I am shooting a three day event, a conference, at Niagara Falls, while my son house-sits back home. So I shoot lots of speakers and so on,
And I love this kind of shooting because if done well, it leads to so many “oh wow” reactions.
But only if done well, and it is complicated:
- I am using a long lens (70-200) without flash, and on another camera, a wide angle lens (16-35mm on a full frame camera) with a flash, so all settings are totally different from shot to shot.
- Many, many different environments. A large ballroom. Hallways. Smaller rooms. Restaurants (several). Easy bounce, Then, no bounce. Then, difficult bounce. Coloured walls. Every shot is an engineering challenge!
- Speakers who will not stop talking, or stand still, or even turn the same way, for a millisecond.
- Dead batteries all the time.
- Heavy cameras, two of them. And the arthritis in my hands doesn’t make this any easier.
- The need to minimize post-production work. Hundreds of times “just a moment or two” means many moments, and that means “hours and hours”..
- Tough environments including “dark inside with bright outside also visible in the shot”, like this:
But it does not end there…
- TTL does not always work well when there’s reflections, so I have to use Manual flash setting for a lot of the work. And that is sensitive to changing the distance to the flashed object (“inverse square law”).
- Impossible white balance.
- Bouncing means direction, and you need to think about that direction: “Where is the light coming from?”
So I really have to work for my pay. Fortunately, I love my work. And there are ways to make it easier: start with good starting points, like the Willems 400-40-4 rule (look it up) as your basis, and adjust from that basis. When you take my courses or buy my e-books, you will learn these starting points.
And then you can shoot quickly and get great colour, and with a modern camera this applies even at high ISO. Here, for example, is beauty:
No, I did not mean the girls. Well, yes, they are very beautiful, too, but I really meant the venue and the colours. This is why I love flash.
In the next few days, some more about this shoot. It is 1:15 AM and now, finally after a 16-hour non-stop day, I get a rest. But only until 7AM.
And then back to Black Betty, who is waiting patiently in the garage for me:
And then tomorrow evening, I run a photo booth, 80km away. No rest for the wicked!