Olympic Photography Rule 3: No flash
Again, hardly surprising. This is a common restriction at many events like this, with the idea being that flash can distract the athletes.
Of course, this rule is also largely unenforceable.
Simply watch one of these events on TV and the sparkle of flashguns firing is dazzling.
That said, just because others are doing it doesn’t mean you should. It’s best to be respectful, and besides: flash isn’t always necessary.
How to work around this rule
Like the tripod dilemma, flash will typically only be an issue for those of you shooting evening or indoor events. As before, try pushing your ISO up to a higher sensitivity. This is the quickest and easiest solution to getting the image you want when the action is in full swing.
If you have a little more time to compose, try positioning yourself or framing your subject under the venue’s lights and use what’s available as best you can.
If these lights are too bright, try framing the lights behind another element, such as a flag, which can serve both as a diffuser and a compositional device that adds to the narrative of your picture.
You can also set your camera’s auto-exposure bracketing function in high-contrast scenes like this to give you a range of exposures to work with later (find out how to use auto-exposure bracketing to conquer high contrast).
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