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low light venue with high black ceilings

15 May 2015 6:20PM
Hi everyone
I'm due to shoot at an awards conference its very relaxed and I'm basically photographing people having a good time. The venue is fairly small but has high black ceilings which I think are glass. I'm guessing the lighting will be low but I have no idea how it will be lit. I think visiting the venue wouldn't be realistic as its 100 miles away.
What my current plan of action is with the equipment I have is using manual flash mounted on my d7100 with 18-200mm VR lens attached. I do have a 50mm 1.4 but I'm assuming this with be too long. A fast lens is important but I wont be using large apertures. How would I do if I was to use aperture 4.5 ISO staring at 800 shutter speed 1/15th and using flash to freeze and movement from guests.?

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keithh 15 25.5k 33 Wallis And Futuna
15 May 2015 6:57PM
Not sure you need to drag the shutter to that extent but without being in the venue it's really impossible for anyone to advise anything exact. You could easily double the iso and bounce the flash of a large oversize bounce card.

Your lens, particularly if Auto focusing could be a limiting factor.

Which flash gun will you be using?
15 May 2015 7:03PM
It's a basic Neewer one from Amazon until I can afford a good TTL haha.
So with the bounce card would my flash head be tilted direct up? Sorry you'll have to excuse me I'm not hugely experienced with low light flash photography.
sausage Plus
15 604 United Kingdom
15 May 2015 7:03PM
It's difficult to know what settings in advance when you don't know the venue. You may set the camera up before you go and have to change everything later.
The best thing about digital is you can see the results straight away so you can adjust to suit. It you are using flash then shutter speed is not an issue - keep to 1/100 for example.

Get there early so you can 'case the joint' !

Good luck.
collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
16 May 2015 8:28AM
I think that with the doubts you have in your mind and the fact that you might be being paid to shoot this event a100 mile journey to check out the venue would be advisable. It cant be that expensive in fuel to travel and check it out and might get you more business in future.
Evertonian 6 729 England
18 May 2015 9:05AM
If you don't know the answer, or how to deal with such a venue, perhaps it would be preferable until youi know how to achieve the results you want, to leave it to somebody who does. Getting a bad reputation can ruin your planned career.
JackAllTog Plus
10 5.7k 58 United Kingdom
19 May 2015 1:06PM
I actually think your 50mm f1.4 would be the better bet for its low light and fast focus performance.
The key thing is to get up close to the action.
If you are not close then the flash will really struggle at the 200mm(x1.5) end - it may make almost no difference at all.
Do consider a large bounce card as said above - a large rogue bounce card is my fav.
Take lots of spare batteries for the flash - and save for an ettl model.

p.s. VR is not such a help for moving subjects and 1/15 would most likely blur guests as they move.

Good luck.
collywobles 15 4.0k 10 United Kingdom
19 May 2015 3:11PM

Quote:I actually think your 50mm f1.4 would be the better bet for its low light and fast focus performance.

......but what if it doesn't,
Evertonian 6 729 England
21 May 2015 9:39AM
There is of course another answer. Go to the venue an hour or so earlier and take some test shots. At least now the result is visible on your cameras screen - however years ago it never was but we managed.
22 May 2015 5:07AM
dont have your shutter speed go below 50 at events unless you are doing wide angle atmostphere shots..and honestly use a shallow depth of field i use a wide 2.8 and 50 1.8 for the bulk of my work, the only time you need to make it f3-5 is for group shots...and even t hen if you can get them to all stand on the same plane you can go shallow.

Shoot your flash up and use a half pull bounce card out so a little goes forward if the ceiling are too high to bounce. I use really shallow (1.8) at events and never blast my flash into peoples faces...i think it gives my event photography a different look since most people do 24-70 f4-5 and aim the flash right at people...i really dont like that look.

I use a d3 which is old so if your busting a new camera with better ISO then youre in even better shape.

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