Given these considerations, I took my Canon 5D mk II with my 135mm f/2L lens. A problem with the 135mm lens is that it has no image stabilization and is long enough to require a fast shutter speed. However, it seemed like the best choice in this case so I needed a strategy to keep the shutter speed fast enough to get sharp photos in low light conditions. I decided to put the camera into shutter priority mode with the shutter speed set to 1/200 second and hope for the best. I could have tried a slightly slower shutter but experience tells me that, for me, I need a 200th.
When I got to the event the place was flooded with light from a huge lighting system used for the horse races at Rillito park, I took a couple of photos, at f/2 and they looked fine. When I discovered they were having a "Fire Dance" at 7 PM I looked forward to it. I figured that I could probably get some photos if the fire was bright enough. What I didn't know was that they would turn off the bright lights for the fire dance. I'm certainly glad these lights were turned off because it make the fire dance much more fantastic than it would have been with them on. However, I didn't know how well my camera setup would handle the situation. Well, it worked out fairly well. Here is a photograph of one of the dancers blowing fire. This was so bright that the camera stopped the aperture down to f/7.1 giving me more depth of field than most of the other images.
|A dancer blowing fire, 1/200, f/7.1, ISO 1600|
|A dancer swing chains of fire, I liked the silhouette. 1/200, f/2, ISO 1600|
|Dancing with fiery hoops. 1/200, f/2, ISO 1600|