5d3 Testing @ Salsa dancing

Discussion in 'The Gallery' started by destrkta, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. destrkta

    destrkta Member

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  2. cleary

    cleary Mental in the Face

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    I'm not sure if you're looking for constructive criticism, or if this is more of a mkIII demo thread - but I'm going to offer some anyway -

    A backstory:
    I began shooting/contributing here about the same time as you (give or take), and was always a bit jealous of the gear that you were able to afford.
    As you've specced up your gear though, the quality of your shots has not really seen the same improvement, and unfortunately these shots are continuing that tradition.

    If I were you, I would be getting back to basics. You have the gear, you have the endpoint you're aiming for (live dance photography), now you need to work on finding the path to that endpoint.

    If I were you, I'd be looking for something that has the same elements to the dance stuff but is more commonly shot (here at least) - and that's live music photography. There's a few guys shooting that here, some are not using top of the line stuff (break uses a 30D iirc), they are working with fast movement and difficult lighting - and they are getting some great results. Ask them questions, look at their compositions, how they use the little light available etc. Post specific questions about fixing problems in your shots if you can identify issues that you couldn't fix. I'd even be getting out and shooting live music as well just to get the practice in

    I'm far from a pro, so take this advice however you will - but I'd like to see you improve and see some more of this type of stuff :)

    As far as these shots go, I see a few basic issues:
    * white balance seems off - most of the dancers look a bit green, but not consistently (eg #2 is warm). This is something you can fix in camera during your preparation by not using an auto WB setting, and adjusting it to suit the location before things kick off
    * compositions are all centred - this is pretty boring, there are a lot of more aesthetically pleasing photographic composition options (rule of thirds, golden triangles, balance, etc)
    * for the spinning hair shots, personally I'd prefer to see the hair framing her face than the back of her head
    * the shots feel mostly underexposed - as mentioned above, I'd be working out ways to make the most of the little light you have available (positioning yourself differently etc)
    * watch your backgrounds - most of the lights in the background are detracting from your subjects. They should be lighting your subjects instead

    All of these issues are with technique, and not equipment based - you have some of the best gear available, now's the time to focus on the rest - good luck :)
     
  3. Dropbear

    Dropbear Member

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    capturing the ambient light well.. hard for us to tell just how dark it was in there, but the shots look nice and usable at that size...

    i like the sense of movement in the hair ...



    (not sure about the gear jealousy rant above, so I won't comment)
     
  4. cleary

    cleary Mental in the Face

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    I didn't mean it as a rant. It was meant to be constructive - I have gear I'm happy with now, "was jealous" is past tense :)
     
  5. OP
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    destrkta

    destrkta Member

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    Hi Clearly,

    Thanks for the comments it's much appreciated, last night wasn't meant to be a photography run, more a test for myself on how far I could push the ISO and be happy, and really 4k was the limit I'm willing to push it. The autofocus was deadon even the 24-70 which has normally been a bit soft is appearing alot sharper than on my 7D.

    But I'll take constructive criticism where it's given, I'd be stupid not to.


    • Your right I leave white balance in auto mode and have never really touch it other than sometimes in post I'll attempt to make the colors look more normal but generally I set ito to auto in lightroom/ps and move on.

    • Centre composition is happen and your right, I generally find that there are other dancers on the floor, if I don't centre it it looks too busy but I'll try some off centre shots next time I'm out and see what your thoughts are.

    • Positioning isn't really upto me, I need to find a location where I'm not going to interfere with people dancing and this can be less than ideal, I personally would of preferred being behind the bar but then the street lights would of been in the picture (behind me was floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the street).

    I'll upload the raws tonight and you can play with them and see what you would get white balance wise.

    Cheers
    Daniel.
     
  6. cleary

    cleary Mental in the Face

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    No worries - glad you could get something out of it (as it was intended).
    The wall to wall windows probably go some way to explaining the mixed WB, I'm guessing there were traffic lights outside too? That would make it hard, I don't know if it would be fixable, but if possible I'd working on finding a location/angle to minimise the traffic lights input on your subjects.

    Re fixing the raws, I won't do anything with them - imo me fixing stuff is not going to do your learning any good (and pp is not something I'm overly good at/comfortable with/like doing at all). You should have a crack yourself and see if you can get them a bit consistent as a set - then upload the modified ones to compare. Do you have a colour calibrated monitor?
     
