When you shoot a runway or a concert, the first photos you take are light tests.
Before a concert or runway starts, the lights are never where they are once it begins. One method for determining balanced settings is to determine what I want my shutter and aperture to be, and setting my ISO once the lights come up. But more often than not, I leave my settings where they are balanced before the lights come up and quickly change settings once the lights are at full power.
While concert lighting changes throughout a show, runways tend to stay about the same throughout.
I caught the above shot while the lights were still coming up last weekend on one of the runways I photographed.
My settings at the time were 1/100, ƒ5.0, ISO 800 with a 70-200 mm 2.8 lens. Once the lights were peaking out, I reset quickly to 1/400, ƒ5.0 and ISO 800. For a runway, generally 1/320th is fast enough to stop action, 5.0 is a decent enough area for depth of field and I would hope to bring my ISO to 640 or 500. Ideally, 400 or so on my camera.
I liked the above catch a lot. I enjoyed the negative space around her and the gradients of light mixed with shadows. I like the warmth of her skin contrasted against the ambient sunlight which is casting blues across where the incandescent lights are starting to warm up.
What do you think?
Below is an example of what the lights looked like at full power.