Tip: Shooting an Event in Low Light with Kit Lenses

photo by: Gabre Cameron

A few months ago The Gist sponsored the artwork for an event, my wife and I were invited to the gala night. While at the show I couldn't help but notice the photographer, with a monopod, all the way in the back. Being a skeptic I thought "those photos aren't gonna come out good". I did get a chance to see some of the photos and those taken from the back of the play house came out just as I expected. Why? The photographer was using kit lenses in a low light setting but didn't know how to get the best capture.

I am a hobbyist photographer and found myself in the same situation, in the exact same play house, with only kit lenses for the DSLR I use. Not all my photos came out perfect either but I learned from the experience ( click here to see samples ).

When shooting and event under low light conditions and you only have kit lenses here are some things you can do:

  1. Get a seat in the front row
  2. Use the kit lens that gives you the largest aperture (this is usually the wide angle lens)
  3. Increase your ISO
  4. Set your camera to "aperture priority" mode
  5. Set your auto focus to continuous (since the subjects may be moving)
  6. Set your shutter release to continuous
  7. Use a tripod/monopod if you have one (try not to impede the movement of patrons)

It's a great thing to be able to afford a prim lens but until that day comes one has to learn how to use what he already owns to give the best results possible.

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