Photography at events - Merlin Venues

Photography at events

09 March 2012

Blog #9 Photography at Events (part 1)

By Satureyes Photography

You can guarantee that at least half a dozen times during an event when I’m shooting someone will start a conversation with me about my camera, my lens or about a camera they have or want.

Shooting decent photos at events can be tricky. There’s low level and ambient lighting to contend with and there can be lots of people. It is a challenge for us pros with our fancy lenses and cameras but I’m going to try and help you to take nicer snaps of your friends and colleagues and some of the venue too.

People seem to be impressed with a big lens and professional looking DSLR camera but I always say the same thing; having a better camera doesn’t make you a better photographer. Spending loads of your hard earned cash on the latest and greatest won’t transform your shots into award winning photos. All it takes is a little basic knowledge to get the most out of your digital wonder.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need more megapixels either. Once you get past about 8 or 9 on a compact camera it’s actually proven that the picture quality can degrade, especially in low light. The reason is about pixel density- boring and geeky tech speak, but basically means that for years camera makers were cramming loads of pixels into a tiny space just so the salespeople in your high street stores could brag about how many megapixels. So the more megapixels in a small space can actually make your images look worse. Unless you’re printing your photos in A4 or larger size it’s largely irrelevant. I’d take a bet that most of you just upload them to Facebook or email them.

The chances are you have a pretty decent camera already (even if you think its rubbish), learning how to use it a little can help get you some better looking shots. I’m going to assume that you have a pretty regular mid-priced compact camera. Obviously I don’t know every camera and where all the settings are individually but most camera manufacturers use similar terminology.

The Easy Lesson

Out of Auto – take the camera out of full auto mode. You are letting your little camera think for you. Your brain is almost certainly better at judging a decent photo than your camera. Don’t let it decide what you want the photo to look like. YOU decide.

Don’t Panic– It’s not that complicated. Whatever camera you have. If it’s the most expensive high-end pro camera to the cheapest compact camera, film or digital, even one that’s 100 years old, there are always the same components to let you take a photo. There’s always a lens, a ‘hole’ to let light through and a shutter.

You need to understand 3 things. Shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity (ISO). I’ll try and explain it simply.

 To be continued (next posting Wednesday 14th March)