When the lights go down, I need a fast, sharp lens to help me capture the mood while keeping up with the action. For a recent assignment, the Wine Country Big-Q BBQ competition, I depended on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM lens for my Canon DSLR.
Most of the time, I work in Aperture Priority with the Sigma 35mm lens, parking the f/stop at f/1.4. This gives me the look I want, even with a cropped sensor camera (in this case, a Canon 60D). By working close to my subjects, I can create a feeling of "being there." Yet, the backgrounds soften nicely.
The focusing is quick, accurate, and quiet - very important for event coverage. If there's a gesture, or the elements in a composition come together perfectly for a moment, I want to be able to capture that.
Low light event photography presents plenty of challenges. Subjects on the move, often in dimly lit environments. I do carry a flash if I need it. But my first choice is to find an exposure that lets me work with the light that's already there. I've grown dependent on the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 prime lens in those situations.
BTW: Never cover a BBQ event on an empty stomach...
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