Could use some suggestions...

Started Aug 1, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Could use some suggestions...
Aug 1, 2011

I have been pressed into service on short notice to shoot an awards ceremony. Here's a sketch of the venue:

It's a "theater style" auditorium that seats about 800 people or so. The presentation of awards will take place on the bottom flat area, my only shooting position will be in the middle stairs about 2-3 rows up and about chest height to the awards. So the shooting position isn't too bad. My sketch is of course a bit exaggerated, the stairs aren't QUITE that steep. The distance from my shooting spot to the awards will be appx 15-20', and may have up to 8-10 people involved.

My problem will be lighting. The auditorium will be lit not much better than a regular movie theater, maybe a little better but not much. There will be some straight overhead canister lights about 30' up but no spots or directional lighting, so I expect some shadows from the ambient light at best. Any suggestions on lighting would be appreciated, due to the short notice, I will only have an hour or so to set up and do any testing so any intelligent guesses ahead of time would really help.

Nikon D300 and/or D3100
12-24/4, 18-105/3.5-5.6, 50-150/2.8

Available Lighting:
on camera: SB-700, SB-900
strobes: AB1600, 800, 800, 400, 400 (no grids or acc. - just std reflectors))
strobist: 3 midlevel hotshoe flashes
remotes: six youngnuo RF-602s

My initial thoughts were to put a B1600 way up high on the top platform near the middle (slightly camera left, position C) and a B800 on the bottom level (far camera right, position B) and shoot from position A. I'd probably use the D3100 since it has better iso performance than my D300 and use the 12-24/4 zoom, and maybe auto float my ISO to 800 or maybe 1600 in a pinch.

I can either use an on camera flash (SB-900 or SB-700) and try to slave the strobes or use no on-camera flash and radio trigger them. If I need more strobes I can add them but only on the top area platform, maybe the exact opposite of B location on the bottom but that would be slightly behind the awards presentation. Size of the room pretty much precludes bounce and the ceiling/walls are dark anyway.

Again, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I'm used to lighting gyms and much smaller venues, not dark theaters on multiple levels.


 insulglass's gear list:insulglass's gear list
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +1 more
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