Low Light Event Flash Photography
Saturday night, Vivaan Veghel. An evening of dance and event photography at the local senior residence.
During week days the main room of the residence is used for lunches and other gatherings. To transform the room into a dance room, on saturday night all the furniture is moved over to the sides of the room, resulting in a dance floor surrounded with tables and chairs and dimmed ceiling lights. Taking photos in this type of dark room can be quite some challenge. Moreover, if the very room is surrounded with gray curtains and minimally decorated white walls the task of creating attractive images becomes even more daunting.
In order to get most creative with a minimum amount of gear I decided to use two Nikon SB900 Speedlights. One flash unit was mounted on top of a light stand and the other on the hot shoe on top of my camera. To create a warm atmosphere in the room I CTO/RED-gelled the remote flash. Color gels are a great way to create a non existing ambiance. The remote light also acted as a rim light. For my on-camera flash light I used a HONL silver speed reflector to make my subjects stand out a little from the warmish background and hit them with a cooler more descriptive light. Note that I only wanted to create subtle changes in the atmosphere of the room. I definitely didn't want to go crazy with my ambiance color lighting and change the room into some teenage disco.
To add a nice tough to the images I choose to use longer shutter speeds in combination with camera movement to transform the otherwise rather static scenery into a more dynamic happening.
Fortunately no one had a problem having my flash lights around the stage. In fact, the people became even more challenged to show their best dance moves and I had a great time being the photographer at the Saturday night local dance event for seniors!