>Hi all -- I'm new to flash photography, but not to >photography itself. Have a D80, just got a D7000 which will >be arriving shortly, along with an SB-700. I've been asked to >shoot photos of a therapy dog group, about 20 people and their >dogs. It will be at a dog school in a big gymnasium-kind of >room, high ceiling, big windows on 2 sides of the room. Even >with ambient light, though, it seems a little on the dark >side. I've shot before in that room without flash, and I feel >like I don't have a good grip on the white balance in that >room. > >Since dogs are involved, and obviously won't remain completely >still for a shot at shutter speed of 1/80, I imagine I should >shoot at least at 1/125. I've actually never photographed >such large group, but I'm thinking at least f/8 or f/11 since >there will be 2 rows of people/dogs. > >What do you guys recommend for camera settings and for flash? >This is going to be a total learning experience and I'm very >excited about it, but at the same time want to do a decent job >since everyone is counting on me. I'm been reading through >previous posts to trying and determine the best shooting >parameters for this situation. > >THANKS A BUNCH!!
Another important thing to know about photographing dogs (any animals, actually) is that they are 'fast blinkers' this means they can blink faster than the time between your preflash and the main flash. Then, you get dogs with their eyes closed.
The way to solve this is with FV Lock. You aim at the dog and push FV Lock, and it fires the preflash, measures the flash power that is needed, stops and waits for the push of the shutter to fire the main flash. Be sure to practice with this technique before trying to use it. Also, remember that the flash value is locked in to the camera until 1) it times out or 2) you push FV Lock again which unlocks it. You have to redo FV Lock every time you change distance to your subject.
As far as movement goes, the flash will stop the movement of the dogs if you make sure to set the camera to underexpose the ambient by about three stops.