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.