I really love covering events. Why? You have to constantly problem solve.
The first problem was to be sure the faces in a group shot were visible. I used two Alienbees B1600 strobes powered by the Paul Buff Vagabond batteries. Now to fire them I was using the Pocketwizard Plus II Transceivers.
The problem to be solved was the group was under a large carport with the background sun lit trees.
I took photos of the individual graduate with the founders of the school and the administrators. The diploma had to be in every photo and if I was not careful it would have been not legible. Solution, same setup as for the group photo. By using the two Alienbees B1600 lights at 45º angle to each other I was getting a good consistent light for each person.
To make my post editing go quickly I also did a custom white balance using the ExpoDisc.
By the way, while you are here can you make some headshots? Yes I can. Again the same setup, but I just moved closer to the trees and shot some headshots of the founders.
One part of the assignment was to get the first group shot to them before the 5 pm ending time of the event. So I had to carve out a few minutes to get them those group photos for posting on social media.
To get all these photos in a timely manner I chose to work with the Nikon Z6 and the Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4 Art lens. While I shot the group photo at 32mm I had the ability to go wider. I loved shooting the headshots at 105mm.
Grandparents, parents, siblings and friends came to celebrate the GAP Year program graduates in Pine Mountain, GA.
I was using the Bluetooth technology to help sync my camera with my phone using Snap Bridge. I was being sure the time was correct and setting the GPS Coordinates.
When I ingested the photos into PhotoMechanic it took those GPS Coordinates and then turned those into street address.
I just click on the world and then it will look for the GPS coordinates and as long as I have an internet connection it will search for the street address.
Now since I was shooting also with my Nikon D5 which doesn’t have the Bluetooth technology I just selected all the images and applied those GPS coordinates to those images as well.
The students dressed up in all types of fashion statements. I love this guys tie.
This family is from Ecuador. I love his Panama hat.
As soon as I took this photo they asked me in Spanish if they could get copies. Yes they can.
I provide the client an online gallery where they can download the images using a password that I provide.
I was getting candid photos as well as occasionally finding families all together. I would take these as well. I just had to watch the light on the faces. Way too many of the guests were posing people with the windows behind them. I put the large glass windows to the side of them or to my back. Again it is about Lights, Camera and Action!
The room was quite large and the best place to stand to get photos of the stage was in the back of the room. This way I wasn’t up front blocking the guests view.
I brought my Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 Sport lens as well as a 1.4X and 2X converters. I started with the 1.4X converter and this is the view it game me and made the lens a 420mm ƒ/4.
I quickly changed the converter to the 2X which gave me this view with the now 600mm ƒ/5.6. Once again I am problem solving. This time it is the camera and lens combination allowing me to get photos that no cell phone will get.
As you can see this is what the guest was getting with their phone.
I moved around the room with the long lens and looked for different perspectives. I thought with some speakers the microphone was too much in front of their face from the back of the room.
I didn’t feel the need to have to move to get different angle with every speaker.
I was shooting with three cameras and various lenses. My wife also shot some photos with a camera.
- 2 Nikon D5 cameras
- Nikon Z6
- Sigma 24-105mm ƒ/4 Art
- Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 Art
- Sigma 70-200mm ƒ/2.8
- Sigma 120-300mm ƒ/2.8 | Sport
- Fuji X-E3
- Fuji 18-55mm ƒ/2.8-3.5
- Fuji 10-24mm
The lenses I used for different reasons. First of all I am not shooting one specific style. I do not shoot all prime lenses wide open which many people do. I love the shallow depth-of-field shots.
I also realize when shooting that large group shot I needed to be at a larger depth-of-field. This is why I shot those photos at ƒ/8. The front row and back row is all in focus.
I love to isolate moments using the shallow depth-of-field and also know that sometimes you need more.
Technical & Aesthetic
Just yesterday on a forum a photographer was asking if the new camera will make you a better photographer. This was the old argument that it isn’t the camera but the operator. However, I wasn’t going to take this click bait as it was setup.
“It will make you technically better–Aesthetically the same.”Stanley Leary
These new cameras today let me make photos that just years ago were not possible without a flash.
So I pride myself on knowing my gear and how it can help me get photos I couldn’t do before. So, I try and keep my gear updated. I am also aware that you can have a technically perfect photo that just has no aesthetic qualities.
Social Work Training – Capturing Action!
It is all my training in reading body language and studying the masters in photojournalism that has helped me to concentrate my efforts to capture moments. I was trained in social work to read people. I was evaluated over and over on how well I was listening with my eyes and not just my ears.
Adequate photographers are more technicians. They get the photos in focus and well exposed.
Great photographers are doing more than being a technician. They are using the camera to capture moments that help tell a story.
I like moments like this one. The students are showing how much respect they have for this teacher of their’s from this year. No words are necessary to communicate their respect. You just need words to know why they are giving him this type of respect.
Do you want to learn how to cover meeting better? Do you need me to cover your event? Give me a call and let’s talk. I teach one-on-one sessions and also love to just use my gifts to help you capture those important moments in life that happen only once.