Sparklers, Kids & Nighttime Photography

Certain scenarios come along that just beg for fast thinking and adaptive tweaking

I’ve been pushing the limits of my new camera. I want to learn the nuances of its super-advanced-awesomeness before I need it for something more serious. And then… well, certain scenarios come along that just beg for fast thinking and adaptive tweaking of your settings, scenarios such as… Sparklers, Kids & Nighttime Photography

Consider: Kids move fast, sparklers burn out in less than a minute, and the complexity of shooting something very bright in very low light, means that you’re pretty much stuck on going full manual mode and quickly figuring out optimal settings for capturing the moment… in the moment… without a moment to spare. The super-fast-low-noise ISO of the new camera helps tremendously (can someone say ISO 102400?) and a couple of fast lenses aids in the process.

I think I did okay…

Photo Skillz I Honed as a Result

1. Metering Matters – Center point metering on an existing light source, say a nearby campfire, doesn’t quite match the intensity of the subject light source, but it seems to help find a happy-balance between catching the flame and the face… and the mood.

2. Manual Focus is Fiddly – Auto focused failed miserably in these low light conditions, and using fast glass with a shallooooooow DOF meant that it was a fight to catch fast kids (smartly) holding a flickering, burning light source away from their face.