Photographing Events Outdoors at Night

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24mm f1.4 L series lens. Exposure: 1/13 second @ f4 ISO 1600 with fill flash.I was fortunate indeed to travel to Sale last Saturday to attend the 50th birthday party for my brother-in-law, Ross. I made the trip with my oldest brother, Mick. We had a great time doing our very best to avoid any cholesterol-related concerns for the whole weekend.

As far as the party was concerned we enjoyed great company, fun music and abundant and delicious food.

The band for the evening was Saida, a local Sale-based band featuring Ross's oldest child Daniel. Daniel is an up-and-coming guitarist who also enjoys playing the digeridoo, harmonica and sabar (African drum). The above image features Daniel strumming up a storm.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series lens @ 55mm. Exposure: 1/10 second @ f4 ISO 3200 with Fill Flash

This image features my younger sister and Ross's wife, Gabrielle, with two of her good friends.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 IS lens @ 45mm. Exposure: 1/13 second @ f4 ISO 1600 with Fill Flash.

The celebration was held outside, on a mild spring evening. Its great to know that, with care, its possible to produce relatively good photos late at night at a slow shutter speed. The trick is to be able to hold the camera still at the slow shutter speeds required when working under such low light levels. As indicated by the image captions I've also had to increase the camera's IS0 which, for me, is a last resort practice. It's not ideal but it has allowed me to produce relatively decent results.

Canon 5D camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 L series IS lens @ 45mm. Exposure 1/13 second @ f4 ISO 1600 with Fill Flash.

Appropriate use of fill flash can be useful under such circumstances. As well as helping to light the subject the fast speed of the flash can also be an aid in minimising camera and/or subject movement.

The above image features the birthday boy, Ross. His lovely wife Gabs and their great friend Roz didn't need to be asked twice to help Ross celebrate the moment. Well Gabs, what would Mr. Sherlock say if he could see you know.

Canon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L series lens @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/8 second @ f4 ISO1600 with Fill Flash.It was a great night full of great memories. I'm very glad I brought the camera along and, despite difficult conditions, managed to preserve some of those memories.

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru