[Ansteorra] Why aren't we doing this?

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Tue Nov 2 12:31:09 PDT 2010

Very good analysis. As a photographer of things SCA I have tried just about
everything to get unobtrusive pictures. Good pictures require a lot of
light. Some of the newer semi-pro cameras have really high ISO ("film
speed"), but they are really expensive ($5,000-8,000 for the body plus
lenses) and you will get noise in the pictures at the really high end ISO.
Those larger lenses with higher apertures are generally expensive also. My
main lens costs $900 and I know people in the SCA with $5,000 lenses. 

I once shot a whole evening of court without a flash at the request of the
Crown. I used a Vibration Reduction (VR) lens that was pretty fast and an
ISO of 3200. I got maybe 1% usable pictures. They looked OK on my 2"
display, but when viewed in as pictures later, they were all blurry. I had
thought the VR lens would help and it did reduce the blur from camera shake,
but the blur from moving people was still there. A tripod has the same

If you want modern, quality pictures of you or your friends when they get
awards or other recognition in dark courts, then you will have to put up
with modern flashes.

In service,
Caelin on Andrede 

> I can address some of the video/photographic aspect of this.  While
> video is lovely to have, the pictures you can pull from a video are
> usually of abysmal quaility and not something to hang on the wall.
> Normal jpegs are usually 300 dpi, and video frames are 72 dpi (this is
> standard video.  I don't have the conversion rates for HD).  72 dpi is
> acceptable for a picture about an inch square.
> Also, what is considered reasonably well lit for general viewing is
> usually not going to work for photography.  Generally, the further
> away from the action you are, the more light you need.  If you're
> shooting from any distance in a darker court, you're going to end up
> with blurry or grainy photographs.  Using a tripod can help with shake
> issues and reduce blur on the photographers end, but unless your
> subjects are wiling to stand perfectly still for you, your shots are
> going to blur. It's highly frustrating because onboard flashes on P&S
> cameras aren't usually strong enough and hotshoe flashes are annoying
> to bystanders.
> If you want to get good shots in lower light, you need to be up in the
> middle of the action, and that's not usually possible in court.
> (Well, it is, but it's not usually considered acceptable.)
> You can compensate with a higher "film" speed, but after a long
> exposure or a few croppings, you end up with a ton of digital trash in
> your photographs.  (By digital trash, I mean those green and purple
> pixels you see when you blow up dark pictures.)
> Faster lenses with bigger apertures are helpful, though.
> However, here are some links to tutorials to help out any aspiring
> photographers:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1FpG4t1lro
> http://photocritic.org/low-light-photography/
> I hope those help!  I know I'm going to be taking notes from that second
> In service to Country and Crown,
> Helene Dalassene
> Stronghold of Hellsgate
> --
> "Whatever their fond sentiments for men and women in uniform, for most
> Americans the war remains an abstraction - a distant and unpleasant
> series of news items that do not affect them personally."- Robert
> Gates, Secretary of Defense.
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