Last week I was asked to photograph a party in one of those huge warehouses in Fulham. It was a fantastic night – lots of fun, very noisy and very dark.
In situations like that you pretty much fall back on flash and aim to blend it as closely as you can with the ambient lighting. This can create some very cool effects. But flash is no use when the hosts suddenly start a slideshow of pictures on the wall. Flash would tend to perfectly light the heads at the front and completely wash out the pictures on the wall. Or you could work at blending it and risk losing the disco lighting which makes up so much of the atmosphere.
Or you can grit your teeth and rely on keeping your camera as still as possible and the latest science fiction style cameras. Two years ago this image would have needed extensive post production to print at a large size. As it was, it came out of the camera just fine.
For the tech heads: 1/100s / f1.6 / ISO 6,400. No noise reduction.
For everybody else: don’t worry – I’ll create great memories of your event no matter how dark it gets.
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