Art and Photography

Hints for "official" photographer for small college graduation. Happening tonight! :(

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 16th, 2017 9:18 pm
[OP]
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Hints for "official" photographer for small college graduation. Happening tonight! :(

My GF works for a small local college, and they're having a graduation tonight. At the last minute, they found out the person who usually does the camera work for them isn't going to be available, so I've been asked to fill in. Most of the stuff I've done has been outside and landscapes, not portraits and stage lighting.

So... Any hints? Tricks?

I'll be shooting with a Canon 60D. I've got the following Canon lenses: 10-22, 50mm 1.8, 70-300 IS, and 18-55 IS (I think). If I had to, I could go pick up a rental. I'll have my tripod there as well.

Sorry... Feel like I'm in over my head, but I can muddle through it. Just wouldn't mind some pointers.

C
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Are you walking the floor or are you directing the graduation pictures?

A handheld flash and diffuser could be useful if its dark.
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coriolis wrote:
Nov 16th, 2017 2:34 pm
Are you walking the floor or are you directing the graduation pictures?

A handheld flash and diffuser could be useful if its dark.
Both. Taking pics of the certificate hand-over, and candids after. I do have my flash (430EX) with a small diffuser. Not sure what the lighting will be like; it's in a conference center.

C
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How tall is the ceiling, what color is it?
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 16th, 2017 3:03 pm
How tall is the ceiling, what color is it?
Never been there. I'm guessing tall, since it's a conference center with stage, etc.

C
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Avoid direct flash, point your on-camera speedlite straight up but flag the light forward for single and small group portraits with one of these, show up early and do some test shots, start at TTL=0:

Image

If the ceiling is low enough, white, and useable, you don’t have to bend the top forward, you can use it like this:



The gel is an extra step only if the ambient light is too tungsten.
Last edited by AncasterRFD on Nov 16th, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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How close can you get for the hand off?

Are you allowed on stage?
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AncasterRFD wrote:
Nov 16th, 2017 3:50 pm
How close can you get for the hand off?

Are you allowed on stage?
Man, you ask a lot of questions! :)

AFAIK, I'll be able to be on the stage. I'm sleeping with the MC, and been asked to do this by the college.

Thanks for the other post too!

C
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And BTW... They know they're getting an amateur photog... Still would like to not screw up too much. :)

C
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CNeufeld wrote:
Nov 16th, 2017 3:55 pm
Man, you ask a lot of questions! :)

AFAIK, I'll be able to be on the stage. I'm sleeping with the MC, and been asked to do this by the college.

Thanks for the other post too!

C
Haha, it’s all about light control and lens choice,

Capture diploma hand-offs with the 50mm 1.8, frame upper 1/3 body shots so you see happy student expressions. Practice framing the podium area before it happens (use test subject) so you know the best angle and flash exposure.

Use the 18-55 on the wide end for small groups, zoom in a bit for single portraits. Ideally, a constant f/2.8 lens would be nice but you’re working with what you got. If you have the room to back up, use the 50 for single portraits.

Unless there’s a large and ambient, evenly well-lit area, it’s going to be hard to light a large group. Skip it if you don’t need that shot.

Find a neutral background for your portraits. Stack heads in triangles, and everyone needs to do something with their hands, girl on another person’s shoulder, wrap around the other’s waist, hand on own waist, guys with hand in pocket, folded arms, hand over hand. The idea is everyone is standing slightly different, not side by side like a firing range looking straight at you with arms dangling down. The posing part should take you a couple of seconds, don’t spend long and don’t worry if you forget, sometimes people fall into place when you ask them to get close to each other. Crack a joke or have them say something happy right before the shot.
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Thanks for that! Much appreciated! :)

C
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To be honest, the biggest thing you can do is ensure that if you are used to shooting in aperture mode, that you have proper ISO and have the shutter speed reasonably fast. You may find the room to be a lot darker in the camera than the naked eye. Aperture mode works fine outdoors, indoors it can ruin a shot if not careful and aware of lighting. The biggest mistake I made a long time ago as a beginner was thinking that indoor photography was easy and I did not need a flash, and all my shots for my first event came back all blurry as they were all shot at 1/10 to 1/60 shutter speed. Practice with your flash beforehand to measure for ambient light. Do not make it look like a flash shot by using bouncing tricks. You can also shoot without flash but you really need to know you light if you do. You may also have to shoot near wide open.

Don't sweat it, can't expect it to learn it all in one night and as long as those expectations
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Firebot wrote:
Nov 16th, 2017 6:01 pm
To be honest, the biggest thing you can do is ensure that if you are used to shooting in aperture mode, that you have proper ISO and have the shutter speed reasonably fast. You may find the room to be a lot darker in the camera than the naked eye. Aperture mode works fine outdoors, indoors it can ruin a shot if not careful and aware of lighting. The biggest mistake I made a long time ago as a beginner was thinking that indoor photography was easy and I did not need a flash, and all my shots for my first event came back all blurry as they were all shot at 1/10 to 1/60 shutter speed. Practice with your flash beforehand to measure for ambient light. Do not make it look like a flash shot by using bouncing tricks. You can also shoot without flash but you really need to know you light if you do. You may also have to shoot near wide open.

Don't sweat it, can't expect it to learn it all in one night and as long as those expectations
Good note, hope he read that, it's quite important. I can set a minimum shutter speed on my 5DIV in Aperture priority, I don't think that can be done on a 60D, otherwise I shoot in manual with the flash on. People shots when you are asking them to stand still must be at least 1/80 or faster. Maybe he already has an understanding of SS considering his gear and shooting experience, I don't know.

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