Tips from covering event to celebrate Mohammad Ali

Maryum Ali is interviewed by Valerie Jackson during the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrating the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/250]
Covering events requires you to think as a photographer. This event was to honor Mohammad Ali and to do so they had his daughter Maryum Ali as the keynote address.

On the stage off to the sides were banners with Mohammad Ali’s photo on them. I worked to the side to get that behind Maryum so it was helping to tell the story using primarily the visuals.

Nouha Zaabab is a student at Georgia Tech studying International Affairs with a minor in pre-law. Coming from a liberal arts background at Georgia Tech, Nouha believes in the importance of interdisciplinary understanding in order to tackle global challenges. Upon the completion of her degree at Georgia Tech, Nouha plans to pursue a legal education. She is speaking at the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm ƒ/2.8, ISO 16000, ƒ/5.6, 1/250]
Now another issue in covering a dinner is the lighting.

Bill Bolling and Dorie Griggs at the Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. Bill Bolling served as executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank since founding the organization in 1979 until June 2015. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 16000, ƒ/7.1, 1/13]
To be sure the people’s faces look good I had to use a flash, but the problem is then the background would go black.

I used a higher ISO 16000 to keep the background visible.

Islamic Speakers Bureau celebrates the Legacy of Mohammad Ali at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm ƒ/4.0, ISO 16000, ƒ/7.1, 1/10]
I arrived really early and had the guys running the sound and lighting board turn the lights on as they would be during the event. I then walked onto the stage and did a custom white balance using the ExpoDisc.

Using the ExpoDisc I put this over the front of the lens and did a incident light reading and custom white balance.

Notice the direction of the light hitting the subject.  You move to the same position to get the light reading below.
Point the camera toward the direction of the light that is falling on the subject.

When you have the perfect color space from doing a custom white balance the dynamic range is increased to the fullest potential with that light source.

Tips for covering events

  • Arrive Early and Leave Late
  • Adjust your ISO to work with your flash to show context
  • Look for angles to help capture visually what you need  words to say about the event
  • Get custom white balance
  • Shoot RAW – Because no information is compressed with RAW you’re able to produce higher quality images, as well as correct problem images that would be unrecoverable if shot in the JPEG format.

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