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Photos at a Convention

edited March 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
I bought the setting tips and have worked through a few inside a convention center. My pictures do not turn out well. In the entrance to the convention center, still some natural lighting, or outside they are fine.
What lens/settings should be used for this (example, taking photos of Cosplay in Exhibit hall)? Link to Group for Denver Comic Con 2014.

https://www.flickr.com/groups/denver_comic_con_2014/pool/

I have the Tamron 18-270mm VC f/3.5-6.3 and 28-75mm XR Di IF f/2.8 lenses.

Comments

  • edited March 2015
    Hi,
    Are you having us on or what? One or two may need a little tweaking, but on the whole you have some great pictures here. The composition and focus are all good.
    The f/2.8 is the lens to use for indoors. I have the Tamron and like it greatly, but its f/3.5 maximum aperture is not great indoors.
    Regards,
    PBked
  • edited March 2015
    For the most part these look pretty good. There are only a few situations here where it seems the meter is being fooled, usually by windows or other unusually light areas, something matrix metering can have trouble with.

    I would suggest that you might get better results here if you can keep those windows at a minimum, and if not, to compensate in some way for them. There are three things to try (not including flash). Center weighted metering might be enough to emphasize the people and de-emphasize the peripheral window. Also try a stop or so in the + direction. If neither of those is enough, try to estimate what shade in the target zone you want to come out as mid-tone, and spot meter on that. Remember that if spot metering, the spot will correspond with whatever focus point you choose unless you're using auto pattern, in which case it's always the center. Center weighting will always bias to the center regardless of your focus mode. If you're shooting a group of people and have no interest in whether the surrounding areas are well exposed, that's the mode I'd try first. If you're shooting someone or something very dark in a light environment, then spot is the next thing to try. The results here can be very "high key" with a brightly well exposed subject in a blown out space.

    If you're shooting with Active D-Lighting off, you might gain a bit of range by turning it on. In some instances you can also brighten up faces with fill flash. I'm guessing that this is not the best solution in such crowds, and that aside from being obtrusive it might also be uneven. However, just a little fill might help for people whose faces are shaded by hats.

    If you're not shooting Raw, I suggest you do so in such situations. You can then use a program like View NX2 to adjust exposure and recover dark shadow information fairly easily.
  • edited March 2015
    Thank you for your tips. @PBked, the ones I'm referring to are a bit down the first page and get a bit of a yellowish tint (DSC0667 to 676 I think - Frozen and Doctor Who character). I'm guessing it's from the different lighting/carpeting etc. I'm being hypercritical because I went onto a Cosplay forum and posted that I'd be available for Anaheim Wondercon free, and would like to work with a few cosplayers to build portfolio. Didn't get a single response. I linked that Album/Group. Thanks for the confidence boost.
  • edited March 2015
    Hi again,
    Bruto gave some excellent advice which I wasn't prepared to give because I'm a Canon user (I know - crossed fingers and incantations). Bruto is a Nikon guy and therefore much more familiar with your camera.
    I agree with him about shooting in RAW, but you could still try tweaking some of your photos even if they are JPG.
    Didn't need to boost your confidence because you are a very competent photographer.
    Don't worry about the no-response thing. Sometimes when you offer to work for free, people assume you are no good. It's happened to me before and took a few years for me to develop an "it's their loss" attitude.
    Keep up the good work and most of all keep shooting.
    Best regards,
    PBked
  • edited March 2015
    Indeed, do not worry about people not taking up a free offer. People can be funny about that, but if they see enough good pictures, they may figure it out.

    If you shoot in Raw mode, you can easily alter white balance with no loss. You can do this in JPG too, but not quite so easily. The D3200 does pretty well in auto mode, but it tends a bit toward the bluish in direct sunlight, and when it shifts to indoor incandescent it can look relatively yellow. When you have a whole page of images the color balance that prevails will look best. If you have the ability, you might try warming up some of the outdoor shots. With white balance more biased toward overcast, the look will be a bit yellower, but colors may also look more lively.

    About halfway down the page there's a line with "colorado Fetts" and a woman with a big mallet. On my monitor, at least, that color balance looks pretty good, just a little warmer than the outdoor shots.
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