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Thread: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

  1. #1

    Default urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    hi guys a very good friend of my saw my recent pictures and wanted me to help out as a second photographer at his event this fri night.

    firstly i only have the pentax k-r and the kit lens. secondly i do not have any experience at shooting events at all.

    i understand that i will need a flash. any advice on which one to get? metz 58af? basically he wants me to go trigger happy so i need a flash with fast recycle time??? also what diffuser should i get to ensure that the people that i taking will look nice? (environment is out in the open, no ceiling to bounce off the light). i owe him big time so cant refuse this "job"

    lastly what are the settings that i should use? like 24mm, iso400, f4.5 and what kind of shutter speed/metering system to shoot all the time? basically i just need to expose for their faces and the background, so cannot be those kind that see face but background black. i went to see the place today, it's lighted up by a lot of tungsten lighting(will this affect the white balance when i flash?)

    if i'm not clear in any part of my questions please let me know i will try to explain further.

    really appreciate any help given. very sudden cause at first he just want simple stuff now want this want that

    sorry for so many questions at 1 go, damn stress now.

  2. #2
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    first thing first, if you really think you own him a big time than you should be very honest to him, let him know that you are not confident to take up this assignment, and it is his responsibility and choice to accept whatever outcome if he insist you to shoot.

    yes, you need a hotshoe flash and lots of fresh batteries, shoot with high ISO so your flash can recycle fast enough, however you need to pace yourself, slow down if you flash is heat up, feel it with your hand, else you may blow your flash tube in the mist of the shoot, this is a reason I don't recommend using external battery pack, unless you have back up flash.

    in the open air, you can forge about diffuser, just shoot with direct flash, the reason is if you use diffuser you lost flash power, you won't get much soften effect unless you get very close. But when you get very close, front subjects overexposed and back subject underexposed. So just keep a normal distance with all your subject if you want the exposure to be more evenly.

    if the background is dimly lite, you can forget to ask people hold their pose, shoot with ISO1600 or above. never never underexposed your images when you shoot with high ISO.

    it need many tries or many years experience get decent results, I don't expect you to remember all these during a shoot, so just try your best and have fun.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

  3. #3

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    i have no exp yet as i just get first flash week ago...

    no advise i can give... just provide some cheaper flash option you may found it useful
    i got a sigma 610 dg st recently... it is cheap but should be good enough for event...
    only about $250 brand new...
    but do not have extra function like the super version or like the metz...
    only have 3 mode: P-ttl, Manual full power and Manual 1/16 power
    and a test button....thats all...
    Last edited by Moonlightsg; 14th April 2011 at 12:19 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    thanks catchlights for the advice, some ppl seem to think that if you know one genre of photography means you must know all. ya already told him and he will accept whatever results i produce.

    thanks moonlightsg, will go and check out the different flash later, any good shop to recommend which can test before buying?

    not sure how to use in manual power. p-ttl means the flash is like auto mode? where you buy the flash from? thanks!

    going to rely a lot on auto mode for flash and prayers on that day i guess.

  5. #5

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    hope you dun mind i give my 2 cent worth. **do note they might not be right, but it's wad i experience.

    me myself also very beginner, but i took up 2 event assignment with my kx too. i did inform them beforehand dun use me as the main as i'm still learning.
    they agree and hence the stress is lifted off me.

    for my first night event, i encounted some mistake which could be retified with some experience.

    WB: i always shoot using manual WB: but at the event, this is a big mistake. coz whereever i walk, the lighting seems to be different. and hence alot of my photo the white balance is off.
    I suggest you use auto WB OR shoot in raw.
    in an event, it's important u get white balance right, coz a moment will not repeat itself for you.

    lenght: 18-55 should be enough for the event. if the event got a play or talk, then you might need a longer lens ex: 55-200

    iso: since it's a night event, no choice but to bump up your iso. do remember for night outdoor event, i feel it's good to have a warm feeling to your photo instead of white bright feeling.
    Just look up the HDB flat and compare those warm light vs bright light. you will understand.

    i'm not sure about flash, but i think the build in flash might be enough.




    cheers and happy shooting.
    Last edited by one952; 14th April 2011 at 01:01 PM.

  6. #6
    Member xxrenxx's Avatar
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    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    WB issue can be easily correct if shoot in RAW. Since it's lighted up by a lot of tungsten lighting, you can set your WB under tungsten lighting and correct those photo with wrong WB in PP.

