Last minute adjustments–A preschooler’s whose loose-fitting hat is adjusted just before they take the stage. ISO 1600 17-35 zoom custom white balance.
As often as I’ve photographed the Christmas program at my kid’s school, you would think I should be able to â€œnailâ€ these pictures already, right?
But as with every year, Â this extravaganza plays out differently mostly because of â€œaccess.â€
It would be nice if I were transparent or didn’t care if I were blocking folks behind me, but that’s just tacky.
When I worked at the newspaper, I always felt bad whenever I covered golf tournaments where folks are camped out for hours at a certain hole waiting for their favorite golfer and I would just show up. I had a job to do, so I had to stand somewhere, right? It took me a while to get used to being able to just traipse in front of these people and obstruct their view. Over the years as their insults got worse, I just got over it–If they were nice, I practiced my crouching tiger stance, it was the least I could do.
For this year’s performance I huddled up front on the very cold and hard floor in a small space.
I used my usual combo of lenses 17-35 mm and 80-200 mm lenses, the photojournalist’s favorite combo of lenses.
Poor lighting–When you’re indoors and you’ve maxed out your ISO setting but don’t have enough shutter speed to freeze the action, why not try aÂ pan ? Keep in mind when you’re shooting an event where you can’t move around, you will need to get creative to get â€œdifferent-lookingâ€ shots. Experimenting and shooting on manual is the way to really â€œteach yourself.â€ ISO 1600 1/40 sec @ f2.8 80-200 zoom at 200 mm focal length.
I elected not to use flash partly because of the distance to the subjects and my inability to place lights (strobes) in an already crowded church.
Enjoy the pictures and do share them with family and friends. If you would like to buy prints, visit myÂ online gallery.
A Tip on White Balance
Spend enough time taking pictures inside Â you will notice that the Auto White Balance of your camera doesn’t give you the best looking color for skin tones.
Below is a 3-frame-series from my shoot.
Understand that inside, there are many different light sources. Even if your interior is lit by all florescent lights, you will not get good color for skin tones all the time.
Light bulbs get changed when they go out, so the color temperature they emit will never match exactly.
If you’re chimping and you suspect this is the case, fire off a frame where there is a lot of white like I did above, then figure out how to set Custom White Balance for your particular camera. See if you like the results.
Important thing to remember is you want to photograph something that has lots of white so your camera has a good target. If you can, walk up to the stage and shoot a white sheet of paper before the performance, then you’ll be ready to go when the action begins.