Theater Performance Lighting

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Myer Senior Member • Posts: 2,886
Re: A Sampling of What I've Done

Michael Fryd wrote:

Myer wrote:

...

Michael,

I think I'll use high speed sync at 1/320 to freeze the action. For $50 I'll pick up an external battery pack for my flash to shorten the recycle time and lengthen the time between battery changes.

Keep in mind that the external flash gives you faster recycle, however there's a limit to how many pops you can take in a short period of time. Too many flashes too quickly and the flash can overheat. Newer models notice this, warn you, and reduce the recycle time. I seem to recall that some older flashes would just overheat and damage themselves. The higher the power out, the fewer shots you can take before it overheats.

If you just taking a few bursts here and there, then this may not be an issue for you.

Since I'm using both flash units for ceiling bounce I don't have to be super careful about placement. What I have to be careful about is that the slave sensor can see the master flash and fire.

I may set the slave at 1/2 power to shorten the flash recycle and lengthen the time between battery changes. I'll do some testing at the beginning to see what ISO I need and whether I can reduce the slave power somewhat.

Thanks for your help.

Keep in mind that there are motion stopping issues when you exceed the max sync speed.

Suppose there was a lot of light, and you had your shutter speed at 1/8000. That doesn't really freeze a dancer. Once you exceed the sync speed, you have a moving slit across the frame. It takes time (about the sync speed) for the slit to pass from one end of the frame to the other. At 1/8000 of a second, no part of the sensor is exposed for more than 1/8000, but not all parts are exposed at the same 1/8000.

If a dancer is flying across the frame, there may be a 1/250 difference between when the top and bottom of the frame is exposed. This can cause the dance to appear a little skewed. In video, this is called a "rolling shutter".

If your dancers are not moving quickly, it may not be an issue for you. But if your dancers aren't moving quickly, you may not need to exceed the max sync speed.

More than likely, this won't be an issue for you. However, if your dancers look skewed, slanted, etc., then this might be the cause. If that's the case, slow the shutter down to get out of high speed sync, and rely on the flash to stop the motion.

It turns out the flash is better at stopping motion at less than full power. As you reduce the power of your hot shoe flash, it has a shorter flash duration, with a power curve that's better suited to stopping motion.

Again, good luck. I suspect everything will work out fine for you. I'm just letting you know of some issues in case you run into them.

I'll do some testing before I start.

My guess is that I'll most likely use 1/320 sec. If the setup looks slightly over exposed I'll either reduce the ISO a bit or speed up the shutter speed.

Thanks again.

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