80/20 light modifiers are cool. Especially if you have a low ceiling to bounce off, but outdoors you wont have this. A diffuser will hardly make any difference in an outdoor situation.
    It wont make the light softer, it will just send the light out in all directions. Eatign away a stop of light.



    For the future, id consider trying out manual mode, and getting that flash, or additional flashes off camera.



    So much for a quick post.. umm, thats it for now, feel free to fire back any questions.

    Cheeky Photo for you from a model comp in 2008
    Brodie Butler (Perth, WA)
    Photographer / Filmmaker / Retoucher
    Canon & Elinchrom user

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    Wow Thank you so much for your post Brodie..i really appreciate it.
    I asked the organisers about the lights and they said it will just be flood lights aimed at the girls.
    Will keep at 2.8 and will have a play with the ISO on the night...i have been finding though even at 400 there is a bit of noise =/ Will need to invest in so NR software i think!
    So i should be fine having the flash mounted on the camera? I guess i will have to be as i have no experience with flash! lol
    And i should keep my shutter between 1/20 amd 1/100 is that right?
    I'm going to talk to the girls before hand and ask them to stop and pose/look at me on there way down so hopefully i can get a few good shots.
    I'm gonna try get in close as my lens is only goes up to 50mm (have the 70-200mm on my wish list but that is awhile away!)
    So i'm thinking the more i fill the frame the more flattering the light/model will appear?
    The flash still hasn't arrived..starting to panic now - really hoping to have a play and figure out how it works this week..knowing my luck it will arrive Friday and only give me that night to suss it out!
    When you say drag the shutter does that just mean slowing it down a bit (and upping the ISO to compensate?)

    Thank you again so much!
    Nicole

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    Ausphotography Veteran Analog6's Avatar
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    Can you beg/borrow/hire a longer lens for the night? 24-105 or 70-200? The 70-200 would be better but even 100mm is double what you have. Seeing you are at Geraldton it may be hard, but you never know!

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    I did think about that actually, but like you said unfortnately where i live there isn't many options =/
    Have offered to hire a lens of anyone basically..but everyone with the right length has a different bloody brand eg Nikon! I have actually given up buying anything locally here as they charge the earth for it and have to ordered it in with a minimum 3 weeks wait! (and online i can pretty much get it same week)
    There is one person that i know who has the exact lens i need! but he will be using it on the night himself! lol. He is going to cover all the burnouts etc...so i'm hoping that what i wanna do is in the intermission so maybe i can just borrow it quickly while he isn't using it.
    Otherwise i will have to make do!

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