It’s been a while since I last shot an event at the Rialto, Montréal’s swankiest dance theatre, so I was stoked to shoot Jive Studio‘s start of year event. I always love shooting at the Rialto because of the actual proper venue lighting it has (say goodbye to lambs and ugly fluorescent tubes) as well as having a very classy look about it that makes it fun to be in. It also has a great stage that is amazing to perform in front of.
For majority of the shots, I used a mid-range zoom 28-70mm which a hot shoe flash on automatic TTL. I know it’s not very hipster to set anything on “automatic”. But shooting dance events are tricky, and I’m only there actively shooting for an hour, maybe an hour and a half max so I had to get as many good shots as I can in ever constantly changing light conditions and body placements (haha oh dancers). For about 4/5 shots it worked out quite well letting the computer do the work but as expected there would sometimes be a shot with too little or too much light which I promptly deleted on the camera viewfinder (I like to live dangerously).
Now if you just came in here as a dancer you might be thinking, what the heck is Randy talking about TTL.. “too too long (so therefore didn’t read?)”. TTL is a setting some hot shoe flashes have, most notably Nikon and Cannon flashes, that basically gives your flash the decision making process of picking out the setting for each individual photo based on what it considers “the best”. I know, highly technical right?
So it’s a fire and forget!? Well not quite.
You still need to figure out what your camera settings should be prior to the flash going off as well as what it is that you are actually metering for light. Are you trying to get just area of light around the dancers face or is it the bigger area around them? Are you trying to stop the motion of the dancers or make it seem like they are “moving” by dragging the shutter? Depth of field? These are just some of the decisions you have to make on the fly, all the while trying to make an actual interesting picture that people will click on. So if even just one part of that process that I can leave off my mental check list before I press the trigger, all the while still giving me great results, then I wholeheartedly embrace it.
A lot of times I feel that photography is a giant guessing game of numbers and light theories. That is until someone tells me they really like a photo I took at an event. Then I’m all like, “oh yeah, it was totally planned”. The more and more that I shoot however, it really feels like the truth.
To view the album on facebook, click on this link or check out some samples right below: