Event Photography… and I need a lot more practice

Yesterday I went to the annual Santa Barbara Solstice Parade. I had a great time, but boy do I need a lot more practice shooting events.

Here were some of my problems:

  1. Focus, focus, focus – and I don’t mean clearing my mind. So many soft images or images that I never took because I knew I could not keep up with the focus. I’m shooting with a 5dMkII which does not have the most sophisticated focus system in the world, but mostly it is me. First of all, I was shooting with a long lens much of the day which wasn’t helping to with depth of field. I should have probably bumped up the ISO and stopped down a little more. Second, although I tried to think about this while shooting, I did a lot of shooting with people coming at me. That is HARD. I know I should have been looking for situations with people moving across my field of view. Next time.
  2. Finding a clear path – there is a lot going on at an event and it was not easy for me to find clear backgrounds. I think I need to look harder for this. I tried to compensate with shallower depth of field (see #1). What I think I needed to do, was find my spot in the parade based on the background, not on convenience.
  3. Finding interesting AND photogenic subjects – I hate to say this, but some (many) of the people I photographed were just plain, well, plain. Even with their costume they were, well, plain. Some were nervous and that was really apparent on the portrait too.

I got some “nice” shots and one or two that I like a lot and a couple that I like by my husband doesn’t.

It was a fun day and I’ll do it again because I need a lot more practice.

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One Comment to “Event Photography… and I need a lot more practice”

  1. I’m no pro, but some thoughts about the Solstice Parade. A good place to watch it is on the stairs of the museum. Just above the crowds is a good view, and with a bright day, you will have good light. When you are in the park area, maybe changing to your EP2? Also, did you wander around in the park, or stay in one spot? Or both? Which worked best? Finally, post more to Flickr – I really like seeing more of your work – you have made incredible leaps, and though you are more critical now, and probably more frustrated, there is a definite improvement that is subtle. I think your pictures are more sophisticated as they are often simpler.

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