Shooting Gilley’s of Dallas Texas with the Nikon D5

Last night I took in Gilley’s of Dallas with a large group. At the end of the night, I was really pleased with my ability to shoot everything without a flash.

The reason is the Nikon D5 has such a wide range of ISO. ISO 100–104200 can also be pushed to 3 million ISO.

Gilley’s [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/250, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 14)]

Since there was a lot of line dancing, I wanted to crank the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/250. The stage lighting was lighting the people in front, and then the rest of the place was incredibly dark in comparison. However, the dynamic range of the Nikon D5 did a great job. I could pull out all the shadows in Adobe Lightroom from the RAW images.

Gilley’s [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 102400, 1/640, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 35)]

Now when the people jumped up on the mechanical bull, I needed to capture this without everyone being blurred. No problem. I set the camera to my Sports Settings.

These are the settings that I use on my Nikon D5 for shooting most all sports action. Nikon has made it pleasant to allow photographers to save these settings, so they do not have to remember every little setting they like to use for a style of shooting.

If you go to Menu and under the camera, the icon picks the first item, “Shooting menu bank.” I have chosen B, which is my sports menu.

If you toggle into the “Shooting menu bank,” you can rename those settings. Once you choose one of these settings, everything you do to change the menu will be saved in that menu bank. I recommend trying all my settings and then tweaking them to your preferences.

When shooting sports, it is prevalent for the lighting conditions to change instantly. While the football player runs toward you, they may go from shade into direct sunlight. For this reason, I let the camera do some of my thinking.

Go to the camera icon and look for “ISO sensitivity settings.” Select this, and you will then see this menu:

I turn on the “Auto ISO sensitivity control.” Then I set the minimum shutter speed to 1/4000. You could pick something else. I used to shoot at 1/2000. The ISO setting is what you see in the smaller window below the menu. I set this to ISO 100 and the “Maximum sensitivity” to ISO 102400.

While I am in Aperture Mode shooting, the camera will always pick 1/4000 shutter speed. If in sunlight I am at ƒ/4, the shutter speed may go as high as 1/8000 at ISO 100, but as the scene changes and the athlete is now in the shade, the camera will automatically drop to 1/4000 @ ƒ/4, and then change also the ISO up until I can still shoot at 1/4000.

The only time the shutter speed will dip below 1/4000 is if the ISO peaks out at 102400.  If my aperture is wide open, the camera is doing everything I would have done manually, but faster than I could ever adjust the camera. That is how you get more shots than the guy next to you.

Gilley’s [NIKON D5, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 4500, 1/100, ƒ/1.4, (35mm = 35)]

Here I am letting BOKEH create the mood for the nightclub. Shooting at ƒ/1.4, let that background go to a silky smooth out of focus while directing your attention to the man in the foreground.

I love the Nikon D5 because it lets me capture anything I can see with my naked eye.