Just got my first assignment.

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
Well I haven't been shooting for a little over 2 weeks. I bought understanding exposure and SLR Camera for dummies. I'm still in the process of reading them cause of my work schedule. Well this weekend my mother-in-law ask if I could take pictures for her mothers surprise birthday party. I ask my wife about the light of the location the party will be at and she said it will be kinda dark in there. Anyone have some good tips of what I should bring with me flashes/lens etc.? What mode should I be shooting in also? I just bought the Canon T1i with the kit lens and a 8gig sandisk ultra II sdhc card. I will only be shooting for a hour and getting paid 50 dollars. Thanks in advance guys.
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
0
Well I haven't been shooting for a little over 2 weeks. I bought understanding exposure and SLR Camera for dummies. I'm still in the process of reading them cause of my work schedule. Well this weekend my mother-in-law ask if I could take pictures for her mothers surprise birthday party. I ask my wife about the light of the location the party will be at and she said it will be kinda dark in there. Anyone have some good tips of what I should bring with me flashes/lens etc.? What mode should I be shooting in also? I just bought the Canon T1i with the kit lens and a 8gig sandisk ultra II sdhc card. I will only be shooting for a hour and getting paid 50 dollars. Thanks in advance guys.
A paid gig is not the place to learn new equipment. That being said, in most inside party situations, you will struggle with your 18-55. I would at least get my hands on an flash (preferably a 580). As far as glass, a fast prime could help, but a 50 will likely be much too long, so that puts you at 30 (or 35) 1.4 which is much more expensive (~$100 for 50/1.8, approximately $400 for 30/1.4). If you want to stick with a zoom, 16-35/2.8 or 24-70/2.8 work (but are much more expensive and much slower than a prime). Basically, if you rent equipment, you will be lucky to break even (as you really should rent it before the event and practice with it, then rent again for the event).

Personally I wouldn't be taking money for a gig this soon after buying your stuff, but everyone has their own comfort level. If it were me I would get my hands on a flash and shoot the party for free (or let them pay for flash rental). That way you can learn and their expectations aren't artificially high. Learning to use a flash effectively will keep you busy enough without worrying about horrendously shallow dof with a large aperture lens.
 

Edge100

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2002
1,557
10
Where am I???
As mentioned, you're going to have problems with the kit lens indoors. For me, f/2.8 is the bare minimum for indoor photography, preferably faster. If you're stuck with the kit lens, then you'll absolutely have to shoot with flash (Note: even with fast glass, I will usually shoot with flash to modify light quality, rather than quantity).

If you don't know what mode to shoot in (full manual, by the way), you shouldn't be accepting money. Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. By all means, shoot the party and learn; rent gear and consider it an investment in your skills. But don't accept money unless you KNOW you can produce the results.
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
Thanks for the real information guys. My mother in law said that the other guy was charging 200 doolars for a hour, so thats why she asked me. I said yes, but i'm new to this and she said it dooesn't matter lol(she just didn't want to pay 200 dollars) so my wife said we will take 50 for the hour and she said okay. I have a month until the party, so 6 have alot of time to pratice. So should i buy the 50mm 1.8 prime and use the camera flash or buy a flash and use my kit llens?
 

ManhattanPrjct

macrumors 6502
Oct 6, 2008
354
1
As a previous poster said, 50mm will likely be way too long on a crop body. I'd probably put your kit lens on, zoom out to 50mm (and/or 35mm), and literally walk around the location (or walk around your house) to get a sense of how close or far away you'll be from your subjects before you buy a new lens.
 

anubis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2003
937
50
You're headed toward a world of hurt by charging for photos if you don't have a clear idea of what you're doing

As was said before, 50mm is too long for indoor shooting on a crop body. You'll need a shorter prime f/1.8 or faster; those run between a few hundred to thousands of dollars. You would also probably need a speedlite. All together you'd be spending dozens of times what you'd be making at the party.

No one is suggesting you give up or not practice or develop your skills. But the best advice you could get from me or anyone else is to offer to do it for free.
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
0
So should i buy the 50mm 1.8 prime and use the camera flash or buy a flash and use my kit llens?
Don't even think about using the flash on the body. All of your pictures will look like crap. With a good external flash you have a chance of producing decent pictures. Personally I would buy the 580 (I own a 430 and regret not saving up for a number of reasons), but you are looking at $400-600 for the flash. You will save some if you buy used, but you are running short on time to learn how to shoot flash quickly and effectively.
 

MattSepeta

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2009
1,255
0
375th St. Y
To do

For your purposes, I would recommend buying a 430.

I had a 580 for over a year, then gave it back to the friend (lol) and bought a 430. I don't notice the difference that much, other than the longer recycle time and the inferior reach (which I only notice outdoors primarily).

