Glastonbury Abbey Epiphany Party

Photo Challenges

The Morcone Conference Center at Glastonbury Abbey is a stand alone building at a Benedictine monastery located in Hingham, MA.  It is fully equipped for multiple uses including performances, talks, retreats, corporate meetings, wedding receptions, webinars and the like.  There is a large conference room, kitchen with a separate coffee area, lobby, several smaller meeting rooms, and a second floor.

The lighting does not provide enough coverage without using a very high ISO.  Speedlights function dependent on the area of the room one is shooting from since the ceiling is vaulted four ways in the center, and there are large, uncovered windows at either end of the room.  In addition, there are several large, flat screen televisions.

Sometimes the light can be bounced from the ceiling, but taking one step results in a drastic scenario change.  To have a ceiling that is standard height on the perimeters and then triple that in the center creates angles that change, making coverage of the entire room difficult.

Photo Goals

To show the conference center in full swing to accurately market the booking of further events, and to highlight the Glastonbury Abbey community socially to increase its parishioners. 


Photo Shoot Solutions

  1. Use custom white balance settings to offset reflected yellow.
  2. Shoot in RAW to allow for high ISO settings when use of Speedlight is unreliable due to the ceilings.
  3. Use of catchlight reflector can work providing there is no reflection bouncing back from the windows in ETTL mode.
  4. Manually adjusting the flash power to accommodate the area used to bounce the flash.
  5. Constant vigilance regarding both the camera and flash settings and quick readjustments between all shots.



There is no accounting for angled ceilings unless dealing with a subject that is still.  At a party, this is  an unrealistic request.  Unlike other photo situations, there is not the confidence knowing the settings are properly adjusted for the length of the shoot.  Confidence in the lighting comes at very short intervals.

Although many of the wide shots were noisy, they were adequate to show the room and the interactions within the party.