Discomfort Zone

This is the scenario where I’m the least comfortable making photographs: At a poorly-lit children’s Birthday Party. This party was held at John’s Incredible Pizza in Moreno Valley, California, a place specifically well-designed for children’s parties.

The lighting, however, is truly appalling for photographs. To get semi-acceptable images I had to set a low aperture, crank up the ISO, and use the camera’s built-in flash. Even with those adjustments, shooting was quite iffy. The attendants kept changing the lighting in the room, depending on what pre-arranged games they conducted with the children.

Flash is so disturbing that I have a personal bias against it. I only use it at times when I absolutely have to, like when I catch raccoons on the patio at night. The lighting on our patio is deliberately dim, so the extra light is needed if I want any sharp detail. Like children, raccoons don’t stand still to be photographed. The raccoons are particularly active when there are more than one and they are jockeying for position around the catfood bowl.

Flash photography might become comfortable if I did it more frequently, but since I only do it a few times a year, I’m not likely to get used to it in this lifetime. It is probably a good thing that I’m not a studio or event photographer and have no aspiration to fill either of those roles on a regular basis.

The pizza at John’s was neither incredibly good or bad, but the joint does serve draft beer, which is a good trade-off from my perspective. The kids all seemed to have a great time, which was the point of having the party at that venue. The planners of the party, my son and daughter-in-law, hit that target dead center.