A Working Date With Gemma.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the music world and photography world have many parallel lines and sometimes they converge, providing Gemma and I the opportunity to work together, without taking leave from our chosen profession. Most recently this happened when we covered an event at Epernay Champagne Bar in Manchester for  The National Magazine Company’s 100th birthday celebration. The National Magazine Company is the umberella group that owns such magazines as Esquire, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and many more. A rather glamorous evening with champagne flowing, Epernay’s caterers circulating the room with delicate canapés, whilst Gemma’s three piece band added atmospheric elegance, only stopping to allow for some low key speeches and then continuing into the evening. Hit the jump for more photos, my approach to capturing the evening and lighting info…

To capture the evening on camera I used a mix of reportage style photography,

as well as a more traditional ‘event’ style, stopping people for a quick snap now and then.

For the speeches I set up an umbrella to light the speaker, which was balanced with the ambient light. Just to satisfy the most nerdy photogeeks out there: the umbrella light had a full CTO gel on. Normally this would be too much for my taste, but when its behind a white shoot-through it is ‘watered down’ by the whiteness of the umbrella so ends up being about right.

Further Strobist Info:
Usually for corporate event work I will have the canon 580ex mark2 on the camera, not something I do very often but for this type of occasion the precision of ttl is necessary. I almost always bounce of the ceiling or preferably a wall, so its not really ‘on axis lighting’, but the amount of light is regulated by the flash. Most of the time I have the ambient exposure dialed in on manual at about a stop down to lock it in and the flash is about half a stop down on the ttl balance as the 580 seems to have a tendency to overexpose if I have it on full. This gives me the most consistent results with the most ‘pretty’ light. Every now and then, if the ambient looks nice, I switch it off and knock up the iso and go for an ambient exposure as below. If any reader’s of this blog have a particular method for events that works for you, it’d be great if you let us know in the comments below. I’ve had over 300 readers this month so far but you all seem very quiet! This is a learning forum as much as anything else so any tips or tricks would be well received.

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