Cindrellas castle portrait picture Help

Discussion in 'Photography Board' started by kickingk, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. kickingk

    kickingk Earning My Ears

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    Hi all, Soon we will be going to Disneyworld, we have a dinner booked at the cindrellas castle. I want to make sure I get the picture correct, I have the following equipment that I am taking for the whole trip:

    Nikon D5100
    Nikon 17-55 2.8
    Nikon 35 1.8 (Not taking this, leaving this at home)
    Sigma 70-200 2.8 (This I will be only taking to the animal kingdom Park)
    A TTL Flash

    I was thinking what would be the ideal setting for the picture with the cinderellas in the castle using the nikon 17-55?

    Flash/no flash?
    Aperture setting F4?

    If anyone has taken a picture, what did you go for?

    I suppose soon as we sit down, I can take some test pictures to make sure the exposure is correct.

    Any other advice would be great, for the settings.

    Thanks
     
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  3. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    I'd actually use the 35/1.8 to get the picture without a flash.

    Now, are you talking about the picture with Cinderella in the lobby, or character pictures at the dinner?
    The dining room is quite cavernous, which I find makes using a flash difficult.
    So if possible, I'd skip the flash---- but that will require a very fast lens, the 1.8.

    Alternatively, yes...the 17-55. If using the flash, I'd adjust the aperture on the fly to get the DOF you want.
     
  4. YesDear

    YesDear <font color=red>Admired by the Tag Fairy for such

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    A tripod would solve the fstop issue and the night issue. The bridge at the corner of Liberty Square a good place.
     
  5. kickingk

    kickingk Earning My Ears

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    Hi, I was talking about the picture with Cinderella in the lobby and character pictures at the dinner?, I was hoping at 2.8 without the flash might get away with it.

    Thanks
     
  6. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    The lighting in that lobby is TERRIBLE. You don't stand a chance at 2.8 without a flash.

    Pull out all the stops. Bump up your ISO. Use your flash, although I would dial down the exposure compensation a bit. More than anything, I would highly recommend shooting in RAW format so you can work with the photo at home. This has really been consistently one of the most challenging photo meeting locations I have encountered at Disney.

    [​IMG]
    IMG_6852 by mom2rtk, on Flickr

    I took this at f/4.5, 1/60 ISO 1600 and used LR3 for noise reduction.

    It's sort of hard to take any test shots without taking photos of other people's kids. Which can be sort of awkward. This photo is in the lobby on your way in, not up in the restaurant. You might be able to fire off a test shot between guests with Cindy, but it's usually pretty congested in there.
     
  7. Shazzasmd

    Shazzasmd Mouseketeer

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    Agree, this is a very dark spot (although meeting the Beast in his study at BOG may be as difficult).

    I wished I had flash with me, but was able to get shots using High ISO at f/2.8:

    [​IMG]


    (Canon 5D MIII, 16-35mm f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 19mm)


    We had breakfast at the Castle, so there was plenty of light for the princess photos.
     
  8. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    If only we could all travel with a 5D MIII with usable ISO of 6400! ;)
     
  9. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    In challenging lighting, there is a big difference between 1.8 and 2.8.

    So to get the best possible exposure, I'd try 1.8 without the flash.... And then to be safe, maybe take a second shot with the flash and an aperture around 5.6, just to make sure you get the shot with adequate depth of field.
     
  10. Shazzasmd

    Shazzasmd Mouseketeer

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    ;) I hope my post didn't come off the wrong way. While it worked, I would have been better off with a wider aperture or flash.
     
  11. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    Any time you can cover both bases (with and without flash) it's a good thing to do. I personally just would not be comfortable adjusting camera settings between shots. I feel too stressed in those moments to just capture all of the interaction and get done before they pull me away with a hook. But then, I'm typically more interested in the interaction shots than the staged shots, the ones of Cinderella giving the girls a twirl, the ones where they compare glass slippers. If I look down to adjust the camera, I'd likely miss those.

    And depending on the sort of shot the OP wants, even 35mm is likely to be too tight. They squeeze the people into that lobby pretty tightly, so there's not much room to back up. A close up or half body shot will likely work. But if they want a full body shot, that 35mm length is likely to be a little limiting.

    Nope. Don't mind me. Just drooling over the camera. :)
     
  12. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    x2 for a tripod....helps so much.
     
  13. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    In the lobby, they do give some space for the photography, I think you're ok with 35mm. In the dining room, I agree that the 35mm *could* get tight...

    But the advantage of the 1.8 can't be overstated -- especially to be able to quickly capture that magical un-posed moment. If you need to rely on the flash, then you need to wait for the flash to charge and re-charge. And to capture those magical moments, you want the fastest possible shutter speed, where 1.8 will give a big advantage over 2.8. (As people aren't standing still for a slow shutter speed at those moments).

    To the extent you can crank up ISO, it helps of course... but for most of us without fullframe cameras... better to keep that ISO to 1600 or lower, if at all possible. I'll crank up to 3200, but really hate to go higher (outside of dark rides).
     
  14. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    That is all very reasonable. I just have a bias toward using a flash for character shots because I like to see more light on the faces (and a reflection in the eyes) than a non-flash shot in a dark setting like that allows. As I said though, that's my preference.

    And if you're waiting for your flash to recycle, you're using the wrong flash or the wrong batteries. I probably fired off 15 shots in quick succession and my flash fired each time. But that is one of the primary reasons I prefer an external flash to the on board one (in addition to the added flexibility and better quality of light).

    As for space to work, maybe that varies by time of day you are there. Every time I've been there the line of people was packed full right up to where the photopass person was, so sort of tricky to back up very far. Not impossible, but tricky.
     
  15. havoc315

    havoc315 DIS Veteran

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    Yup.... totally a preference, with pros and cons of each. But for me --- With a flash, if I'm in the picture, it's almost impossible for me to keep my eyes open, and my kids are almost as bad as me. So using the flash gives me the disadvantage of lots of squinting closed eyes, lol.

    And of course, it's easier to more naturally capture the background without a flash. (Though an external flash works just fine if you know how to use it ---- but I'm not an expert on flash photography other than being able to bounce it off a ceiling).
     
  16. mom2rtk

    mom2rtk My, what red cheeks you have, Santa!

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    My sister is like that. Very hard to get a photo of her without her eyes caught mid-blink. A big pain for photo taking. We always need to at least double the number of shots we take of her just to find one that works.
     
  17. Pixel Dust

    Pixel Dust It's a trap!

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    Agreed. It has to be one of the worst lighting conditions for a character meet. The place is dark, cavernous and non white walls, so you can't bounce the flash, direct only. When I do use flash I already have the flash exposure compensation about a -1. Then bump the ISO up a bit. Those two things make sure the subject isn't too bright and the shadows aren't too black. And definitely shoot in RAW format.

    Now for the actual dining area. As long as the windows are behind you, no flash and wide aperture is fine. But those stained glass window are awesome. Don't you want them in the picture too? Without blowing them out?

    [​IMG]

    That is me in the photo, but I had set up the camera in manual mode before I handed it off. You will need flash for this, since it is a severely back-lit scene. The flash is TTL, though -1 exposure compensation. The goal is to expose for the windows by having the ISO as low as possible and shutter speed as fast as possible (dependent on how bright it is outside). In this case it was very bright so I did ISO 100 and shutter speed 1/200. (You can't go faster than 1/200 on the D5100 with flash) The flash then should properly expose the foreground.

    Also, don't leave the 35mm 1.8 at home. It's great for dark rides (no flash, of course)
     

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