The horror.. the horror…

…of walking into a venue where you have to shoot, only to discover that the ceiling is about 1,000 ft high and the walls are black, and there is zero light.

1600 ISO, 1/30th second, f/1.4

My strategy?

In this order, I:

  1. Reduce Shutter to what I am comfortable with.
  2. Open Aperture to what I am comfortable with.
  3. Increase ISO as much as needed.

That is how I got to those values above. Using, of course, my prime 35mm f/1.4 lens. I reduced the shutter to 1/30th, which is as low as I want to go with a 35mm lens if I can help it. Then I went to f/1.4: wide open (focus carefully!). Then I raised ISO until I got light into the background. Phew!

Learning opportunity! Stay tuned for an exciting new “Events Photography” course – details soon. And there are also still spots on “The Art of Nude Photography”, Sunday January 16, 2011 (See yesterday’s post).

2 thoughts on “The horror.. the horror…

  1. One thing I do in a case like this is to shoot with the flash on rear curtain mode. That lets in more ambient light from the bar so the background is lit up more. I also use a white foamie reflector – about 8″ by 8 ” – strapped to the back of my upright SB 800 flash.

    • Hi Don, thanks for your input.

      Reflectors: yes, a subject for a post soon. I use Honl reflectors (and other types when needed).

      Rear Curtain does not do that actually, it just changes the timing of the flash (at the end vs at the start). What you do need to do is lengthen the time the shutter is open (e.g. 1/30th and not 1/60th). Read curtain does not do that, but manual mode and “you set the time” does. Or on a Nikon, any mode with “slow flash: enabled.

      I’ll blog about this soon – great idea.

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