Event Photography – Dead Man’s Carnival New Year’s Eve Celebration
This December I was hired to do some event photography for the Dead Man’s Carnival New Year’s Eve celebration that took place at the Hot Water/Wherehouse bar in Milwaukee. This group puts on some of my favorite events to photograph, combining a steampunk/carnival type of atmosphere with games, side shows, music, acrobats, burlesque dancers, and other types of acts from all over the Midwest and other parts of the country. Some of these are truly amazing performers. Quite a way to bring in the new year.
The lighting in this place is amazing, but certainly presents some of the most challenging problems to solve. A combination of colored house lights, spot lights from the balcony, ambient room lights, hot stage lighting, and a very dark atmosphere, combined with fast action makes for some real challenges. I had three lenses with me for the evening – my Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, my Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 OS, and my baby, the Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 VC. Next time I will definitely have some prime lenses with me. I shot at this venue once before, during the 2013 Steampunk Ball, so at least I had an idea of what I was in for.
I shot much of the night with on camera flash, my trusty Yongnuo 565 EX set to TTL, using a small Rogue Flashbender – one of my favorite event photography flash modifiers. Given the changing light as I moved around the room, some of the performances being backlit from the balcony spot lights, I was doing a lot of flash compensation to dial my flash power up or down to balance the ambient light so as to not blow out the atmosphere.