How to shoot indoor event photography without a flash

Posted by & filed under Photography.

I love to take photographs and was recently asked to help out taking some photos of the Tauranga StartUp Weekend 2013.

I loved the challenge but I didn’t have a speedlite flash – just the onboard camera flash – so heres how I got these photos.

Gear list:

Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Tokina 11-16mm wide angle lens
Sigma EX 30mm prime lens
Cheap Magnifying viewfinder


The technique

So for the vast majority of these shots I used my Sigma 30mm lens – the reason for this is that it is FAST – it will open up to f1.4 and that lets in a lot of light – and light is your friend.

I set my camera into AV mode (Aperture Priority) and set the Aperture wide open. Now this does let in a lot of light but it can make focussing tricky – something that I discovered as I went along.

I set my ISO anywhere from 400 to 1600 and then used the wheel to adjust the exposure compensation as required. This allowed me to have some relatively fast control without having to fiddle a lot with all the settings as you would in Manual mode.

I set the camera to capture in RAW and then set the switch on my Sigma lens to autofocus and then began snapping.


The results

Overall I was really happy with the end result. I loved the natural result of the photos rather than people being illuminated with a flash … and shooting in RAW gave me some control to make post production corrections to exposures etc in Lightroom.

The downside – I relied a little too heavily on the autofocus to work its magic – and sometimes it didn’t work too well. So some shots that were potentially really good had to be scratched. To remedy this I used a magnifying viewfinder and switched over to manual focus – it wasn’t quite as fast – but it was good to know that if a shot was captured then it was focussed correctly.

It was a great learning experience and so completely different from landscape photography where you can plan things out so much more.


To find out more about Tauranga Startup Weekend go and check them out here.


Here are a few of the photos from the event – I think I took around 300 in total.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>