Event Photos

edited February 2015 Posted in » Canon SL1 / 100D Forum
I purchased my SL1 a little over a year ago and have taken some amazing photos with it. However, I have grandchildren in indoor sporting and stage events and would like to get better photos than I have gotten so far.
My granddaughter is in dance and has a recital in a couple of months. What settings would be suitable for shooting at a brightly lit stage in a dark auditorium? I will likely be shooting from the balcony about 50 feet from the stage. I have a 18-200mm Tamron lens and a 75-300mm Canon lens.
Any/all suggestions are greatly appreciated.


  • edited February 2015
    Hi Catyann,
    First off, a tripod or monopod is your best friend. Settings become much more flexible when the camera is stable (turn IS off if using a tripod).
    Either of your lenses would be useable, but you need to consider how much of the action you want to capture; the field of view on the 300mm end is much less than on the 200mm end.
    At that distance, you can forget about using flash, but as you say the stage is brightly lit, you should be ok. The issue here will be getting the white balance correct. Try some of the presets at a rehearsal rather than trust to auto white balance.
    Set your camera to AI Servo to be able to track movement.
    Set your ISO to auto(1600) - anything higher than that will create excess noise.
    Set your shutter priority speed to 1/1000th and leave the camera to choose the aperture which I think will be around f/3.5-4 on your lenses. You need to be aware that depth of field is more limited at wider apertures, so some practice shots at a rehearsal would be good so you can get some idea of what will be in focus.
    If you can't achieve exposure with the above settings, then slowly decrease the shutter speed, but don't go below 1/750th if you can help it as you will certainly get motion blur in the dancers.
    Like always - nobody can give you a definitive failsafe list of settings. You need to experiment in the environment you are shooting, but hopefully the above will give you a starting point.
    Best regards,
  • edited February 2015
    Thanks @PBKED - this is exactly what I was looking for and pretty much what I have been doing except for the white balance advice. I hope to be able to attend the rehearsal as I have become pretty good friends with the owner of the dance school. Thanks again for your advice - it is greatly appreciated.
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