I shoot dance recitals and school plays, with an XL1 and a GL1.
They usually light these events with everything they have hanging on the rack, and control of the lights is virtually never under my supervision. As you can imagine, a single ballerina in a pink and white tutu on a large stage with a black curtain behind, shows up on a wide shot like an animated light bulb.
I feel like a real rookie asking this, but I'd really appreciate some fundamental advice on how others adjust the settings on their XL and GL cameras, when shooting in this situation. If I had a theater at my disposal, I'd set up my gear, fire up the lights, and test different settings over and over until I figured out what I needed to do. But stage time is too expensive for that.
Has anyone shot such scenes using the preset Spotlight program, and how has that worked out? And if shooting in full manual is my best option, how should I systematically adjust my settings so I don't have blown out pixels on a wide shot, and overly dark colors when I zoom in closer?
When you shoot dance recitals and such in Spotlight mode, what do you do about focus? Autofocus is too unsteady, and trying to keep focused manually is murder. Any suggestions on that?
BTW: your other suggestion about using Spotlight mode was the ticket for dance recitals. The exposure was excellent. So if I can just get this focus issue straight, things will be pretty great!
Thanks for any advice.