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Event Photography

Event Photography

What to expect from me when I photograph your event

There are many genres of photography I like to shoot but I particularly like event photography. It is great to see people having fun and to capture those key moments which can be very rewarding. There are a few hurdles to overcome with this type of photography.

Venues are very important as there is usually a lack of light which makes focusing awkward at times but luckily can be overcome.   Modern Speedlite flashguns throw out an optical grid to help the focusing sensor lock-on to a face, thus keeping the amount of properly focused images (keepers) to a maximum.Three women having fun using props in a natural pose at an event

As always I try to strike a balance of the type of images I take at each event.  My preferred style is a natural one, taking people enjoying themselves without them realising that I am even in the room.  I appreciate that some clients would like posed shots of themselves with friends and family on special occasions and then I try to put the subjects at ease by asking them to do something a bit different to the usual pose and smile.  Sometimes a silly interaction can make a more interesting image.

I like to throw in some black and white images too. Black and white images can cut out the distraction of colour and give more power to the actions within a scene which, in turn, lets the emotion of the image come shining through.

A black and white image showing people in a natural pose without the distraction of colourA black and white image focuses on the emotion of a proud father and daughter have a hug.

Ambient light v Flash for Event Photography

Ambient light, the light in the room usually dictated by the disco or band lighting, can give a more natural picture. Always good for the dancing shots especially when the alcohol kicks in or as seen here when the band are in action. The last thing you want to do is destroy the atmosphere of the concert lighting with a big white flash.

Varied colours from the lights of a Rock concert

 

Two women pose for the camera at a private functionFlash comes into its own when you want to overpower the uneven colour or dark areas you would normally get with just using ambient light ie group shots and photos of couples. There is another method that can be used creatively which is known as shutter drag, whereby there is a  mixture of the two for some unusual creative effects.

Two women smile at the camera while a third woman interacts by pointing at the camera.

Event Photography Details

I always like to get details of an event whether it be of the hard-working staff behind the bar, a decorated room or a birthday cake. A lot of time, money and preparation by the hosts deserves to be recorded for future posterity.  The details of a birthday cake

 

More Information about Event Photography

For more information on my event photography, portfolio and price please click here.

 

 

a Black and White image of bar staff hard at work at an event.

Lipstick taken in the studio

Cosmetic Studio Shot

Lipstick taken in the studio

Cosmetic studio photography

Here is an image taken the other day of some cosmetics in my studio. I lit the shot from above with one strobe and diffused the light with some white perspex material. This gives the nice graduated glow on the black perspex base.  I then placed a light off to the right with a large softbox which diffused the light and pushed some additional light back onto the edge of the cosmetics.

Patience is needed to keep the lipsticks in the right place on the plexiglass as they move very easily.  A few strategically placed thin pieces of paper were used to stop them rolling.

Tethered Capture

I tethered my camera to my laptop to give a bigger image. I find this slows the process down and aids composition when you view these images on a bigger screen.

Original image

The picture below is the image straight out of the camera and, if you look closely you can see a lot of dust had settled during the shoot.   Because of the small aperture, dust on the camera sensor is more apparent and I removed this by using the healing brush in photoshop. The head of the lipstick was smoothed out slightly and the reflections from the softbox in the water droplets off to the right were also removed.

The result is a nice clean image of some cosmetics taken in the studio.

Abstract sunflower

Sunflower

 

Backgrounds

Recently I have been back in the studio creating some abstract sunflower images for stock agencies. I initially tried taking a portion of the sunflower head on a white background with a key light with a soft box off to the right and my lastolite background with one bare flash strobe firing into the cavity giving an even white background.

I think this looks good as an abstract image especially with a square crop.

Abstract sunflower

Roll in the dark background

So on now to my very dark brown canvas background where I tried to get some nice brown yellow colour combo’s going.

I decided to make this a square crop also as it seems to hold the composition better.

Lens Choice

Both images were taken on a Canon 100mm macro 2.8 IS lens which gives superb quality and sharpness and is my “go to” lens for this type of shot, although there is a narrow depth of field and the focal point of the image was the flower at centre left, making it pop from the page.

