There’s dark, and then there’s DARK

I heart photography, and can’t wait for my cute stickers attesting to this fact to arrive in the mail, so I can start plastering them all over my universe (lockers, my laptop, the corner of my car’s window, etc.).  Okay, not really.  But while I do love the whole enchilada, I can certainly narrow it down a bit, and genuinely say that I’ve always been fascinated with taking people’s pictures.  I guess I just like looking at people.  Who knew?

I do some event photography for Muscibox Events ( from time to time.  I love the music these guys put on, and the characters that are attracted to such an event are fantastic subjects to photograph.  But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?), the lighting is a little tricky.  And by ‘a little,’ I mean a lot.  First off, how often have you been to a fun club that is well lit?  Secondly, club lighting that is constantly changing in direction and intensity, oddly enough, means I need to keep readjusting my settings.  And I just can’t seem to keep a certain range of settings on my camera and flash, and obtain a consistent look.  So I’m all over the map with ISO, aperture, flash compensation, fong bong on – fong bong off, bounce flash, no flash, etc.  In the end, I always get images I like, but I thought someone said this stuff was easy…..?

So I usually end up shooting in Aperture Priority (from wide open to f/4), around 1/30th or 1/40th of a second in rear curtain sync, with my flash firing either via Nikon’s CLS or using Cactus v4 radio triggers.  I hunt around for an amount of light from my flash that doesn’t nuke the scene, and that is less than a nice, evenly-lit shot, and leave my flash at that setting.  If in CLS I’m adjusting the flash compensation via the camera body, so that’s pretty quick and easy.  Then I just play with aperture and sometimes shutter, trying and hoping to get some good shots.

About Bryan Oster

Photographer of people and food. You can see some of my work at my site (, and at my blog (
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