I was invited as a guest and a photographer to the retirement party of one of the Asbury Park Fire Department’s battalion chiefs. It was a good party with lots of laughter, a few tears, great camaraderie, and one big challenge — the lighting.
The party was held in the banquet hall of a neighboring town’s fire department. It was an expansive room with beige walls, a drop ceiling, and no decor except a few artificial plants. At the beginning of the evening, the room was dimly illuminated by tungsten high-hat lights in the ceiling. No problem, I put a CTO gel on my strobe, set my white balance to tungsten, and I achieved a perfect balance between my strobe and the room light.
Speeches and the presentation of gifts to the man of honor began after dinner. Someone flipped a switch and turned on the fluorescent ceiling lights that I hadn’t noticed before. Now there was a mix of tungsten and fluorescent light that I couldn’t compensate for with gels on my strobe. So I kept shooting and hoped that no one would notice the sickly color of the walls in the background.