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Archive 2012 · how to photograph people at packed parties ?
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · how to photograph people at packed parties ?

I have a (manual focus) 50mm f/1.4 lens, and an AF 18-135mm (f/3.5-5.6) lens, also an AF 135mm f/2. The parties are often dark, but this is not a huge issue as I have two off-camera strobes and I can often bounce it off to the ceiling. I point it at about 60 degrees from the normal (sitting on a table a distance away) but people actually block the flash so most of the light reaching the subjects comes from the ceiling, making it very flattering.

I don't want to just "document" the party, I want to add at least some (pseudo)artistic or aesthetic elements to the photos. I've considered getting a 28mm f/2, so I can raise it above the crowd, use my on-camera TR-980 for the focus-in-the-dark red lines (set at 1/128 power) to focus the lens in the dark, while off-camera flash is activated a distance away. I could set the AF point so it's not so random. Another approach I've thought of would be to use a wide angle lens at a slow aperture, but the DOF effect would be different.

(I can of course easily do posed portraits of people at parties, but this is not quite what I'm talking about.)

Can people with experience in photographing this kind of thing offer some tips?

Sep 21, 2012 at 05:49 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · how to photograph people at packed parties ?

I shoot high iso with a 24 or 28 and 35 1.4G and shoot wide open or close to it like 1.4 to 2.0 w/no flash

IMO I think 1 50 is still to tight for tight parties, but it depends on many things like crowds, lighting etc..

Sep 22, 2012 at 04:18 AM

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