Sunday, April 11, 2010

FCS Banquet

I have made pictures at this banquet every year (except one, we had our first baby due that week!) for, I think, the last 11 years.

Its not the type of photography I normally do.  I am used to having some time with the people I am photographing.  Its always rushed at this.  I also like to find a place, think of the lighting, and place the subject into it.  The banquet has a fixed location that is chosen for me, and it is the same one for everybody! It is also full of surprises! 

The way this event must work, I have about half the amount of time I usually use to warm people up to make the final picture.  The light is set-up to work with any amount of people that want their picture taken (This was my first surprise however many years ago.  I expected I would be taking pictures of 2 people at a time, max.  Not so, not so.).  What I do now is make a very flat two-light setup.  I would never do this for anything else.  I then act silly long enough to get a reaction, and then press the button a few times.  The pictures, for being so rote, rushed, and completely not my style, can still be pretty good.  However, one will never find its way into my portfolio. 

I screwed up big time, though, in one of the early years.  This was caused by a surprise.  I thought (was probably told, but lets just blame me for making assumptions) the ceiling at the venue was low, but it wasn't.  My plan was to bounce my single off camera flash off the ceiling.  But that wouldn't work.  I ended up using the flash off camera and DIRECT.  It wasn't pretty.  I almost decided to play baseball with my camera and lenses because of that one.

I got over it.

This year's surprise was trying to do a group picture of the Junior and Senior classes.  Next year I'll figure out a better way.  One thing I need to do is figure out how to let all the photographers that were behind me get their pictures in a way that doesn't distract the class being photographed*.  The other thing I need to do is drop a third light onto the scene (I have some faces hidden in shadows which bugs me), and get myself higher off the ground (this will help, too, with the shadowy faces).

I try some experiments every year too during the ceremony part.  This year I tried journalist trick of blindly shooting over a crowd.  I got the shot at the top which I thought was interesting enough to share.

Some other fun facts.  I shot over 450 frames and whiddled that down to 173 to give out.  The directory for this finished project (raw files, Gimp files, and deliverable JPEGS) is almost 20 gigabytes! 

All I have to do is prepare the CDs.  Burn, burn, burn, burn, burn.... and burn some more.

*I couldn't think of a nice way to ask everyone to stop.  Now I have a whole year to figure it out.

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