The organizers said, “Last year was great. Do the same.” That’s very nice, but it’s not how I roll. I view every shoot as an opportunity to learn how to do the next one better. So I reviewed the images from last year’s Ojai Art Center Fundraiser and made a plan to get better images at this year’s event.
For the reception images, I chose to boost ISO to 800 for a better balance of ambient light and flash, and I think the results (examples in the previous blog entry) were indeed much better than last year.
For the performance photos, the benefits of experience included: 1) more confidence to shoot at ISO 3200 if I could nail the exposure, 2) a willingness to move closer to the stage for a different perspective, and 3) a determination to chase better moments and not waste my time on shots that lacked emotion, expression and/or action.
Reviewing hundreds of last year’s images also taught me not to waste my time snapping pictures while the microphone was directly between the performer and the spotlight, as it produces a nasty shadow right down the middle of the singer’s face. In the end, I think most of the images are better, even if marginally so. But the experience was FAR superior, because I got those results with much less effort during the event and MUCH MUCH less effort in post-processing. I worked hard, but I had fun and produced something different from what I did before. I wonder if they’ll let me shoot from the stage next year…