This was my first attempt at this style of work, and I'm really looking forward to James' final edit.
Of course I took my camera to capture some stills...
©2013 Matt Elliott
|Foxy ©Matt Elliott 2013|
|©Matt Elliott 2013|
As guest arrived I asked them if they would like group/individual images. I thought this would be the best time as not to disturb their meal, drinking and any other entertainment they had lined-up for the evening. Although a fair amount of people wanted their picture taken, a lot bluntly refused, not everyone is happy about having their picture taken...be polite.
For the rest of the evening I took candid style work and was asked a lot to take pictures of various groups. For this I used a bounce flash and knew I would be able to adjust my white balance in post production.
© Matt Elliott 2013
|Stereophonics ©Matt Elliott 2013|
With regards to working professionally this makes life much easier with regards to space to work in, even if you are under a certain amount of pressure. The norm is to shoot the first three songs without the use of flash. This fills some photographers with dread knowing the light will be low, however I can't see why you would want to use flash anyway as it does very little and only take away from the atmosphere.
Paloma Faith ©Matt Elliott 2013
The one downside I have found with only being allowed to work on the first three songs is the band will come on fresh-faced and start on a fairly low tempo. I always make sure I focus on the frontman/ woman first as that's what the paper will want. If you can capture some wide angle shots of the stage then all the better, but make sure you cover you back first.
Plan B ©Matt Elliott 2013
From what I have learnt in a small space of time....
Stereophonics ©Matt Elliott 2013
You can see more of my work here....
|Mike Ojo Plymouth Raiders ©Matt Elliott 2013|
|©2012 Matt Elliott (no fill-flash)|
As soon as I arrived, making sure I was early, I took some test shots for exposure readings and knew it was going to be a 'trying' event. I bought with me some continuous lighting (LED) which I thought would be useful for the staged images (speeches) and to be honest would have struggled without them.
My camera bag always contains several different lenses
My preference when working on events is my 24-70 2.8. it works well in low light, however at 6400 ISO (very noisy) ƒ2.8 I was still only getting 1/15- 1/20 th which is no good for motion. I showed this to the organiser and was allowed to use flash for a few images with my back to the fish tank.
©2012 Matt Elliott (with flash)
This was short lived as one of the staff then said one of the fish was becoming agitated and asked me not to use any more flash. As the organiser wanted some group/portrait shots I said it would be best if we found a useable area with some flash. I didn't want to disrupt the guests evening and asked for several people to come and have their picture taken.
For the remainder of the evening I shot at a distance using my 135mm prime at ƒ1.8. I took a high viewpoint to take advantage of available light and knew I would be removing noise in Lightroom 4 when post-proccessing my work.
Overall, under the circumstances, I was more than happy with what I achieved. The client received 250 fully edited images and I was able to push the boundaries of low light photography to an acceptable standard. For future work I have been asked to cover their Ball at the Cornwall Hotel in March and to my relief I can use flash as much as I want, I will also ask for an assistant to help for their own experience.
If you are ever asked to do a job like this my advice would be don't do it unless you have the right equipment and are confident in these conditions. There's no point in over-streching yourself and getting a bad name in the long-term. However there are plenty of opportunities to practice.
All images ©Matt Elliott 2013