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Event Photography

Challenges and Solutions of lighting condition.

Last week I was hired to shoot event photography, this particular event was taking place in 2 different locations. First actual baptism was at the church and as you know lighting at the church is not the best from photography stand point. I had to bump up my ISO up to 8000 to make sure I had enough light coming in to the sensor, I couldn’t go lower because I had to keep my shatter speed double of my focal length and I tried to keep my f. stop at it’s lowest while making sure everyone was in focus between 2.8 and 3.2. And of course you can’t use a flash at the church so you’re fully relying on your camera’s performance in low light conditions. I have to say I was shooting with 2 camera bodies and 2 different lenses. My main body is Canon 5D Mark IV was mounted to Canon 70-200 f 2.8 lens and my second body Canon 6D had 24-70 f2.8 Sigma lens attached to it. I have to say somehow 6D was performing slightly better in low light condition. I choose to shoot in complete manual mode, so I made sure I set both cameras at the same Kelvin color temperature to match the interior of both locations.

See white balance chart below to better understand color temperature. Click the chart to visit website fstoppers where you can find detailed information on WB. I myself found it very helpful.

Shooting at the church was quite challenging due to the low light, and eventually after post processing my images did have quite a bit grain to them but they were acceptable.

Most important in event photography is to capture memories and emotions of that day. If you achieve that, no one will notice little bit of the noise in your shots.

The most challenging part of this Event Photography was at the restaurant. When we got there, I noticed that the celling was BLACK. “Oh no!” I thought to myself, “this is going to ruin everything!” I took few shots and noticed that my images had blue dirty cast to it because light was reflecting from the black celling. I almost started to panic, but very quickly realized what I had to do to prevent my images to look like this:

ISO 320 70mm f 2.8 Shutter 1/200 K4400


The only thing I changed in my settings was the white balance, I went up to K5350 and that WB matched the cast of the black celling. I was able to save my shots and produce beautiful images with flash. Like these:

White balance could be tricky, and it is faster and easier to shoot with automatic WB, however, in difficult conditions it is beneficial to understand the science of WB to use it to your advantage.

Hope you found this post useful. Happy shooting!

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