How important is flash in event photography?


Nov 10, 2010
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#1
I'll be photographing an event soon, intend to rent the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 for the aperture. A 2.8 aperture and on-camera flash, its that sufficent lighting? Or should I get a Nikon Speedlight too? Please advice. Thanks.
 

weegk

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Jul 16, 2010
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#3
nature of the event ? eg. performance, cocktail, company year end function etc . . . :)
 

forward

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#4
indoor, outdoor event? lighting indoors? warm, cold lighting? high/low ceiling?

factors to consider
Even with a ceiling of 30 feet high, I use a simple Metz portable flash with a tilt head and a
DIY bounced white card with the 18-70mm f/3.5 to f/4.5 for events for the past 6 years.
It all depends on how you shoot and what you want to capture.

I didn't have any Nikon Speedlight at all since the day I started using
the D70 vs using the D300s or the older D200. All you need is the courage
to shoot and make some adjustment whenever you did not get it right.

Cheers to event photography.
 

Sep 17, 2008
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#5
I'll be photographing an event soon, intend to rent the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 for the aperture. A 2.8 aperture and on-camera flash, its that sufficent lighting? Or should I get a Nikon Speedlight too? Please advice. Thanks.


consider this. at f2.8, dof is shallow. if it is lowlight, and your body isnt able to handle, AF may always be off.

at f4, u have a better leeway due to the larger dof.

now, at f4, do you have enough light?

if not, what shld you use?:)

flash can work well if you are skilled enough. its fine to have the subject brighter than background by a stop or 2:think:

anyways... ttl for most brands get what u need. i suggest to rent a flash first. it can do wonders if used well.






if not for the flash i would never get these 2 shots. too dark.

the last shot is solely lighted by a flash bounced to the right of subject against the wall
 

Nov 10, 2010
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#6
thanks for all your replies. I will be shooting INDOORS. apologies i didnt make that clear at the start.
my camera is the nikon D5000, not sure how capable that body is in low-light conditions.

just checked out the event, i'll have to expect WARM lighting, and estimated 4m+ ceiling. hotel ballroom event.
 

Last edited:
Sep 17, 2008
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#7
thanks for all your replies. I will be shooting INDOORS. apologies i didnt make that clear at the start.
my camera is the nikon D5000, not sure how capable that body is in low-light conditions.

just checked out the event, i'll have to expect WARM lighting, and estimated 4m+ ceiling. hotel ballroom event.
well... i'll bring a flash even for outdoors. afternoon sun results in dark eye rings under the eyes. flash fill in will help to make the person look better.

its fine to expect warm lighting. 4m+ ceiling means u cant do ceiling bounce, might consider a diffusal and headon flash.

your conditions shld be similiar to the ones i shot abv. it was at suntec exhibition hall, ceiling was wayyyy higher than 4 meter:) i used a tupperware diffuser
 

megaweb

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Jan 17, 2002
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#8
I'll be photographing an event soon, intend to rent the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 for the aperture. A 2.8 aperture and on-camera flash, its that sufficent lighting? Or should I get a Nikon Speedlight too? Please advice. Thanks.
For indoor event, recommend to use a powerful external flash. It is very useful esp. for group photography.
 

jopel

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2004
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#9
I'll be photographing an event soon, intend to rent the Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 for the aperture. A 2.8 aperture and on-camera flash, its that sufficent lighting? Or should I get a Nikon Speedlight too? Please advice. Thanks.


If you are doing this event for free just make do with whatever you have.
If you are hired, you must know that this is not an event for you to do experiment.
 

Nov 10, 2010
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#10
If you are doing this event for free just make do with whatever you have.
If you are hired, you must know that this is not an event for you to do experiment.
thats true. for free, i'm just doing it out of interest.

flash, but with what type of diffuser? or is diffuser required? i'll probably get the SB600 Nikon.
 

jopel

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2004
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#11
thats true. for free, i'm just doing it out of interest.

flash, but with what type of diffuser? or is diffuser required? i'll probably get the SB600 Nikon.
You definitely need a flash, even if it is an outdoor event in the day. Go for the SB700.
ANy diffuser will do the job, you just need to know what you are doing.
 

