We were a little slim on the photo coverage front last Tuesday for Wednesday's paper (before a crane tipped over on the bridge Wednesday morning) so when I dropped off my son at a church youth event at the Wenatchee Free Methodist Church - where my family had attended a couple years ago - I decided to stay and make some photographs. The event, Banana Night, is a huge draw among the junior high kids and when we changed churches to Valley Community Church, my son made sure we knew that Banana Night was still on his calendar.
Now about the lighting. The event is held in the darkened hallways of the church so without a flash, it is nearly an impossible task to get a decent photograph. But I am definitely not a flash-friendly photographer. For the most part, the pop of light is unnatural and distracting.
I started in a lit room as the adults were putting on gorilla suits and a banana suit. Even then, to get detail in the gorilla's I had to adjust the exposure up and down depending on where they were in the room and what my camera meter was reading. Here's a couple we didn't use then the one we did.
Of these three, I like the color and subject contrast between the gorillas and banana so went with the better of those two.
When it came to shooting the actual contest where 200 kids were running the halls being tagged by gorillas in the dark, I started with a flash to get these.
Then hung around a lit stairway, away from having to use my flash, to get the one we used.
I thought this last one really told the story in the expressions of the youth. One looked petrified, one running away, and the other, cornered by the gorilla, had a smile on his face while he was having fun. An added bonus - it was in focus and with little motion blur.
With conditions as tough as this, it pays off to spend a lot of time and shoot a lot of photographs to get one that says it all.