No Flash Permitted

on January 18, 2015

Every photographer's had that awkward moment when someone comes up to you just before you start a job and announces that there will be no flash. This is no problem if you are going to shoot a car show in the Swan Valley at midday - see previous blog post - because you WILL have light. But bob down the road to St. Grubby's church in the park and get told that you'll have no flash and windows the size of postage stamps...and here comes the the bride...

The church problem was solved by having the bride's mother savage the vicar, but one cannot always enjoy oneself like this - sometimes we have to suck it up and put away the flash.

Case in point was a dance show this weekend - the big school theatre where it was held had stage lighting, but it was way up in the rafters. Some additional towers were put on the stage - but again these were modest output. The lighting equation would have been pretty well unsolvable had I been using regular sorts of films or regular sorts of digital camera. Dancers move fast and you can't do long exposures.

Fortunately I found out last show that the Fujifilm X-E2 could go to 3200 ISO without coughing - and this time it went to 6400 with acceptable shadows -and a DR of 400%.
As well, the Auto white balance nailed the mixed stage lighting very well - as soon as it went through Aperture 3 or Lightroom all the jpeg files fell in place.

I noted that this does not seem to be the case with other images posted from audience members - they have been forced into some pretty grim colour. Presumably the results are from smaller compact cameras or older digitals that don't quite have the newer circuitry or capabilities.

I reflected at the time that Nikon pro users would have been as well or better served in the same circumstance - the low-light capabilities of the D3, 3s, 4, Df, and D750 are justly lauded. 'Course they would have been hauling heavier iron than I was and that does make a difference if you're holding it for 3 hours or are lazy...

So the conclusion is, get Fujifilm, or Nikon, or plead for permission to use flash. Or bring the bride's mother...