photographing the local mayor
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12-04-11, 04:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
My advice would be to check out in advance with the Head porter / bookings clerk or whatever at the Town hall and check out exactly what is involved in the ceremony. You will need to be aware of what ahppens, how many people are involved and who the key players are if you are covering the event itself. A single portrait of the mayor is one thing and easy to do - would suggest you get one of the mayor in their full robes in their official chair or in front of / by key Council crest / coats of arms etc.
I covered an event for a housing organisation in Leeds with the mayor in attendance and it was fine in the council chamber - lots of natural light through ceiling shafts but the room for the event itself was so dark and the wall full of so many pictures with glass inserts that I was challeneged. Took the shot in front of the window at the Civic hall using the older Town hall as the backdrop to show we were in Leeds as the room did not show anything other than glass framed portraits of past mayors and was so dark. The one in his chair was much easier as he relaxed a little in it though still looks tense. Thatw as with my D80 and I did not trust it above iso 800 so was glad of having the flash. Be different now with my D700.These are a couple of low resolution images from the day. Wished they had cleaned the windows in the last 2 years !
What camera have you got? Are you confident is nuse of high isos - have you got fast lenses? Can you borrow a flash? (having checked that you will be allowed to use one suring the ceremony as sometimes not). Try to get into the room and be confident about the iso level you can shoot at or check out borrowing a flash. If shooting a group , depending on distance / size of group use an f stop between 5.6 - 11 - you can see you will need good light. If a solo you can probably come down to f4 with a decent lens and be ok.
Key thing - check out the venue in advance or be early enough on the day to do so. White balance can be odd in some Town halls depending on lighting - rather than using auto white balance do some test shots to get wb right and shoot in raw if you can and have the software to convert just gives you latitude wqith exposure and wb. Good luck!
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