A few days ago, I visited a classical dance event that took place outdoors. The venue was well-lit and I could even get close to the stage. However, I still managed to miss crucial moments. Should I shoot in one particular mode and is it necessary for me to remain stationary in one place?
Rama Krishnan, via email
This article was originally published in December 2014.
Regardless of whether it is an outdoors or indoors event, it is always a good idea to reach the venue slightly beforehand. You can look for a good enough vantage point and make a few initial test shots of the place. Carrying a fast lens and a telephoto lens is always helpful as you can vary your photos.
If the light is too low, then use the Aperture Priority mode, keep the aperture at its widest and let the shutterspeed be determined accordingly. Alternatively, if the place is even slightly well-lit, then you can shift to the Shutter Priority mode and choose an appropriate shutterspeed. Remember that it is not always necessary to get sharp, frozen stills. You can get creative with motion blurs, especially while shooting the fluid movements of dancers. Set the maximum ISO value available and switch off the noise reduction (NR) function of your camera.
Another important thing is to keep moving around, no matter what. Take wide shots, manoeuvre for tight close-ups and even shoot from the wings or from backstage, if you manage to get permissions.