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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beauty Night Society Fundraiser

I was out at another event, a Variety show fundraiser for the Beauty Night Society held at the Fortune Sound Club.   If you would like to read a proper review of the event, please go to the other blog where I do proper nightlife journalism.

See the full set at my flickr!

But still, nerd stuff below:

This wasn't just a simple fashion show, it was a full on variety show featuring various types of artists and product demonstrations.  We all know I don't like doing lens swaps these days, so I brought out a Canon 5dII, Canon 24-105mm, Canon 580 EX II flash.  In reality as you will see, you'll be able to take these kind of photos from even entry level DSLRs with the kit lens, and even without a flash you can take sweet photos.

Body: I grabbed the Canon 5dII for the synergy with the 24-105mm lens.  That's it.

Lens: 24-105mm lens for the range.  24-70mm would have been good as well, but I wanted the extra range and the IS for no-flash shots.  It gets dark dude.  15-85mm on 7D would have been just as good or better, but I wanted the red ring on my lens to look legit.  I don't do backroom stuff, but if I did I would bring a fast wide prime.

Flash: I brought my most powerful one.  I always set the flash on auto with center weighted at +1 EV.  I'm pretty good at math but I can't do 4 variable optimization.  I'll trust the system to make the right choice.  But many of my best shots are taken without the flash to take advantage of the fantastic mood lights and colours that was present.

I'll go through some of the photos I took, the settings I used, and the reasoning behind the choices.

This photo of the live paint battlers was taken with no flash at 24mm, iso 1250, 1/30s, f/4.  There was already directional lighting and deep shadows from the ambients, so I wanted to use the lights already present.  I sat here for a bit waiting for the right moment and pressed the shutter button.

This photo of Mandy Ross posing for me was taken with flash, 105mm, iso 640, 1/15s, f/4.  I liked the background (bricks and such) and even though the colours matched her skin tone, there was sexy dark hair to frame her face and separate.  Anyways, I can go with low shutter speeds and a increased gain on the iso to increase the exposure of the scene, and freeze the frame with the flash.

Here's a photo of the the glasses from Optical Boutique and scarf from One Piece Vancouver.  I went for a medium close up to capture the accessories that were featured.  It was taken with flash, 50mm, iso 160, 1/15s,  f/5.6.  I went a stop up with aperture to get increased sharpness, lower iso for lower noise, and to compensate I dropped the shutter speed to rely on the flash to freeze the frame.  Then the flash will become the primary light source (instead of the location lights).

Here is Brent Ray Fraser in the middle of his performance.  It was shot with no flash, 24mm, iso 5000, 1/40s, f/4.  Image quality wasn't an issue, I just wanted the light casting through the smoke and the motion and lines expressed in his action.  And I wanted the shadow casting across his figure with the mixed colors.  If I used flash, all of this would instantly disappear.  So I set the iso at the highest comfortable value of 5000, widest aperture I can get, and I just set the shutter speed to the correct exposure.

Another part of the show was live music performance.  Here Diane Reyes is taken with no flash, 105mm, iso 5000, 1/50s, f/4.  Again I wanted the mixed colors and shadows.  The light casting from the mic on her face isn't very pleasant but I can just deal with it I suppose.

This is the first show with Rogue.  This was shot with no flash, 55mm, iso 5000, 1/50s, f/4.  I went full man mode and went for location lights.  Why not, I already took photos of Rogue Designs a few days ago, this is just newgame+.  So in trade for the extra challenge, I got the pleasant shadows and colours which would otherwise be mising if I used a flash.

This shot was from the same series but I changed shutter speeds as the end of the runway was better lit.  This was shot with no flash, 105mm, iso 5000, 1/100s, f/4.  Even with 1/100s shutter speed, shooting at 105mm is a crap shoot, as the models constantly change poses at the end of the runway.  Most models end up conditioned to change poses after each flash, but I wasn't using a flash and a million flashes were going off at the same time.  Full body shots weren't as useful because the lights only illuminated them above the knees at the end of the runway.  Anyways, this series had a low hit rate due to motion blur, but anything that came out properly ended up being my favorites.

This was the second series with Rogue that night.  I came out of full man mode and went back to the safe bet of using the flash.  So it was shot with flash, 24mm, iso 160, 1/50s, f/4. Here I can fully show off the badass couture, chains and leather and all.

Just for fun.  Because I forgot to mention in my thesociables article:  Kevan Seng and J Won Suh from Golden Brush Art Events who hosted the painting competition.  See, Mandy Ross knows where all the good looking guys are at.

See the full review at, and see the full set at my flickr!

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