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Exposure Digital Field Guide by Alan Hess

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Chapter 6. Event Photography

Event photography runs the gamut from shooting family birthday parties and local parades all the way to covering large conferences and even photographing concerts. And though the events may be very different, the planning involved to photograph them is very similar. I approach each event in the same way, with the goal of capturing the excitement of the event with my images. To get the best images, you need to adjust for the changing light and conditions automatically because you usually don't get second chances.

Event Photography

This great outdoor venue in the Pacific Northwest was photographed at 7 pm, but because the venue faced west, I was shooting directly into the sun. I used spot metering on the crowd and avoiding the bright sun, I got the exposure right on. Taken at 1/250 second, f/8.0, ISO 200.

Exposure Considerations

In most types of photography, you can control when to shoot, and in doing so, you get to pick the best light. With landscape photography, that's early morning and late evening; with portraits, you have control over the light by using studio strobes or light shaping tools or by shooting in that great early morning/late evening light. When it comes to shooting events, you have no control over the time or light, and you don't get second chances. This makes most event photography quite stressful. The key behind shooting events — and it doesn't matter whether ...

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