In today’s world almost everyone is packing a camera, whether it be a full professional SLR, point and shoot or cell phone, you can almost guarantee that images are being snapped at lightening speeds and posted almost as quickly on line at every event taking place all over the globe. The trick is to capture the moments that actually tell the story and include the viewer in the experience without them actually being there.
If you have been asked or hired to cover an event there are few things to take into consideration prior to attending the event. I always prepare a shot list, a brief outline of the images you would like to capture and the lens you will need with suggested settings. (Wide angle, low light, speed, close ups etc.) Often you are heading into the venue with only a general outline of what is going to be taking place. If you stop for a few minutes and mentally visualize the shots you are more likely to capture the moment in the few short seconds you have than to attempt the shot without any preparation.
Weather is fickle and it can change in an instant, always plan for the best but prepare for the worst. This tip is more about protecting yourself and gear than it is taking a better image. A soggy photographer with damaged gear is not going to capture anything but a cold and bad disposition. You don’t have to buy top of the line brand specific gear to offer good protection. A few different sized plastic bags and some all-weather tape coupled with a sturdy umbrella and a good pair of waterproof boots will provide ample coverage for most conditions and keep you and your gear drier and warmer.
I am a firm believer that having the correct lens can make or break your ability to capture what you have visualized. I almost never leave home with the three basic lens in my kit, a a wide, mid, and telephoto will cover your basis nicely. If you only have the mid-range lens consider renting a wide angle lens like the 16-35mm f/2.8 and a mid-range telephoto lens like the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, both are exceptional and small rental fee will easily disappear when you see your results. (Your clients will be delighted too if you were hired to cover the event). Money well spent I say!
And finally, I can always tell a well versed photographers event work from a novice by the story their images tell. Just like a novel, there should be a beginning, middle and end with lots of interesting tid-bits throughout. A climatic point in the event that the photographer really places emphasis on and a final thought, note or message in an image to say … until next year, good night, the end. Standing people in big lines or rows is out and fresh candid captures is the preferred style, so use restrain when taking group shots. Reduce noise background clutter as often as you can or use a shallow depth of field to blur out the background. Always keep your eyes scanning but take time to rest and replenish your body, tired and hungry doesn’t encourage a passionate eye. Until next time Happy Clicking!!
Top -For something a little more creative try capturing some of the event in a reflective surface. Shiny instruments, sunglasses and even puddles are great to catch a reflective imaginative shot at the event.
This image screams Canadian pride as this young man marches through the street sporting the country’s flag while enjoying one of the largest Canada Day Parades in Preston Cambridge.
Capturing colourful character shots can really add to the over story of the event. Shown here is a powerful profile image of a re-enactment admiral as he remains stealth-like during a canon launch as part of the Cambridge Highland Games.
Tags: Cambridge Highland Games, home, SLR, work, young