When you use the flash, be sure to either use a bounce card (rubber bands and index card, google it) or just point the flash face at the ceiling. That should work just fine.

For an event like a birthday, indoors, I would shoot it as zoomed as possible to separate the subject from the background as much as possible.

Practice shooting spontaneous portraits around the house, out with friends, of the wife (She will probably HATE this), etc. As valuable as all this technical information is, getting the shot is what really matters. Also, familiarize yourself with all of the controls of the camera. you dont want to miss the money shot because you could not figure out how to change your ISO, or whatever.

As far as the payment goes, its up to your discretion. I have been in similar situations, so I speak from experience.
My advice: Tell the mother-in-law that you appreciate the offer, but you would like to do it pro-bono, for practice. Brownie points, plus you avoid ANY weird vibes that could arise from a "business" deal gone awry.

But I don't know the situation, so use your best judgement. Have fun and learn:)
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
For your purposes, I would recommend buying a 430.

I had a 580 for over a year, then gave it back to the friend (lol) and bought a 430. I don't notice the difference that much, other than the longer recycle time and the inferior reach (which I only notice outdoors primarily).

When you use the flash, be sure to either use a bounce card (rubber bands and index card, google it) or just point the flash face at the ceiling. That should work just fine.

For an event like a birthday, indoors, I would shoot it as zoomed as possible to separate the subject from the background as much as possible.

Practice shooting spontaneous portraits around the house, out with friends, of the wife (She will probably HATE this), etc. As valuable as all this technical information is, getting the shot is what really matters. Also, familiarize yourself with all of the controls of the camera. you dont want to miss the money shot because you could not figure out how to change your ISO, or whatever.

As far as the payment goes, its up to your discretion. I have been in similar situations, so I speak from experience.
My advice: Tell the mother-in-law that you appreciate the offer, but you would like to do it pro-bono, for practice. Brownie points, plus you avoid ANY weird vibes that could arise from a "business" deal gone awry.

But I don't know the situation, so use your best judgement. Have fun and learn:)
Thanks for the info man!
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
I just went out and purchased the Canon 430ex II flash. I went to bestbuy and pricematched sams club for $249.88 + Tax. Any ideas on how I can start practicing with this? What are some good rechargeable batteries? Thanks in advance guys
 

maddagascar

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2009
234
0
I just went out and purchased the Canon 430ex II flash. I went to bestbuy and pricematched sams club for $249.88 + Tax. Any ideas on how I can start practicing with this? What are some good rechargeable batteries? Thanks in advance guys
nice, i use energizer rechargeable batteries, haven't let me down yet!

as far as what your doing, i as well got offered to do some shooting, but never actually done soo. it was for a DJ, and he just wanted like a little photoshoot of him and his turn tables at home or something, like one of those creative pictures. i told him i wasn't a professional, but he insisted, still talking with him about when or the price. but i say, get your skills down before the party comes around. learn how to use that external flash, as i can't give you any advice cause i've never used one. but like others said, practice with the 50mm zoomed in and take photos, your going to have to zoom with your feet in&out.
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
nice, i use energizer rechargeable batteries, haven't let me down yet!

as far as what your doing, i as well got offered to do some shooting, but never actually done soo. it was for a DJ, and he just wanted like a little photoshoot of him and his turn tables at home or something, like one of those creative pictures. i told him i wasn't a professional, but he insisted, still talking with him about when or the price. but i say, get your skills down before the party comes around. learn how to use that external flash, as i can't give you any advice cause i've never used one. but like others said, practice with the 50mm zoomed in and take photos, your going to have to zoom with your feet in&out.
Thanks man!
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
0
Check out Eneloops, I took all of my other Ni-MH batteries off of camera duty after using them. They just work a lot better for me (really low self-discharge so they are always ready to go instead of always being dead). There are about the same price, but for me work much much better than typical Ni-MH cells.

This guy has an amazing detailed review.

http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/sanyo_eneloop.html

He also has a few other battery articles that are worth a read.

http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/using_nimh.html
http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/low_self_discharge.html
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
Check out Eneloops, I took all of my other Ni-MH batteries off of camera duty after using them. They just work a lot better for me (really low self-discharge so they are always ready to go instead of always being dead). There are about the same price, but for me work much much better than typical Ni-MH cells.

This guy has an amazing detailed review.

http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/sanyo_eneloop.html

He also has a few other battery articles that are worth a read.

http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/using_nimh.html
http://www.stefanv.com/electronics/low_self_discharge.html
Thanks man. Can I find these in a local store along with the charger for it?
 