    You can walk around funan for flash. If you scare that direct flash might be too harsh, make a simple bounce card to bounce off the light.
    Nikon D7000 ~ my louya Flickr >.<

  7. #7
    Member xxrenxx's Avatar
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    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Sry for double post..... Forum is quite laggy now...
    Last edited by xxrenxx; 14th April 2011 at 01:12 PM.
    Nikon D7000 ~ my louya Flickr >.<

  8. #8

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Hi TS,

    i think all newbie will go through this, the first shoot. I am not a pro event shooter, but i want to share with you some of my experience when i do Pro Bono events shoot for my company's events.

    use a auto pttl flash set your flash on pttl auto.
    u can start with AV mode first. but please note most camera system when u mount a flash for AV mode, it will limit your shutter to about 1/20, 1/30.
    At those speed cannot take fast action shots n you have to hold your camera firmly. but it is generally good for groups shots or when u roam around looking for anything interesting.
    use the correct aperture for the correct situation. group photo at f8. small group photo (two three person,if they stand side by side) f5.6.
    set iso 800 (higher iso give faster flash recharge)
    if you feel you cant capture the fast action. then you need to shoot 1/100, 1/150 or faster depend on your nature of shoot. for sport you may need to machine gun and need minimum 1/400 1/500 or even faster.
    if you use direct flash try to flash ev -1 so as to reduce the direct flash harshness or you can try bouncing off lowceiling or side walls.

    but then again who knows your freind ask u to be the assistant, maybe your job on thats day is to help him carry equipment....either way. just enjoy yourself.
    ....

  9. #9

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    ok thanks guys. appreciate the advice a lot! thanks for sharing all your experiences.

    hopefully all goes well tmr.

  10. #10
    Member xxrenxx's Avatar
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    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Goodluck!! And pray hard it does not rain.. Its raining like ........... now.....
    Nikon D7000 ~ my louya Flickr >.<

  11. #11

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    You should also spend some time looking through photographers' portfolios on event shots to get a concept of what type of shots you want to get during the event.

    Research is very important.

  12. #12

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    You can try using a higher iso even when using a flash, so that you can get 1) a higher shutter speed and 2) a balance between the flash light and the background light.

    In a dim ballroom for example you can set up to 1600 iso (or even higher), and you will have sufficient shutter speed to capture the nice ceiling and background while still having enough shutter speed for normal portraits.

    Its also good to set a fixed iso instead of leaving it on auto. Leave the camera to either Av or P mode, and adjust the iso and flash compensation until you get a satisfactorily result.

    It takes a while to get used to the quirks of the Pentax Flash system, don't be afraid to take this chance to experiment and familiarize yourself.

  13. #13

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by hellfire88 View Post
    hi guys a very good friend of my saw my recent pictures and wanted me to help out as a second photographer at his event this fri night.

    firstly i only have the pentax k-r and the kit lens. secondly i do not have any experience at shooting events at all.

    i understand that i will need a flash. any advice on which one to get? metz 58af? basically he wants me to go trigger happy so i need a flash with fast recycle time??? also what diffuser should i get to ensure that the people that i taking will look nice? (environment is out in the open, no ceiling to bounce off the light). i owe him big time so cant refuse this "job"

    lastly what are the settings that i should use? like 24mm, iso400, f4.5 and what kind of shutter speed/metering system to shoot all the time? basically i just need to expose for their faces and the background, so cannot be those kind that see face but background black. i went to see the place today, it's lighted up by a lot of tungsten lighting(will this affect the white balance when i flash?)

    if i'm not clear in any part of my questions please let me know i will try to explain further.

    really appreciate any help given. very sudden cause at first he just want simple stuff now want this want that

    sorry for so many questions at 1 go, damn stress now.

    1) Shoot in RAW for any pay job
    2) What the duration of the event, as need to stock up your batteries
    3) Go early on actually day to see the condition and any changes the surrounding
    4) Talk to the your friend what he expect of you and what type of photos you will be shooting?
    5) Bring tripod just in case you need it
    and lastly dress properly for the occasion. I saw official photographer wearing singlet, jean and slipper for wedding dinner.

    and have fun shooting.

