I have the opportunity to shoot many events each month in little to 'no' light. Most of the events I shoot do not permit the use of a flash. Over the past seven years of shooting in low light venues, I have learned many tricks, tips, and techniques.
- I heard a famous, experienced photographer say, "You are taking a picture of light with a subject in it." I forget who stated it but the phrase stuck in my mind. Especially when I am shooting in low light or almost no light events.
- Use the 'fastest' lens you can afford. My suggestion is to purchase a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4. Currently, I use my 50mm f/1.8 as my main lens in a low light situation. However, this image was taken with my Tamron 17-50 f/2.8.
- Study any available light and determine if you can use it as fill light. If you are shooting a youth event and the light is 'moving' the key to success is to pre-expose the shot and 'lock' it in by using 'M' manual mode. The reason I use manual mode is to avoid the moving light from adjusting my exposure when I do not want it adjusted. If you shoot in aperture priority, then you run the risk of the shutter speed changing which could cause you to get an overexposed or underexposed image. Typically, I find if I can get the shutter speed at least to 1/30 or 1/60 of a second with my lens wide open most of the shots will not appear 'blurry'. This shot was taken at 1/50 and f/2.8. I exposed the shot on the upper left of the image to ensure the face of the drummer was not blown out. This caused a dimensional look and added some impact to the image. The drummer's left had has some blur in it but it shows 'action'.