Low Light Event Photography

Once a year I shoot an event and this event takes place in a very dark venue and this is due to the choice of lighting they use every year. This event is a black-tie event for charity.

I struggle with choosing what lens to use so I brought my whole bag this year of canon gear. Knowing the lighting situation I didn’t want to limit myself to just one or two lenses because you just never know until you get there. So the lenses I brought were 85mm f1.8, 35mm f2 image stabilized, 70-200 f2.8 ii stabilized and the Rokinon 14mm f2.8. I started out with the 70-200 simply because I just bought it and wanted to try it out. It’s awesome having a good 70-200 again. Then I used the 85mm for a good bit of the night because its a f1.8 which gives me a good amount of light when compared to the f2 and f2.8 that the other lenses are.


There is a choice of color images that I took from the night. ISO varies from iso 4,000-12,800 on the 5d Mark Iv. The shutter was around 1/200th-1/30th so that gives you an idea of how dark it was in this venue. I also had to bump the exposure on almost every image at least 1 stop to 1/2 a stop in Lightroom. I don’t do a lot of post-processing for event photography. I stick to basic contrast, exposure, and highlight adjustments. I add a little bit of sharpening, do some cropping and very little noise reduction. If some images are too bright with color from the lights or grainy I go black and white. Here are some of those images.


Well If you want to know more, let me know in the comments or dm me on Instagram at @ derekliving


Thanks for coming back for yet another blog.

Appreciate it!



Long Exposure Photography

I have had a resurgence in long exposure photography for the past couple of months. Long exposures help make some images, what they are. Shooting a long exposure of a waterfall adds that motion to smooth out the waterfall, or adding traffic streaks in downtown city scenes as cars pass by something. It just adds that factor of pop that some images need.



There are many other ways long exposure can help an image. You can do it with a large body of water to smooth it out if there is any movement in it. There is astrophotography, shooting the milky way or even star trails. The list goes on and beyond many ways that I have tried myself. I have been doing my fair share lately and felt that there are some tips that can help people get into it themselves to add that so-called pop to your work.


I don’t claim to know everything or that this video covers everything. This is simply tips that helped me out and things I learned doing it myself. I hope you get the chance to watch this video and maybe try it out for yourself.



Sports Photography

I’ve been shooting sports for a few years now and it was my biggest passion in photography for a while. I get questions often on tips or how I started, what gear I use etc.. So, I figured I would create a video going over some of the basics I thought were helpful to me when I first started. If its something you’re into, check it out below.

This one is short and not really a blog, I just like to share what I am up to.


A Shocker of a LENS.

A lens that completely shocked me in many ways is the Rokinon 14mm f2.8  (https://amzn.to/2FVhjxx). I bought this lens because it was cheap compared to other wide-angle lenses and the main reason was to shoot astrophotography. Though I haven’t shot too many star photos with it, I have gotten it out for some long exposure as of recent. Some of the photos range from urban downtown stuff to trails and waterfalls.

Here is a video where I talk about what I like about the lens as well as share some of my favorite images with it as of recently. Skip to 4:10 in the video to see the images and sample footage I have taken with this lens so far.


I will be sharing more and more with this lens on my Instagram I am sure of it, especially once it warms up and start hiking more and have the motivation to shoot the milky way and stars! Instagram is http://www.instagram.com.derekliving and if you’re not on IG, I do share images to a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DerekLivingstonPhotography which is where I share all of my work from time to time, like my sports photography, portraits and nature stuff, along with videos. If Facebook isn’t your thing either and you’re on Flickr, I have you covered and you would see my photos before any of my socials. My Flickr is: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dereklivingston/

Thanks for coming back to another blog post. In all seriousness, I appreciate the likes or reblogs I get from my small amount of readers on here over likes on IG so thank you!


Until next time,


2019 in Review

Hello again!

2020 is here but let’s not forget about 2019 all so quick. I grew in many ways in 2019 and I would say I grew the most as a creator in my videography work. I went from shooting commercials, podcasts, youtube content and facebook videos for clients and then I switched jobs and now I simply create videos for the company I am at and often videos that are used in classrooms(it’s all educational). With the job change, I was able to get out more on the weekends, create videos, take photos as I had plenty of time now.

In my recent video, I look back at 2019 in photos and talk about some of my favorite images I had created. With that said, I have also started to post and engage on Instagram more often as I hope to grow my following. If you’re on IG let me know in the comments or come follow me and leave me a comment letting me know you’re from the blog! I would love to follow new pages to change up my feed!

Here is my video I created where I talk about some of my favorite images of 2019.

A year in review.


If you’re new, I appreciate you stopping by. Follow me on the socials to see my work from Photo and Video.

Until next time.


Moonshiners Cave and Waterfalls

Hey everyone!

I am back with some more outdoorsy stuff for you all. Oh, and happy new year!

So, to close out 2019 I went hiking during my Christmas break and yes, I said Christmas break. My new job is pretty awesome about giving us employees days off to be with family and it’s a great way to show appreciation. Now, with that said, to the hiking.

I went down to Devils Den National Park down in Arkansas last week and hiked a couple trails with camera and all. My first stop was Moonshiners Cave trail and wow. The moonshiner’s cave trail isn’t really marked but with the AllTrails app, it made it super easy to find my way down to the cave. At the cave, there is a waterfall so I spent an hour down there taking photos and just exploring the area around it. I also, found another waterfall around that same area so I spent some time taking photos there as well. It was an awesome morning. After hiking out of there I went into Devils Den a little further and did the Devils Den trail which had some awesome features and a couple waterfalls. It was a very awesome way to end 2019.

