Event Photogs - how do you shoot?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jeffrey_douglas, May 27, 2005.

  1. I have been doing mostly outdoor sports photography and I'm now interested in doing
    events, family reuinions, parties, church, social and such.

    I've shot a few of my kids school functions and I've gotten unpredictable results using my
    20d and Sigma 500 DG super flash with the Stroboframe Quickflip 350. I've been using the
    Sigma 24-70 2.8 lens mostly for this type of photography.

    I've tried manual and AV and TV, and manual camera modes with ETTL on the flash but I
    still never seem to know what to expect w/o checking histogram and display. With events
    the situations change constantly and it's not good to have to keep checking every time you
    have to shoot in a different setting.

    I have read the Photography with Canon EOS on photonotes.org (and anything else I could
    find) and I think I have a pretty good understanding in theory how things work. It's just the
    applying it in real work that I'm struggling with.

    Just wondering how most of you guys deal with this. I'd like to know specifically what
    camera/flash modes are used most often and in what situations.

    Is my Sigma flash inadequate for this type of work or do I just have a lot to learn? I've read
    on other forums that some people even with the Canon flashes have similar problems.

    Any suggestions from working professionals would be appreciated.

  2. What type of problems are you having? I don't think there's a magic setting, just different options for different lighting conditions.

    I will say, though, that I've just gotten a 20D and find the results a little less predictable than they were with my Elan 7--and I'm not yet sure why.
  3. I've been shooting with a 20D and a bracket-mounted Sunpak 383. I usually shoot with the camera in (M)anual mode and the flash in Auto if I'm using it as the main light source, or the the camera in (A)perture priority and the flash in manual at low (typically 1/16 or 1/8 power) for fill flash when mixing available light with a little fill. I also make extensive use of bounce to avoid that "paparazzi" look.
    I've been VERY pleased with the 20D/383 combo.
  4. I get hit-or-miss results with the Canon 420 and 580 so I just use bright prime lenses and
    leave the flash at home.
  5. like you, i go back and forth between sports and events around family. f.2.8 often does not cut it for events. the canon 50/1.4 or 50/1.8 is often a total lifesaver. the canon 35/2 has a slow focus for me but creates a wider angle. i also have a tamron 20-40/2.8-3.5 that comes in handy, but its a little dark. sometimes the canon 85/1.8 is good too. I use a 420EX with a portable diffuser on it for fill flash, but try to avoid using it, or using it lightly to retain atmosphere. i tend not to use a bracket though it helps because i find it too bulky.

    point is, getting to f.2 or lower is important to capture stuff indoors very often. need a wide angle for groups. look for third party stuff if money is tight, tamron and sigma have been very good for me. try used at keh.com.
  6. I shoot in Manual exposure, with E-TTLII set to +2/3 FEC with good results, although for tricky lighting situations where I think the flash metering is going to be fooled, I'll FEL off of something. For static shooting situations where I want to lock down the flash output (like wedding formal pictures, etc.), I'll switch to manual flash. If you want almost idiot-proof flash with little or no input needed, you probably want to go to an autoflash, which doesn't take into account any TTL information at all. It just goes off of its on-flash sensor.
  7. Manual when using flash. Meter for how much background/ambient I want, and let E-TTL do the rest. Adjust FEC as needed for the subject.

    Manual or Av for ambient light.

    Manual or Tv (rarely) if I am 'dragging the shutter' or for intentional motion blur shots with IS lenses.

    Also check out the wedding and event forum...
  8. As Grant said...check out the wedding and events forum. It gives a LOT of good tips. I have gotten to the point where I hardly ever feel the need for a flash, regardless of the lighting...unless I feel I need some fill flash. Anywho..
  9. Hi Jeffrey, We do events and restuarant pics as a living currently using 20D + Sigma 24 70 f2.8 macro + 550ex. Most successful for us is camera in man, flash ettl and centre focus point only. Focus on your subject and FEL on a nutral point (face) recompose & shoot. with the sigma lens we find we need 2/3+ comp with the flash. and dont have any problems.

    just practice and have fun
  10. Metz 54 MZ 3 or 4 on auto setting camera manual setting
  11. Ditto to Erin though I have had the shoe downgraded to m1 so I can use it with Av and Tv.
  12. Dim light= manual mode, ettlII does the rest. When possible and not to distracting; FEL on a skintone is best bet. Otherwise, ettl works pretty well once you get the hang of it; just try to avoid situations such as white tablecloths, especially close to the camera.

    Decent daylight= Av on partial spot metering and Exposure lock with ettl fill flash.

    the big thing is practice, practice, and more practice...

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