I was recently asked to shoot for a fairly large social event, more specifically a high school graduation. It was a last minute thing, the original photographer bailed and they needed some one who could fill the bill. This is not my normal type of shooting. I really did enjoy the whole process and wouldn't mind doing more of it if I got the opportunity but... There are a couple of issues! First the coordinator of the event wanted a wide angle shot of a stage full of students at the end of the ceremony. every thing seems to be sharp except the students! The second problem is kind of the same as the first, I have some fairly fast glass; 24 2.8, 50 1.4, 20-35 2.8, and I was shooting at a fairly high ISO ( between 800 and 1600) in an auditorium. How do you shoot in these situations? Lastly, a friend of mine suggested that I " put the flash in E-TTL, put the camera in Program mode, and stay no more than 20 ft away... ". Tried that in some test shots on stage before the ceremony started and due to the spot lights I was having a problem keeping the subject from getting way over exposed, I even put the flash down 3 stops, and the back ground turning totally black. The other problem I was having was never being able to get the camera to focus on the subject. P mode sugested 1/60th at f/4 and every time I fired off a test shot I got a black background, almost white subject ( in the face at least) and a lot of motion blur. I took the flash off, put the camera in manual, set it at 1/50th and 2.8 and all the sudden all my problems went away, at least mostly, for that part of the shoot. Is there something that I may not be doing right with my flash? I guess there is actually one more thing, how do you compete with other peoples flash and guys who are doing the stage lighting? It seemed like the stage ligting wasn't consistant all the time, I know it wont neccessarily be across the stage but shooting at the same spot and from the same spot with the same camera setting for every shot should get about the same results for every shot. I also had a problem with parents shooting in the back ground with every thing from point and shoots to slr's with flash guns in the back ground and that ruined a few shots. Is there any good way to make up for these types of problems?