Last edited:
Jul 31, 2007
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#12
I recommend that you should go for a 18-105mm lens. 55 mm maybe too short. No point going for f2.8. Set ISO to 400. I think ISO 800 for D5000 will be pushing the camera a bit.

As for flash, SB 600 is more than sufficient to do the job. No need for diffuser. Just shoot straight. Sure to get a picture.

Since you are doing it for free. Just enjoy yourself.
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#13
thats true. for free, i'm just doing it out of interest.

flash, but with what type of diffuser? or is diffuser required? i'll probably get the SB600 Nikon.
I think a bounce card would be good enough. Thing I don't like about diffusers and bounce cards is they spread light backwards also, which sometimes irritates other people.
 

ngck12

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Dec 4, 2007
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#14
Flash is the most important thing in such event, you can use a normal kit lens, but flash is a must have.
SB600 might not have sufficient power at times, better to have sb800/900.
ISO set it to 400-800 for ambient lighting, im quite sure your sensor can handle noise well. Better to shoot in RAW if you think your camera cannot handle WB well.
 

jopel

Senior Member
Dec 21, 2004
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#15
No need for diffuser. Just shoot straight. Sure to get a picture.
Not so sure about this, unless you really know how to set it right.

Since you are doing it for free. Just enjoy yourself.
Free does not mean that you can try out. If you take it up you must deliver.
 

Dream Merchant

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Jan 11, 2007
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#17
Sigh ...

I really don't know why people think that even ISO 1 million ISO will ALTER the lighting ratios and values.

If there are going to be bags under eyes and chins during events and ballrooms, due to the nature of downlighting, there still GOING TO BE SHADOWS under eyebags and chins regardless of si mik what super duper gazillion high 1 terrabillion high ISO. :angel:

It's all about understanding LIGHT, which too many photographers conveniently forgot about. :confused:

Which is exactly WHAT conventional photography IS ALL ABOUT. :p
 

Nov 10, 2010
174
0
16
#18
Sigh ...

I really don't know why people think that even ISO 1 million ISO will ALTER the lighting ratios and values.

If there are going to be bags under eyes and chins during events and ballrooms, due to the nature of downlighting, there still GOING TO BE SHADOWS under eyebags and chins regardless of si mik what super duper gazillion high 1 terrabillion high ISO. :angel:

It's all about understanding LIGHT, which too many photographers conveniently forgot about. :confused:

Which is exactly WHAT conventional photography IS ALL ABOUT. :p

hi thanks for your comments.

any ideas if a pop-up flash + diffuser is a workable solution? I actually want to keep some ambient lighting..
 

Dream Merchant

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Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
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#19
Not really, even though some flash is somewhat better than absolutely no flash.

Built-ins HAVE to be diffused. ANY diffuser material will do, even a double or triple folded tissue paper.

A hot-shoe flash will likely afford more control and conversely, more versatility, provided you understand light and the physics accompanying the subject of light.

If you want to keep an equal or higher ratio of ambient light, dial down the EV on your flash and up the ISO a little, as appropriate. Open up your aperture as the subject might tolerate (shallow or deeper DOF).

Since NO real details have been provided (measurements), you'll have to experiment with possibly higher ISO, -EV on flash, shutter speeds and apertures.


All the best. ;)
 

Sep 17, 2008
3,656
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#20
Sigh ...

I really don't know why people think that even ISO 1 million ISO will ALTER the lighting ratios and values.

If there are going to be bags under eyes and chins during events and ballrooms, due to the nature of downlighting, there still GOING TO BE SHADOWS under eyebags and chins regardless of si mik what super duper gazillion high 1 terrabillion high ISO. :angel:

It's all about understanding LIGHT, which too many photographers conveniently forgot about. :confused:

Which is exactly WHAT conventional photography IS ALL ABOUT. :p
to keep it short....

use ttl:bsmilie:

nah just kidding. lighting ratios are a nightmare. i never seem to get them right.

i guess the easiest rule of thumb would be, if it looks natural enough, it shld be good enough. shoot and adjust accordingly. a flash is an asset which most of us abuse:lovegrin:
 

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