The recent party shoot in Worthing a day after moving home to Brighton was a nice drive along the Sussex coast on the A27. It was at the Worthing Dome cinema - a room above the main entrance is ideal for parties with a verandah overlooking the pier. I remembered the location as featuring in the movie Wish You Were Here which I probably saw in another cinema about 15 years ago.
A huge age range at this party - it was Pete's 40th birthday. Starting the photography when there was still some daylight, plenty of space inside and out, moving towards darkness with a band playing there was opportunity to try out a range of styles, with and without flash.
A real location contrast for Tom's 30th birthday party in Soho this weekend. Club Milk & Honey in Soho, London was almost impossible to find - fortunately I'd read as much in doing a little research ahead of the event and found the tiny doorbell which said M & H - all there was to advertise its presence. Inside I discovered a dark and cramped basement cocktail bar with Tom (who did not have a clue I was coming) thrilled to have me join the great atmosphere of his party.
Flash is the essential tool in this environment. While it's great for posed shots, unfortunately the red focus aid that shines onto the subject alerts the person who might otherwise be the subject of a candidly taken shot that a photographer is out there. So for many shots I resorted to manual focus, not that I could see enough to focus in the dark but have set a particular distance I then used my experience to make sure the subject was in the right place. A little risky but the instant response from the shutter means that I nail some great shots.
What I have not mentioned it that I was using the same slow shutter flash technique in all these images except the obvious external shot in Worthing. You'll see the contrast that the background lights make in results from the two venues.
I didn't mention the rain. The only way of getting into Tottenham Court Road station after the event was to wade through an almost ankle deep puddle. Two bootfuls for the journey home. Squelch.