I have a job tonight taking photos at a couple of venues and I am looking for recommendations regarding what equipment, camera settings, and techniques to use. I've taken these kind of photos before but the job was of an extremely casual nature so I pretty much just winged it and the photos were not quite on par with the photos I see taken by more serious nightclub photographers, and I feel also not on par with what my employer will be expecting of me tonight.
Here are some examples, of varying quality, taken with a 600D, 430EX II speedlite, and two different . The ones with a dark vignette were shot through a 10-20mm wide angle, the ones without were shot through the 18-55mm macro that came with my camera.
And here are a few examples of what I'd like my photos to look like.
Edited to remove images that are apparently not copyright to you. Please do not post images that you do not own the copyright to. Refer to the forum please.
Now for some questions.
Firstly, is the vignette in my photos caused by the wide angle and/or flash settings? Or is it something else entirely? I kind of like the effect it gives some photos but I don't think it matches the look the venues I'm shooting at are looking for. My knowledge of the speedlite's settings is pretty limited and I usually just go by trial and error. I'd like to get a greater understanding of the different settings and modes. I've read the manual but it seems more focused on instructing me how to operate the speedlite and navigate the interface. I can do those things just fine but I'm more interested in understanding the principles involved, primarily what the zoom setting changes, the the different modes mean. The lighting at the venue I'm assuming will be similar to to the examples I've provided, there will be no flashy lights/lasers or smoke machines or any of that stuff. Based on these details, opinions on the ideal flash settings would be greatly appreciated. Also, would my shots be improved if I had a flash diffuser? Typically every nightclub photographer I've observed uses one and I'm wondering how significant the differences might be.
Moving onto , I'd really appreciate opinions on which one to use tonight. With the wide angle I like being able to stand closer to the subject so I don't have to worry about the flash losing it's effectiveness over distance, and it's better for shooting larger groups of people but I'd like to avoid the vignette. Also the macro is better for taking vertical shots which I might be asked to do quite a bit tonight. Opinions on any filters that are good for this type of thing are welcome. I currently just have a UV filter on both of the I've been talking about. I do have a 50mm fixed portrait that i didn't plan on using tonight due to it's lack of versatilty, but if anybody can tell me why it'd be a good idea to give it a go I'm all ears.
Also I've been thinking about getting a new for a while now. If anybody has any recommendations for a that would better suit this type of photography I'm not averse to going out today and buying one. My budget is around $600-$800
I think that just about covers everything I wanted to know, but if I think of more I will edit this post.