Lessons Learnt from Shooting at Supanova

So, I survived spending 2 days on my feet taking photos of everyone (or at least, trying to) at Supanova.  I learnt a few valuable lessons from it all:

  • Always carry spare batteries.  Nothing’s worse than reaching the last hour or two of the day and realising that your flash batteries are dead, and then having your camera battery fail on you only moments later.
  • Flash Exposure Bracketing is almost compulsory for low-interference shoots, it lets you take the photo(s) and move on without holding up people for very long, and gives you a range of flash exposures to choose from in the event that your flash autoexposure system is doing stupid stuff.  (I found the 50D couldn’t always get the exposure level right under Supanova main hall conditions, and the 400D was hopeless).  It also results in the worse blinking photos however – warn the subjects first.
  • Always confirm camera and flash settings when returning to the floor.  Trying to shoot and discovering that you’ve left 2s self-timer on from the ultra-slow exposures you were doing moments before is a little embarrassing.
  • Fast lenses are good.  Convention lighting generally sucks.
  • Carry one flash per body.  Don’t try to share – you’ll just spend all your time fidgeting to move it between bodies.
  • Don’t try to manually focus without a manual focus optimised focusing screen when physically exhausted.  It might look right to you, but it probably isn’t.
  • 50mm is too long on an APS-C body for the tight quarters shooting at Supanova, but should be about right on full-frame.
  • People seem to assume that the grip fitted camera and large flash means you’re a professional…

3 thoughts on “Lessons Learnt from Shooting at Supanova”

  1. “People seem to assume that the grip fitted camera and large flash means you’re a professional…”

    This can be both good and bad. 🙂

  2. “50mm is too long on an APS-C body for the tight quarters shooting at Supanova, but should be about right on full-frame.”

    Aye, we bought the 35mm f/2 for our 7D for exactly that reason… 50mm is just too long on APS-C (even regardless of what you’re shooting, IMO).

  3. Actually, I’ll disagree there – for head+shoulders only portraiture, 50mm works pretty well.

    I’m currently thinking of picking up a 28mm f/1.8 USM for the next major event. The benefit there being that the 28mm f/1.8 USM does report focal distance for ETTL-II shooting. I’ll probably pick up at the 35mm f/2.0 at some point however.

    Also planning to rent a 24-70mm f/2.8L for the next major event so I can get a feel for how it performs before laying down the cash for one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.