  14. #14

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    read your manuals well so you know what and when to change mode/setup in the shortest time possible. the guests wont know you are a newbie so as long as they see a guy with a camera they will assume you are a pro so better to act like one. if you are nervous joke with them and remember to show them the shots if possible and after that shake hands and say thank you as a courtesy.

  15. #15

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    one important thing is to ask him, what will these photos be use for? magazine? advertisement? personal collection? post on website? different usage will require you to shoot in a different style.

  16. #16

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    thanks again, juz came back from getting a metz50 af1. trying it out now and doing test runs to get used to using a flash. i realised got flash on top makes the setup so heavy! the weight a bit unbalance now, need to get used to this also.

    noted i will shoot raw and will be getting more details about the shots my friend wants. thanks guys great help so far. fingers crossed.

  17. #17

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by hellfire88 View Post
    thanks catchlights for the advice, some ppl seem to think that if you know one genre of photography means you must know all. ya already told him and he will accept whatever results i produce.

    thanks moonlightsg, will go and check out the different flash later, any good shop to recommend which can test before buying?

    not sure how to use in manual power. p-ttl means the flash is like auto mode? where you buy the flash from? thanks!

    going to rely a lot on auto mode for flash and prayers on that day i guess.
    this flash SLR-Rev have... but i buy 2nd hand one...
    Pttl is mean the flash auto set its power output base on the camera reading "through the Lens" so you can set Flash light EV at the camera...
    i think it can counted as auto mode...
    i think this is the cheapest flash with auto mode i can find at local market... online i am not sure...

    *edit: Wah looks like you act really fast... buy already... how much? where?
    Last edited by Moonlightsg; 14th April 2011 at 10:57 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    night flash portraiture is not easy, be sure to grab a friend to help you to practice 1st since the lighting condition at night will have a very different mood which photographers should capture and make use of. Try also experimenting with big aperture without flash. Loan a bigger aperture lens and play around with focal lengths if you can. You will be surprise the results will be very different from day time. Use monopods, lamp post, anything that can stabilize you when shooting at night. As for tungsten lighting, you probably can play along with the warmer tone to get a more romantic, mysterious theme. I use a lot of candle light or torches to illuminate my subjects at night as oppose to cold, blue flashes that may spoil the theme you are getting. It gives a very warm and soothing feel.

    I think as the 2nd photographer, you should be less stressful and free to capture anything more candid and natural. Be sure to take advantage of this situation as the bulk of the "politically correct" photos to be taken are not on your shoulders. Try running around to grab more intimate scenes. You will enjoy it if you know your tools and environment well.

    Enjoy ^^

  19. #19

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moonlightsg View Post
    this flash SLR-Rev have... but i buy 2nd hand one...
    Pttl is mean the flash auto set its power output base on the camera reading "through the Lens" so you can set Flash light EV at the camera...
    i think it can counted as auto mode...
    i think this is the cheapest flash with auto mode i can find at local market... online i am not sure...

    *edit: Wah looks like you act really fast... buy already... how much? where?
    went to slr and ask for both metz 50 and 58 but they dont have and they nvr intro me this flash

    so i went to nearby to cathy photo(peninsular plaza one) to ask. 58 they dont have. 50 they have price is 399, i pay cash so is 387. i know OP selling 420 so i juz hoot since need to use tmr.

  20. #20

    Default Re: urgent advice needed-night event photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    first thing first, if you really think you own him a big time than you should be very honest to him, let him know that you are not confident to take up this assignment, and it is his responsibility and choice to accept whatever outcome if he insist you to shoot.

    yes, you need a hotshoe flash and lots of fresh batteries, shoot with high ISO so your flash can recycle fast enough, however you need to pace yourself, slow down if you flash is heat up, feel it with your hand, else you may blow your flash tube in the mist of the shoot, this is a reason I don't recommend using external battery pack, unless you have back up flash.

    in the open air, you can forge about diffuser, just shoot with direct flash, the reason is if you use diffuser you lost flash power, you won't get much soften effect unless you get very close. But when you get very close, front subjects overexposed and back subject underexposed. So just keep a normal distance with all your subject if you want the exposure to be more evenly.

    if the background is dimly lite, you can forget to ask people hold their pose, shoot with ISO1600 or above. never never underexposed your images when you shoot with high ISO.

    it need many tries or many years experience get decent results, I don't expect you to remember all these during a shoot, so just try your best and have fun.
    Wise suggestion and tips

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