Here is a video I put together of some of the shots. Check it out here!

Thanks for checking it out. Let’s all have a great 2020 and to see some of the photos I took from this day of hiking, check out my Instagram!



Morning Hike


So, I set out the day after Christmas to catch some views, the fog and just get outside. It was getting up to 65 degrees and seeing that in Kansas the day after Christmas is unheard of so I knew I had to get outside. It didn’t take me long to choose where I wanted to go, Lester R Davis State Forest has been one of my favorite places to visit since I moved over to the Pittsburg, Kansas area.

This piece of land is seriously one of the best places to go hike. It’s small but it’s in the middle of nowhere and very easy to get to and that’s what I love about it. No road noise, just the sound of nature and that is what I want out of a quick hike. I say quick, I should just say easy. You can make it last as long as you want with the amount of lanes you can take.

This is a snippet from the Missouri dept of conservation. “Lester Davis purchased this land in 1951. The land had been strip mined in the 1920s and was all mine spoils. Lester Davis spent over 15 years planting over 100,000 trees and shrubs. Over 300 different tree and shrub species were planted during this period. Mr. Davis donated the land to the Missouri Department of Conservation in 1968. Approximately 3 miles of hiking trails exist on the area.
Bikes are allowed on all the mapped hiking/bike trails on the area. Bikes are not allowed off the mowed trails. Approximately 3.0 miles of trails.”


With that said, it’s a must-visit if you’re in the area. Also, right across the road is a Prarie State Park where you’ll be able to see Bison as it is protected land that also has some hiking.

Here is a short video from my recent morning hike. Enjoy!

BTS Follow-up

Hello again!

So, in my last blog, I talked about a recent shoot with some photos to show what exactly I was talking about.

The shoot was for a Barbershop collaboration video. The video is going to be entered into the Hairbrained competition. You can check out last years here: http://www.hairbrainedvideoawards.com/

So, with 2 barbers with different cutting choices, we went with that storyline in a way. Showing one using a straight razor and the other using scissors. Here is a short video where I show talk about the process and gear in short and then show you an edit I put together from the footage simply to share some of the shots I got during the shoot day.


Hope you all enjoyed it and if you have any questions feel free to comment here or on the youtube video itself.

Thanks for coming back for another short blog.


Behind the Scenes

Hey Everyone!

Recently I shot a video for a local barbershop and it was a collab with another barber from California. The whole premise you can say is “Razor(Kansas) vs Shears(California)”.

What I want to talk about is the shoot in general. This is my first client shoot since I left the marketing agency and it was a blast. This shoot was given a main idea by the client/friend but they were totally open to ideas and didn’t shut everything down that I might have come up with it. The workspace was super chill, relaxed and totally up my ally which made this shoot very enjoyable. I am pumped to get to do more shoots with this client and with others in the future.

Now to the shoot. The main stationary camera was the Canon 5d Mark iv with a 35mm f2 IS USM and that covered both of the models as they got their haircuts/styled. Then I had a Canon 5d Mark III with a Canon 85mm f1.8 on the Zhiyun Crane 2 capturing close-ups of the action(cutting, blading, etc). For lights, I used a $30 led panel that I placed up high and angled it down and that served as the main light and then I used two can lights with LED bulbs. With those, I had one focused on each model. No diffusion on any of these lights.

Here are a couple behind the scene photos I took with my phone so you can see what it kind of looks light for overall set up.

I am picking up the footage from the client later on today so I can get a little video together to show you guys some of the shots I captured during this 3ish hour shoot. When I say “picking up the footage” .. this isn’t a typical shoot where the client gets the footage raw and all but this barber/friend is doing a video competition and she does video edits herself, so she will edit and create the video she wants from what I shot. I am simply getting the footage so I can create something completely independent and have something for my sample reel for future clients possibly, plus I just like to edit and create videos.

Well, I will have sample footage in the near future but thanks for coming back and checking out my new post. Check out my older ones and follow me on the socials.


Instagram: @DerekLiving @DLsports



Sports Photography / Canon 85mm f1.8

llBasketball season is here and I sold my 70-200 f2.8 and saying that means I have to shoot with another lens. Typically I shoot sports with my Nikon d3s but now that I have sold my 70-200 for the Nikon and my 70-200 for my Canon I am stuck either shooting sports with my Nikon d3s with the Sigma 120-300 f2.8 or the 85mm f1.8 on my Canon 5d Mark IV.

The Sigma 120-300 is good for most of the year in sports for me. Great for Football, Soccer, Volleyball, and Baseball but for Basketball it’s just too much really. It’s a pretty heavy lens, 120mm at the short end is still too long when shooting under the basket so, I tried out the 85mm.

The 85mm f1.8 is an awesome lens for portraits and I love it for video as well. I lose some frames per second in my burst when shooting with this lens and that’s because it’s for my canon 5d mark iv but so far I haven’t needed those extra. 85mm is a great focal length for sports and I am actually shocked. I didn’t expect it to be so good really. For one, having an f1.8 is awesome to have because court lights are horrible in most gyms that I shoot at, even college sports arenas. A huge perk of shooting with the 85mm f1.8 is the autofocus speed, it is awesome fast and having the extra megapixels are a huge benefit. The Nikon d3s is I think 12mp and the Canon 5d Mark iv is I think 30mp. Having those extra mp’s allows some cropping which comes in handy in sports photography.

Check out some of the images below. Well at the link, nothing will upload today for me. If youre new, thanks for following along or at least checking out this post. I will be posting more often as time goes on. You can also check out my youtube that I have linked in other posts. BYE!

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