Skuman

macrumors member
Jan 15, 2009
64
0
When you use the flash, be sure to either use a bounce card (rubber bands and index card, google it) or just point the flash face at the ceiling. That should work just fine.
What if the ceiling is coloured? Modern Photography magazine did a test about the best flash diffuser, the best one was sort of a bag like thing placed over the flash piece. Of course, it's not as efficient.
 

Ruahrc

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2009
1,344
0
You can find eneloop batteries in the stores, though not necessarily by name. Look for any NiMH battery that is labeled as "pre-charged" or "low self discharge" and those will be the same as eneloops.

Some of Duracell's line of pre-charged NiMHs are actually rebranded eneloops. You have to look for the ones that are white underneath the duracell labeling and are made in Japan. Those are Sanyo eneloop cells, labeled as Duracell. I've seen them in the stores a few times. They have the same batteries that are labeled as made in China, those are not eneloops but should work just as well.

Re: the whole charging vs. not charging thing, it's a sticky situation. Paid or not, I think it's best however to make sure everyone's expectations (including your own) are on the level before the event goes down. You're not going to produce $200/hr results, and that should be made clear to everyone. I'm talking about where it would probably be a successful shoot if you can produce one or two quality printable images from the event, not a whole album's worth. If they're expecting more, maybe they need to rethink how much they really value the photos and pay a professional to do it. On another hand, if they are okay with one image or even none fit for printing, then it's a nice gesture to show you that they recognize your time is valuable both to yourself and them.

Ruahrc
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
You can find eneloop batteries in the stores, though not necessarily by name. Look for any NiMH battery that is labeled as "pre-charged" or "low self discharge" and those will be the same as eneloops.

Some of Duracell's line of pre-charged NiMHs are actually rebranded eneloops. You have to look for the ones that are white underneath the duracell labeling and are made in Japan. Those are Sanyo eneloop cells, labeled as Duracell. I've seen them in the stores a few times. They have the same batteries that are labeled as made in China, those are not eneloops but should work just as well.

Re: the whole charging vs. not charging thing, it's a sticky situation. Paid or not, I think it's best however to make sure everyone's expectations (including your own) are on the level before the event goes down. You're not going to produce $200/hr results, and that should be made clear to everyone. I'm talking about where it would probably be a successful shoot if you can produce one or two quality printable images from the event, not a whole album's worth. If they're expecting more, maybe they need to rethink how much they really value the photos and pay a professional to do it. On another hand, if they are okay with one image or even none fit for printing, then it's a nice gesture to show you that they recognize your time is valuable both to yourself and them.

Ruahrc
Thanks I ordered the sanyo 4pack + charger from amazon.com for 18.00 and free shipping
 

jampat

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2008
682
0
50 1.8 is cheap ($100) and works surprisingly well. 50 1.4 focuses faster but costs more ($350). Personally I think 50mm is too long in a party situation (getting 3 people in a shot requires you to backup more than 10').

Sigma's 30 1.4 or Canon's 35 2.0 are a better fit for that situation. I think each one is ~$350.

Read some reviews, all of the lenses listed above have some very positive points and some negative points.
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
50 1.8 is cheap ($100) and works surprisingly well. 50 1.4 focuses faster but costs more ($350). Personally I think 50mm is too long in a party situation (getting 3 people in a shot requires you to backup more than 10').

Sigma's 30 1.4 or Canon's 35 2.0 are a better fit for that situation. I think each one is ~$350.

Read some reviews, all of the lenses listed above have some very positive points and some negative points.
I been looking for it, but can't find a site online that has it in stock :(
 

mtbdudex

macrumors 68000
Aug 28, 2007
1,776
131
SE Michigan
50 1.8 is cheap ($100) and works surprisingly well. 50 1.4 focuses faster but costs more ($350). Personally I think 50mm is too long in a party situation (getting 3 people in a shot requires you to backup more than 10').

Sigma's 30 1.4 or Canon's 35 2.0 are a better fit for that situation. I think each one is ~$350.

Read some reviews, all of the lenses listed above have some very positive points and some negative points.
+1 on 50mm on crop body not really good for indoor party situation. I have T1i and the Canon 50mm 1.4, decent and fast lens but when I'm shooting party/group indoors I have to move back/far to capture the image.
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
What if the ceiling is coloured? Modern Photography magazine did a test about the best flash diffuser, the best one was sort of a bag like thing placed over the flash piece. Of course, it's not as efficient.
If the ceiling is colored, you simply shoot a white balance shot, or shoot a shot with white in it and use it as a WB reference in post. You're using flash- you're going to have to WB anyway.
 

blockburner28

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 27, 2009
361
0
New Orleans
well the day is finally here. Things have changed. I'm using my new 7D instead of the t1i. Should I use (flash) white balance? i'm going with the 50mm 1.8 . I think the 28-135mm us usm might be to slow @ f 3.5 . What do yall think?