Event Photography

by Derek Smith March. 17, 2017 873 views

No it's not Christmas just yet! I wanted to discuss the best use of lenses for photography of specific events. For the Grimsby Christmas light switch-on, I knew that it would be inappropriate for the use of flash, so I used the Panasonic G80, and a Sigma ART DN 60mm f/2.8 prime lens, with this lens wide open, I was hoping to get some reasonable images only using the available street lighting. I needed the focal length "reach", and the aperture, and the Sigma was the best lens in my toolkit. The Panasonic G80 handles very well, and the "face / eye" focus setting is the best that I have ever used.

Christmas 2016 - Panasonic G80, with Sigma 60mm

Christmas 2016 - Panasonic G80, with Sigma 60mm

Christmas 2016 - Panasonic G80, with Sigma 60mm

Christmas 2016 - Panasonic G80, with Sigma 60mm

This is my favourite image from the evening, the lens has given me that subject separation, with the blurred background. Shot wide open f/2.8, ISO 1600, 1/13,  the low shutter speed has resulted in some blurring around the chin, but overall I am pleased with the result.

Christening Dec 2016, Panasonic G80, Sigma 60mm

Christening Dec 2016, Panasonic G80, Sigma 60mm

This is my favourite photo from a family christening, again I didn't feel that flash would be right for the event, and I only had the cameras built in flash, which from past experience doesn't give the best results.

Church event - Panasonic G80

Church event - Panasonic G80

I was invited to take some photographs at my Church, during a childrens "Messy Church" craft event. This time I had a recently aquired Mieke 520 speedlight, and a lot of the photos that I shot were with the Panasonic 12-60mm, f/3.5 - f/5.6 kit lens. This was the first ever time that I've used a speedlight mounted on the camera, in an actual event, and the Panasonic G80, with the kit lens, and the speedlight in general worked very well. The biggest issue that I found was that using a zoom lens, with the speedlight resulted in a variation of light levels on the subject, because of course my distance from the subject varied. I also had my trusty Sigma 60mm with me, and I did take some photos with this lens, although not using the flash.

From some 130 photos that I took at the Church event, this is my favourite, and the lens? Well in this instance it was Panasonic's excellent kit zoom lens, just using natural daylight, set 43mm, f/5.6, 1/100.

With these experiences in mind I've just ordered the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 prime lens (I would have liked the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7, but it's £100 more expensive), so watch this space.


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