Advice/tips needed for shooting nighttime arts event.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cutsman, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. cutsman macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2006
    I will be attending a nighttime (7pm to sunrise) arts & performance event in downtown Toronto tomorrow (Nuit Blanche for those of you who are interested and in the area). I think this event will present many great, albeit very challenging, photo ops. It is primarily outdoors, with art displays, street performances scattered throughout the downtown area.

    This will be my first foray into nighttime shooting, and although I know my lenses are not fast nor well suited for low light shooting, I would like to get some advice on how to produce the best results with the equipment I have.

    I will be using my D50, 18-55mm kit lens, 55-200mm VR....and I will be picking up an SB-600 tonight. I do not have much experience with flash photography either, so any advice on flash settings, bounce flash, etc. would be immensely helpful as well. I do not have the luxury of using a tripod either.
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    Pull up the white card and use a lot of rear sync flash
  3. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    It's a little late but...

    Don't mount the flash on the camera. Get yourself a cord and hold the flash off to the side next time. It'll do wonders for your low light event photography.
  4. eastcoastmac macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    low light

    I agree, if you use flash, don't mount it on camera. You will get RED EYE in every pic. Either hold it as sarge suggests, or (I usually find holding it too cumbersome) buy a bracket to hold the flash in the proper alignment over the lens. Stroboframe makes great brackets.

    Also, using a tripod will help in low light. If that is too cumbersome, get a monopod. They are very compact.
  5. cutsman thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 1, 2006
    Thanks for the advice sarge. It's never too late to learn! As it turns out, the event actually wasn't all that spectacular and really good photo ops were scarce. I tried to take some photos outside on some streets with minimal lighting and I found it nearly impossible to do it without camera shake using my 18-55mm.

    My question is would lenses like the Tamron 17-50mm F2.8, nikon 50mm f1.8, nikon 35 f2, sigma 30mm f1.4 etc. provide much of an improvement in my ability to shoot lowlight handheld shots?

    Which of the above lenses do you guys recommend?
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    If you are planning to do a lot of low-light and night photography, you need to use a tripod. While a fast lens is nice, you still need a tripod or monopod for rock steadiness during longish exposures.

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