A shoot Saturday. A club, with no good ceiling or wall to bounce from. And no light to focus. And an audience that did not stand still for a moment, meaning focus was even more difficult. Those were the three main problems.
Wow, eh. 325 photos like that.
So what’s the secret?
Boiled down to a few bullets, it is:
- Expose for a “–2 stops” background, as you know from my Flash courses.
- Feel free to use high, or very high, ISO values. Use noise reduction in post-processing (e.g. in Lightroom).
- Use prime lenses, or at least have them available.
- Shoot a lot: as much as twice as much as you need.
- Be within about two stops of perfect, and shoot RAW.
- Take any portraits at least twice, in case focus is off, etc.
- Look for “moments“, not just steady “grip and grin” images.
- (Hence): do not be afraid to throw out half your pictures.
- Be willing to do post work on many pictures.
In Saturday’s shoot I had over 700 pictures, and that boiled down to about 600 usable ones, of which I used 325 (Why? Well, if you have five pictures of a specific moment, you may want to use just one).
I shot the majority of my images at 6400 ISO, 1/25 sec, f/2, using a 35mm f/1,4 lens). And even then I had to push many of the images.
But with a modern camera, it is doable, and even an impossible venue like Saturday’s can lead to a great shoot.