Chance favors the prepared, so I read somewhere.
It’s definitely true especially when covering an event.
In part 2 of my coverage of Riverside’s Artnival over the weekend, here are some tips.
#1 Pick up a program
Most event organizers want the public to see all the acts they booked, so they usually schedule accordingly.
On the outside chance they don’t and there’s a conflict, you at least have a way to plan what you want to photograph.
#2 Get the lay of the land
If possible walk around the grounds to see where everything is situated.
As you’re doing this, figure out where the sun will be as it sets if you’re staying that long, of course.
You’re looking for the best spot to shoot from, avoiding backgrounds that are many many times brighter than your subject.
#3 Get close
Don’t be afraid to get close to your subjects.
Chances are, in a park-like setting, there is a lot of clutter and people in the background.
Sometimes even using a telephoto doesn’t blur out the clutter.
If you can’t get any closer, it may help to shoot raw.
You will have more pixels to discard and crop the image afterwards.
But it’s always best to shoot tight in the viewfinder because the depth of field is shallower.
I used a 50 mm lens exposed at 1/4000 sec @f2 ISO 200
#4 Use Flash
Don’t forget to pack your flash and your off-camera sync cord.
There might be times when you can’t move your portrait and the light is just impossible.
Yes, there’s plenty of light outdoors but the light isn’t going to fall where you want it.
Bringing your flash gives you some measure of control.
When you have a flash especially one with High Shutter Speed synch capability, you have a lot more control.
#5 Use long lenses
Whenever possible, shoot with a long lens to blur out the distractions in backgrounds but keep an eye on the camera recommended shutter speed.
Since I don’t own a image stabilized lens, I have to brace and squeeze off my exposure even at 1/500 second.
#6 Set White Balance as close as possible
To cut down on your post production, get your White Balance as close as you can.
Even if you are shooting raw, it doesn’t hurt to get this as close as possible.
Also, even though it’s daylight and you’re outdoors, the leaves from trees can act like a green filter.
#7 Be Friendly
Don’t forget not to act creepy especially true when you’re going to be photographing children.
You might want to speak to their parents first and tell them who you are and what you’re doing.
It doesn’t hurt if you have a business card and you give this to them.
It doesn’t have to say you are a pro photographer either.
If you missed part 1 of this post, read more about Artnival.