Theater Performance Lighting

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
flatpicknut Contributing Member • Posts: 690
Re: Theater Performance Lighting

Myer wrote:

Then I remembered that my daughter also has the same Canon 550EX flash which I borrowed to try.

I set both flash units to Manual Mode and High Speed Synch. I set the flash on my camera to Master and the one sitting on a table several feet from me to Slave and 1/2 power. The main reason I did this was to get the benefits of using an additional flash but I wanted to reduce the number of times I would have to change batteries. I set the bounce to a slightly forward angle of both flash units.

I used a shutter speed of 1/320 sec. When I took a picture both flash units fired.

Does anybody have any experience doing this type of thing, any comments on what I'm trying to do or any comments on what else I might try that would work better.



Really, if you can get two flashes to give you the pics you want, then good for you. Different theatres might require different solutions . You just to have to experiment and be flexible. If you're determined to use flash, then something like the Godox AD360II-C might be worth considering. About $499, significantly stronger than two 550EX's, and can be shot (although a bit awkwardly) from your hot shoe. (A camera flash frame to hold the Godox might be a better solution, if nothing else to reduce the chance of damaging your camera with the relatively heavy light.)

I've been shooting high school theatre for about ten years for my local high school as well as for the Kansas City Cappies organization (has an annual awards show and a summer musical, involving about 13 or 14 area high schools). I never shoot with flash during performances, but I do occasionally resort to a flash for extra-dark scenes (typically bounced flash - yes, the ceilings are very high, but it still works with my 600EX-RT to give a helpful bit of extra light) - the lighting designers are thinking "MOOD," lol, not about what the photographer might need. Even when I use the flash, I also take pics without flash, just to give myself a choice for each scene.

I shoot with a full frame bodies (5DIV and a 5DIII) with 70-200 f/2.8 IS and 24-70 f/2.8 II lenses. I do shoot at higher shutters than you do. I typically have the 24-70 on 1/400 and the 70-200 at 1/400 to 1/640. ISO typically ranges from about 1/1600 to 1/12,800.

If I were starting out and had limited funds, I'd probably buy something like the Tamron 85mm f/1.8 and 35mm f/1.8. Relatively cheap, but lot of good light gathering capability and would let you shoot at better ISSO/shutter combinations, and reduce your need for flash.

Good luck!

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Doug Brock

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