Indoor events are often poorly lit and often have fast action. Event photography is demanding on both your gear and skills. So what are you to do if you’re not a professional photographer and want to get some good photos? Here are three simple tips that will improve your photos at events such as The Royal Agricultural Fair.
Tip 1 – Motion blur. One of the most common problems you’ll face when photographing an event indoors is a blurring photo. Generally an event indoors is of some sort of sporting activity from gymnastics, soccer to horse jumping. All of these activities are fast paced when it comes to shooting a picture. Even players at the bench or riders slowly trotting around are enough of a motion to make your photos turn out blurry. So how do you fix this? There are two main things to remember. First set your camera to shutter speed priority or if you’re camera doesn’t have that setting set I to sports mode. The shutter speed should be as high as you can set it. Now keep in mind that the higher the shutter speed the higher the ISO and this will cause a grainy photo. Before the event starts take some sample photos to see what the best combination is. Once you have a good balance between shutter speed and ISO practice panning your photo. Follow your subject and move the camera to match the speed they are moving at. This will effectively reduce the total speed between your camera and the subject.
Tip 2 – Lighting. Many arenas are built for a primary purpose such as hockey. When they build them they place large overhead lights in key locations to light-up the action. Often this is at the center of the arena or toward each end where a goalie would be. Look at the lighting and anticipate how the action at your event will cross under these lights. This will give you the most light possible on your subject. If you can wait just a little bit to time the event such that the player or horse passes through the light while you pan with it your chances of getting a well-lit focused photo increase dramatically.
Tip 3 – Bring a real camera. I know everyone has the latest cellphone that promises to take better and better photos but in reality they can’t compare to even the least expensive DSLR camera. Now the photos you took on vacation with your cellphone look great because you were outdoors and had a HUGE light source, the sun. Low light arenas is where cellphones crash and burn. They are simply not meant for this type of photography. So if you have a real camera regardless of how much you paid for it take it with you. The photos should come out a lot better!
These three simple photo tips can quickly improve your photos while at an indoor event. Try them out and practice even at home with your pet or child running around. Investing 15 minutes practicing will greatly increase your chances of getting some cool photos. Check out my photography blog for more tips on how to get the shot you want.