Blacklight Party coming up

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Koffie, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. Koffie macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    I have been doing party photography for a short while now, and I have a special theme party coming up next week.
    it will be a backlight party with luminous paint and everything.
    My standard party photography setup is:
    Canon 400d / Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6 / Canon Speedlight 430ex

    The speedlight is a problem now, since a flash would ruin the backlight effect.
    By searching the internet on tips for shooting a backlight party, I only found one page, which suggested shooting at a very high iso, as the shutter speed must stay low.
    He shot at 2400, while now after an upgrade he would be able to get even higher.
    My camera only goes to 1600, and I am afraid the pictures will become too noisy. Or will noise not be such a big problem seen the fact the pictures will already have shifted colors?

    I guess I will have to use my lens full open, or should i even consider taking my kit lens for the .5 aperture advantage against the disadvantage of a longer focal length?
  2. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    That lens is an odd choice for people photography I would have thought. Super wide angle, and pretty slow. Do you just do group shots?

    It's a totally different angle of view... but the cheapest option for you would be to look at picking up a 50 f1.8. It'll cost you about $105, and will give you an extra 2 1/3 stops of light.

    I'd feel a lot better if I had an option like that with me, in case your Sigma doesn't work out.
  3. Koffie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    I do have a 50mm 1.4 but no way that is gonna work in a club.
    with 50mm (on a crop sensor) there is no way i can get a good shot of anyone. I need to much distance from the subject for that.
  4. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Sounds like you're stuffed then.

    You can't use flash, people are moving so you can't use slow shutter speeds, and there isn't a Canon lens faster than F2.8 at those focal lengths.
  5. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    You could try to rent a fast lens from a palace like Shipping would be expensive to get it on time, but it could be done.

  6. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    I'd also rent a modern camera where you can crank up the ISO.
    I fear your going to be disappointed if you take your current gear, you can sometimes get away with high ISO in B&W, but this isn't what you're after here. Look at renting a fast 35mm prime.
  7. emorydunn macrumors 6502


    Jun 5, 2006
    Austin Texas
    Coincidentally, I was shooting in blacklight last night. I found that I could achieve three effects for the photos.

    The first was showing everything that glows and nothing else. For this I had my camera at ISO 3200 aperture wide open, I was using a 50mm f/1.8, and shutter speed as slow as I could make it.

    The second was using the built in flash (yes, I know. My speedlight's batteries were dead). With this I could raise the shutter speed to freeze motion, but, obviously the blacklight effect would be ruined.

    The third was a combination of the two. I would use the flash but also drag the shutter a bit which had the effect of both freezing motion while allowing anything that glowed to create a motion blur.

    The biggest problem I had was focusing. The auto focus was pretty much useless and sometimes people were moving too fast and there was to little light to accurately focus manually.
    That being said, it might be easier for you. I was photographing a laser tag event (actually, it was a Nerf battle in a laser tag arena) so people were running around and I was running around and it was a mess.
  8. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    the new issue of RangeFinder magazine has a write up on this exact type of shoot (backlights). You should check it out, and it may be online as well.

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