Please feel free to comment.

 

Sunflowers against a brown canvas

 

Young woman clutching hands black and white copy space

The result of one flash

Happy New Year!

Well to bring in the new year I decided to give a new strip soft box light modifier a try.

The idea being to try and get some low key images which had a certain simplicity to them. Armed with the Canon 1DX on a tripod this time as I usually shoot hand holding I set about taken a series of images in profile with different poses

Charlotte 1/250 sec f8 ISO 100

Profile

I decided on this shoot that I would take some profile shots of my model Charlotte. After some serious shots I cracked a joke about something and she gave out this lovely smile. A first for me she never normally laughs at my jokes and caught on camera. Anyway it turned out to be one of the best shots of the session.

Post Processing.

Not a great deal was done to the image in post other than a mono conversion and I did originally extend the canvas to the left to give Charlotte more space to look into and give a more isolated look to it but I think it took away the impact of the original expression.

Please feel free to comment on any images that I post or have any questions on anything.

 

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Poppies

Poppies in a field

Poppies in a field was one of my favourite photos this year. I was trying out a new camera body and accidentally picked up my original 50mm kit lens from 1987.

First Canon EOS

1987 was the year Canon first bought out their EOS system on a film camera and this 50mm was the lens it came with. What Canon did at that time was forward thinking.  They developed a system which evolved into the digital era of photography and this lens is still fully compatible with todays Canon camera bodies.  Even though there is now the EOS R which has a new mount, they created an adaptor to which the older lenses can attach.

Here is the photo taken a few months ago using a 32 year old lens. They may well be expensive things lenses but, looked after, you sure get your moneys worth.  Long may its aperture blades keep closing!

 

 

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Horse Agility

Horse agility

Horse agility…….. its like dog agility but with………. yes a horse!

This is a great idea, as horses are flight animals and scare very easily.  This short agility course enables horses to push themselves through unnatural obstacles like soft coloured balls and foamy flexible pipes all with different sounds and textures which hopefully makes them more settled when out and about with their rider.

 

Shaky Start

Over the weekend I took some images of this event and much fun was had by everyone with lots of bonding going on with horse and rider. Here are just a few images from the event.

Everybody seems to be having a great time after what was quite a tentative start understandably because it was new to both horse and rider.

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On the nature trail

 

The Orchard

I recently took an afternoon out with my big friend called Dave. He showed me some of the wildlife nearby and I had a great time trying to get a shot of fast moving Birds, Dragonflies, Damselflies and (not so fast moving) Butterflies.

The key here is to take your time and look, proper look at your surroundings and it surprising what you can find in the right habitat. 

Right Lens

On this occasion, I used my 100 400 f5.6 zoom lens and with a bit of cropping I managed to get quite close.  Next time I will be taking my 100mm macro lens. The problem then being camera shake. A strong tripod would be needed although this lens does have good image stabilisation. It is just a matter of hoping the subjects sit still for long enough while the image is being composed. Come on, it’s all part of the fun of it so they tell me haha.

 

 

 

 

I.D. Parade

Any entomologists out there would like to name them for me feel free because I’m no Chris Packham.

So after an hours wander round the orchard it was off to try and get some swifts in a pond over the other side but on this occasion none were sharp enough for my liking.

Home we went then. Some nice weather good company and some images I was pleased with. All in all a good afternoon walk.

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RAF 100

RAF 100

Veterans reflect at the service for lost airmen on the site of the old Gravesend Airport. Credit A Beck

This year marked 100 years of the RAF and to commemorate that our local leisure centre had some benches made for the occasion.  The names of those who perished in the Second World War were engraved on brass plates for each bench.

 

Gravesend Airport

The site used to be that of Gravesend Airport which dates back to the early 1930’s. In its day it had a major role in the Battle of Britain as it was one of the satellite bases for the famous Biggin Hill.

Flypast

A restored spitfire was due to flyover and it did, albeit a bit later than scheduled.

It was a fine sight to see the beautiful aircraft performing victory rolls just above our heads, and the distinct sound of that Merlin engine made the hairs on the back of your neck rise.