Beginner Fire Walking Event tonight! Advice needed

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19
Name
Joshua
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Yes
#1
Hi guys,

I'm shooting a charity fire walk event tonight and it's something I've never done before. I'm using a d600 and am thinking of trying multiple exposures. I was also tempting to play around with a rear curtain sync.

I've only ever done sports photography so this is gonna be a massive challenge for me. It's due to start at 7:30 just when the sun is setting. As far as I know the only light source is going to be the hot coals and a few bucket things set around the coals also on fire. I don't know how much time i'm going to have to experiment and the changing light conditions is probably going to be a nightmare. This is why i'm thinking of making the most of the nikons multiple exposure feature... again, never used that before either.

I don't have an external flash either. I have two lenses (24-70, 70-200) and a monopod.

All advice appreciated. Thanks!
 
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23,400
Name
Phil
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No
#2
You've lost!

Sorry, I'll try to explain properly, I did this once, I was set up with off camera flash, I practised as much as I could before hand, it was completely useless.

I'd hoped to get multiple shots of each walker, I ended up with enough choice of shots to offer the client for the press, but nowhere near what I'd hoped for (I had the option of selling images to the participants)

The whole thing is over in a moment (my flash recycle had no chance) there's unlikely to be anywhere near enough ambient to freeze a running human being.

I could do it again tomorrow and get perfect results (but now I have a very powerful battery flash)
 
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2,946
Name
Summer
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#3
I would say you'd need a flash if you want to get people's reactions (sorry) otherwise all you will get is fire and blackness...or if you set things up to expose the people you will get blown out fire. Even though it is only smouldering it is still very bright compared to the surroundings. I would say the people will be more interesting than the coals, but perhaps you could do a bit of both - get on the ground and get feet pictures and combine these with upright people pictures. Might find it difficult to get people to go through more than once :D so as Phil says, you will need to be quick :) have fun
 
OP
OP
J
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19
Name
Joshua
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#4
Oh no. As i thought, this is the nightmare I was fearing it would be! I told a photography lecturer about this event and he never recommended flash, I don't think we can rent any flash guns for this camera anyway at my Uni. I'm not a photography student it's just a small part of my degree you see.

Do you think its worth trying bracketing? Exposing for the faces will blow out the fire I know that but if I get different exposures I could photoshop them together?

I can crank the ISO to 6400 and get reasonably acceptable shots with the d600. It's all just gonna be on the web anyway, no print. I'll probably have to open the lens up and work with a very shallow DoF. Although I want to make sure all the person and hot coals are in focus so I guess i'm limited here too.

I really don't want to give back terrible pictures. Haha I guess it will be an achievement if I manage to pull something off! Thanks for the advice guys.
 
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2,946
Name
Summer
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#5
mmm it depends what you want to achieve I think. do you want motion blur? or do you want an unblurred figure? for no blur you need the shutter to be fast, and in the dusk/dark that isn't going to happen without the image being too dark.
 
OP
OP
J
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19
Name
Joshua
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Yes
#6
Preferably no motion blur tbh. A tiny bit on the feet/hands might be OK. Bah, I'm just gonna have to prey I can get something to work and make sure the client is happy, don't like not having hardly any time to experiment though.
 
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2,946
Name
Summer
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#7
the client? a paying client? ooer... hope it goes ok then.
 
OP
OP
J
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19
Name
Joshua
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Yes
#9
Oh no wasn't paying. Just helping out a friend. I'm still a student I just do some photography on the side.

It went kind of OK. Well let's just say it wasn't a complete disaster. I think I have enough nice photos to make them happy but not nearly enough as I wanted. The photos are just that though, nice. Nothing too amazing though. Was an interesting experience and I learnt loads so for that i'm happy. Fire is cool to shoot though!

The flash rarely got through the smoke and on a few photos got too many light spots to be at all usable.

lots of lightroom to do!
 
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OP
J
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19
Name
Joshua
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Yes
#10
Just got towards the end and the last 30 or so photos are JPEG and not RAW though! VERY annoying and I don't know why it did it. Anyone have any ideas? I definitely didn't flick through the menu at this stage. Is there a button to quickly change the quality on the d600, I guess there is but I don't recall a point I could have done this... bloody hell. luckily this was towards the end on the not so important pics
 
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