Theatrical Lights

Shooting under theatrical lights is a painful experience. At least it has been for me in the past. The ‘hot’, harsh lighting throws off both white balance and exposure. Post-processing was mandatory in the sense that images were not presentable without it. And even after post many images still showed the damaging effects of the lighting.

Canon 5D w/35mm f/2.0, ISO 1000 1/30sec, September 2010

Enter Fujifilm X100 (stage left) – theatrical lighting conditions – extraordinary performance!

X100, 23mm (35mm equivalent) ISO 3200, f/8.0 1/17sec, June 2011

Shot mostly with Spot Metering, Auto ISO (200-3200), Aperture Priority, RAW and amazed with out-of-camera exposures! Very little post-processing necessary and higher rate of keepers.

See more here:

There may have been two things working in my favor in this shoot with the X100 compared to September with the 5D; (1) Auto ISO, not a feature of the Canon 5D and (2) lighting technician may have been more professional and helped me out without my knowing it.

Continuous Drive Mode on X100 is pretty bad. A full buffer of 8 RAW images can take over 30 seconds to empty itself out to memory card. 30 seconds in which camera is lifeless except blinking ‘write to card’ indicator. There is a quick escape route – you can press the DISP/BACK button to disable writing the files to memory card but then you loose some images.

X100 small camera size and stealth mode (silent shutter release, no flash assist lamp) were very useful shooting the ‘special needs’ actors without diverting their attention from their acting.

Canon 5D will remain in closet for another week…


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Filed under documentary, image, israel, Jerusalem, photo, photographer, photography, photojournalism, photos

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