  7. spectre257

    spectre257 Member

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    Tbh you can easily push the 5D3 further than 4k I regularly push my D7000 to 12.8k and so long as you've metered your subjects right your shots will retain the most important details.
    [​IMG]
    9 by delayedflight, on Flickr

    Anyway I have to second what cleary said your gear is very capable and I know it can produce much better shots.
    I'm just not feeling anything looking at these shots. Next time spot meter your subjects and compensate manually to get a better exposure the set feels a bit underexposed.
     
  8. dche5390

    dche5390 Member

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    I'd be using ISO8000 comfortably on the 5D3.

    Noise? What the hell is that? Oh ... my mother? Yeah. I know noise. But back onto the subject of noise, if there is noise in the shadows, so be it. It is all about the subjects. In this case, dancers. And if the faces have no loss of visibly detail (especially in print), stop pixel-fucking-peeping and just juice up the ISO to keep your shutter speed from 160-250.

    If I weren't such a poor bastard, I would happily jump across the stream back to Canon :D
     
  9. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    +1! Grainy and sharp > smooth and (unintended) blur!

    While it's good to see how you took the post from cleary, something I hate about OCAU is the inability to post photos that simply are what they are and not get "feedback" whether you give a shit or not. For some people simply taking photos and sharing them is an enjoyment.
     
  10. bueller

    bueller Member

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    I think if you're posting a set on a photography forum you should probably anticipate getting some constructive criticism, I feel like cleary's post was rather on the money and didn't come across as insensitive to me.

    If people don't want C+C they can say so in their original post or post their stuff on FB and get a hundred "OMG THAT'S SOOO GOOOOD"s
     
  11. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    I think you've demonstrated how easy it is to forget that this is a section of a computer forum. Getting the occasional IT nut that has just decided to post some of their better snapshots should not be unexpected. I think it's only right for them to expect to be able to do so and not have their photos ripped to pieces.

    If you don't like the photos and C+C has not been asked for then it's not hard to just move along. No replies is probably a pretty good indicator to the OP ;) And who knows, perhaps then if they want C+C they'll ask for it.

    Ironically in a lot of dedicated photography forums people post crappy photos and nobody says a thing.

    edit: I'd also like to add that a lot of people that get an "omg nice photo" post on this very forum for what I consider utterly crap landscapes that look like they've been pushed about 5 stops and had the saturation bar slid all the way to the right, or a "wow" comment to a black and white blurry poorly composed snapshot simply because it was shot on old film. That's the beauty of art I guess...
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  12. OP
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    destrkta

    destrkta Member

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    If I push the shutter speed to 200+ that kinda starts doing stop motion in human movement, where in sense I'm trying to get that slight blue of movement, it's finding a balance between body movement (slower) and hand/head movement which is faster.

    The aim is to get a sense of movement maybe not too the extent of the photo blurring. So generally I don't go over 1/160th second.

    I enjoy taking the photos and sharing them almost as much as the dancing itself so when ever I'm taking photos means I'm not dancing and try to take photos that I think I would like taken of me. (most dance togs have strobe flashes running which not only annoys the dancers but destroys the ambience). So my goal this year has been to have enough gear to take photos at events without flashes, I'll push the shutter speed & ISO up and see the difference.
     
  13. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    That makes perfectly good sense. The extreme shallow DoF probably worsens the appearance of softness due to motion blur too, so perhaps stopping down more would help.

    And I'm sorry for taking your thread so far OT, I'll leave it alone now.
     
  14. cleary

    cleary Mental in the Face

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    That makes a lot of sense, but my initial impression without the backstory is that the movement is not intended, rather it feels like an unintended consequence of attempting to get the shot exposed. I think with more light and some more focus on composition that intention will conveyed better.

    OT Have you tried people panning? I assume dance would lend itself to that in the occasional circumstance -
     
  15. adam

    adam Member

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    I never post in the gallery (I rarely even view it anymore but I am glad I did tonight).

    clearly - great constructive criticism which most people can learn something from. Thank you for taking the time so that noobs like myself could learn something. :thumbup:

    This is a very nice fresh change from the usual ranting from a minority and if this forum had more of it I am sure the overall quality would improve.
     

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