focal length: 70 mm
shutter speed: 1/100
aperture: f/4.8
ISO: 2000
flash: not fired

I really enjoy shooting stage performances because of the cool things we can do with spotlights. By underexposing my image, the spotlight to the left acted as a rim light where only the left rim or edge of the subject is lit. Rim lighting helps separate a subject from a dark background but can be used creatively for different effects. You can place a rim light directly behind the subject if shooting head on, or to the side to light the edge of one side only. I liked the effect the spotlight made on this low-key image because without it, my subject would have disappeared into the darkness.

Looking at my settings now, I should used a smaller aperture (higher f-stop) or a faster shutter speed to underexpose the image instead of a high ISO, to reduce the noise. I was shooting in the main hall before this shot and it was just faster to change the aperture and shutter speed. I wish changing the ISO was more accessible on Nikon bodies.

Sorry I’ve been MIA on the blogging circuit. Trying to reduce my child’s TV time means less internet time for me. Follow me on Twitter if you’re wondering what I’m up to. I’ll have to do a post on Twitter one of these days and how it can help improve your photography.

Laura is a Vancouver wedding and portrait photographer. Visit