Have you ever heard the saying “use it or lose it”? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me when it came to today’s photo session. For years, I had been solely focused on shooting landscapes and cityscapes, perfecting my composition and patience with a slow manual tilt-shift lens.
Event photography requires a quick adaptation to different scenes and lighting conditions, capturing everything from the action of people to small detail shots like food. But with a deep breath and a camera in hand, I was ready to tackle the challenge and rediscover my skills once again.
In this blog post, I will reflect on my recent photo session and share both the successes and areas that need improvement. Through this experience, I was reminded of the importance of adaptability in photography and the need to constantly challenge oneself to stay sharp. (no pun intended) 😉
Since acquiring my EOS R5 camera, I have come to appreciate its newly improved autofocus system. The Eye autofocus system intelligently selects the subject’s eye and prioritizes it for focus, making the autofocus selection process faster and more reliable than my previous camera, which required me to switch between the main and quick dial to move the autofocus point.
The R5’s ISO performance is nothing short of amazing. I can comfortably shoot this camera up to ISO 12800, and I set it to the new Flexible-Priority (FV) mode. FV mode allows me to set the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO values manually or automatically and apply exposure compensation if required. It is a hybrid between the common priority modes and full manual.
With the priority modes, such as aperture priority, I set the aperture and ISO while the camera selects the shutter speed to achieve the desired exposure value. In full manual, I control all aspects of the exposure.
FV mode allows me to select which modes I want the camera to look after while I take care of the rest. For example, if I want to lock in my shutter speed, aperture, and exposure value, the ISO will be left for the camera to adjust. This is how I prefer to shoot.
This is especially useful when using a long lens like a 50mm, where I don’t want my shutter speed to go below 1/60 of a second, but I still want full control of my aperture (like in Aperture Priority mode). I lock the shutter at 1/60 sec, freely adjust my aperture, and even apply +1/3 ev if necessary. Then, I set the ISO to Auto with a range of 100-12800. With this setting, I don’t have to worry about my lens dipping below 1/60th of a second, and I let my camera select the ISO to keep my exposure where I need it.
As I mentioned, I’ve been out of practice with action-style photography. The toughest part of today’s shoot was the composition. I used a 50mm 1.4 lens for the entire shoot, which provided a greater range of aperture selections. This allowed me to control depth of field and light exposure in certain areas. However, the downside of using prime lenses is that changing composition requires physically moving the camera or myself. This hindered me more than I would have liked, as I often found myself being too tight in the framing and frequently cropping parts of the body or subject with the long focal length.
Alternatively, I could have used my super wide-angle zoom lens, the 16-35mm F2.8 II lens, which would have given me more room to reframe and crop during post-processing. Hopefully, I’ll have more opportunities to shoot like this in the future. Overall, I’m still happy with the images I captured during the day.