Inside and Outside. Bright sunlight to darkly lit rooms. People, action, product, landscape, architectural – event photography can be any of those, but sometimes – sometimes – it’s all of those.
75 people from 28 states, plus the regional leadership from the company’s office near Los Angeles, brand teams, and members of the company’s senior leadership and executive team were all in Seattle for their annual meeting. The festivities all started with a kick-off dinner at The Golf Club at Newcastle in Bellevue, about 20 minutes from Downtown Seattle.
Of course, everyone wants their photo with the nice view in the background. Of course, it’s a nice bright afternoon. Of course to get that photo, I’m shooting directly into the sun. What to do? If I was going to be a little more stationary I would have brought out a monoblock to overpower, but needing to be more mobile meant I didn’t have that luxury.
First – get the ISO as low as I can go. On the Nikon D750, Low-1 is an ISO 50 equivalent. Next, get the shutter speed as fast as I can get it. With the SB-910 on that camera, the fastest sync speed is 1/200th. Lastly, use the aperture to control flash output, then go into post with a prayer.
Using a combination of the Dehaze slider in Adobe Lightroom along with bringing down the highlights and punching the shadows a bit I was able to get some version of reasonable-looking photos. Yes!!
After cocktail hour outside, the grouped moved inside for a toast (led by Western US Ambassador for The Balvenie David Laird) and dinner. For these, I mostly put the SB-910 on top of a light stand, and using the light-colored wall as a giant bounce to soften the light as much as possible. Using an SU-800 in the hot shoe I was able to get TTL exposure and nice coverage. When not using the remote triggered flash, I kept a second SB-910 on the D-800 on the other strap and could pull for on-camera lighting.
No one likes their photo taken while they’re eating, so dinner time also gave me a great opportunity to get some bottle product photos of the company’s brands. For these I used a similar set-up to the interior shots – SB-910 on a light stand and using the flash head’s native diffuser, triggered off-camera with the SU-800.