Nightlife/Club Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Cop J, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Cop J

    Cop J TPF Noob!

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    I am interested in doing some nightlife/club photography. I know a couple party promotors in my area who host parties for mostly young adults and college students. I know some of them are looking for photographers so I am planning on contacting them to see if I can start shooting for them.

    Just a couple questions though. My gear is listed in my sig, and as it says I have access to a 420EX flash unit so that would most likely be hot shoe'd into the camera. What are the best settings for taking pictures in a DARK environment? It will be barely lit because once the party starts, the lights go off, so if I am taking pictures I am sure I will need the flash. Also, I will the camera will be handheld, so I won't be able to use long shutter speeds.

    Basically what I am asking is what should I do to get that "dark" look of a club, but enough light to light up the subject in the picture? Most places have ceilings that aren't too high (maybe 12 feet or so) so would bouncing the 420EX flash be too much? I probably would be using my kit lens more than my 50mm, since I would be able to zoom in and out, but will an aperture of 4.0 be open enough?

    I guess I can answer a lot of these questions just by going into the club and snapping some shots, but I just figured I'd ask here first so I am prepared.
     
  2. Cop J

    Cop J TPF Noob!

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    I may be shooting tonight, since one of the event promotors is pretty interested. Any suggestions.
     
  3. Bitter Jeweler

    Bitter Jeweler Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  4. Cop J

    Cop J TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link. I actually did a search and read that topic earlier today. Just looking for any tips on getting that look of "background being dark, with highlights maybe from neon lights at the bar, while the subject is lit". I am not sure if I am explaining it correctly, but I don't want the flash to light the whole entire room up, just the subject. I have used the 420EX and bounced it off the ceiling and it sometimes makes a dark room look bright, which isn't exactly what I am looking for.
     
  5. mdtusz

    mdtusz TPF Noob!

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    You need to re-read that thread again then...

    Keep in mind, nightclubs ceilings are black, so bounced flash doesn't work very well. You're better getting a sync cord and holding the flash off camera at whatever power you need for the distance away the people are. You'll still get the dark background with light streaks depending on distances from the flash and your shutter speed. Just read the thread that Bitter linked to you.
     

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