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Thread: First 'assignment' - help!

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    Default First 'assignment' - help!

    So, I get home from work tonight (11:30) and my Dad, who just returned from a week in Indianapolis, told me that the photographer that was supposed to take pictures at their event on Saturday cancelled and he was looking for a replacement.

    He works for FedEx Ground as the region's (Pennsylvania/Maryland/Virginia) safety manager, this event is the Fall "Kick Off", a bit over 300 FedEx boss and executive types will be there to shmooze and meet. The function is being held in a banquet room at the Lancaster Host, one of the most well regarded hotels/banquet halls in the state- also a direct competitor to my hotel. Talk about a conflict of interest.

    Anyway, i'm kind of nervous as this is the first non-paintball event where people will actually be looking at the photos and will actually need to use them (in their monthly magazine and what not).

    Any advice? I'm going in this kind of blind, hoping for the best.

    The gear i'm bringing:
    Olympus E-1 + Battery Grip + 2 extra batteries
    Olympus 14-45mm f3.5-5.6
    Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5
    Olympus FL-36 Flash

    I plan on using bounce flash for most of the shots, with the Demb diffuser I think this will work pretty well, other than that, any other tips?

    Edit: If I don't mess this up too badly, I will hopefully be doing more of these for him in the future...

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    I'd suggest that you put the 50-200mm on the body and the 14-45mm in your pocket for possible group shots. The 50-200mm will allow you to get candides without being in people's faces.The FL-36 will likely be fairly woeful for bounce, so I'd use it straight on.

    Take a lot of batteries with you for the flash, as you'll chew through these. If you had the cash available, I'd seriously look at getting the FL-50, or any auto flash with more power and battery life than the FL-36. On that note, as you have the grip for the E1, you won't need more than one battery, that will do you well over a thousand shots.

    Also, because you are working with a relatively low power flash and in uncertain conditions, I'd shoot RAW so that you have some recovery options just in case. And in that respect, have enough CF cards on hand as well.

    Looks like you have an excuse to get all those extras that you've always wanted. Seriously, you 'can' get by with what you have, but you will be working at the edge as far as the flash goes.

    And before you take this on, see if you can suss out the joint beforehand, or do some shots in your hotel, to work out some of the bigger problems you're likely to confront.

    Good luck!

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    Thanks for the help Ray, the FL-36 definitely is not optimal for this situation but hopefully it will be up to the task. I don't think the lighting will be too too bad.

    Battery wise, i've got 2 sets of 2500 mAh NiMH rechargables and a spare set of regular old alkalines, hopefully that will get me through.

    I'm actually not sure what he wants me to shoot just yet, I don't know if he wants a documentation of the day's events, pictures of specific people, group shots/stages shots, candids, or a mix of everything. Having your Dad as a boss is always an interesting experience- especially one as detailed and precise as mine.

    What's funny is you just sort of brought up the same thing I was already fearing, i've got no doubt in the E-1 and the 50-200mm performing fine, I was worried about the FL-36 being the weak link. We'll see what Saturday brings.

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    Here are a few things that you might consider (obviously talk to your dad as well):

    - Start at the top of the tree and note the most important guests/attendees.

    - Get shots of these guests/attendees perhaps arriving and being welcomed.

    - Get shots of these guests/attendees having small talk with others and try and get interesting (but not embarassing expressions - avoid shots where people are eating or drinking, or drunk).

    - Get shots of speakers.

    - Take some shots of the general group, mainly smaller group shots; look for happy groups.

    - Get shots of any unique things that may be programmed for the night.

    - Don't hang around all night, if you don't know any of the attendees.

    - Once the main speeches etc are done, it's usually a good time to leave (unless your dad wants everything covered).

    Get there early and find out when and from where guests will be arriving. Find out the seating plan. Work out where best to position yourself for shots of tables with main guests/attendees and where speeches etc can be shot.

    Take note of expressions before taking shots, some people won't like being photographed and will make that reasonably clear. The important guests/attendees won't mind, as it's part of their remit. Make sure that the most important three or so people attending get good coverage.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    I agree with Ray, the 50-200 will be a better lens, and do keep the 14-45 in your pocket for large group shots. The wedding I assisted at I used the 50-200 the whole time. I only used one battery in the grip, which lasted me about 1k shots.

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    I work for Fedex and have done a lot of these here in Dallas and Fort Worth.
    It depends on how much of a meeting they will be having and how much lunch and dinner they will have.
    If you have some of the real big ones there, then everybody and their brother will want their picture with them. If Fred Smith is on hand then you will ware yourself out just shooting people with him.
    Fred is a great guy and will strike a pose in a heart beat.
    If there is a lunch then I would put the small lens on and you will be doing a lot of table shots, that is always one that people want.
    I really think you will have a problem with the 50-200 and the FL-36 it just does not have the light output. If the room is dark then you will really have a problem.
    I use the FL-50 with a SoftBox and the 14-54 for table shots, and most of the time I will use the 14-54 for most of the others. I will use the 50-200 for speaker shots and some of the others if I have the light in the room to do it.

    You have gotten some really good advice from the others and I do wish you luck.
    What is funny about things like this is people want all the pictures taken but most of the time there are very few used.


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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    Well, i'm done. The event was in a converter indoor tennis arena, basically an expo center. The ceiling could not have been any higher...

    Here is what I learned...

    The 14-45 is less than optimal for indoor use. I used it for wide angle shots of the entire facility and I used it during the award ceremony (80 + awards given out...) as I couldn't get far enough back to use the 50-200mm.

    f2.8 = awesome. I used the 50-200mm for candids and it worked out really well. It makes me want the 14-54mm even more.

    The FL-36 doesn't recharge fast enough, even with fast batteries. I actually "held up" the show at one point waiting for the thing to recharge. I need a 2-3 second CONSISTENT recharge rate.

    Over all it was a good showing, I haven't put them on the computer yet but I am pretty pleased with the 50-200 shots I got (no flash). The shots that I did at the award ceremony may be a touch out of focus/underexposed.

    I'm having semi-serious focusing issues with that lens in even moderate light, is this common? It focuses quickly but its very soft, even with the FL-36.

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions- Bill, it's nice to have another FedEx family member on the board.

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!



    ...and so the PP begins.

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    It sounds like everything went pretty well, despite the less than optimal lighting condiitons and ceiling, etc. Congratulations!

    I've noticed my 50-200 being more "soft" near the 50 end, but generally it's pretty sharp. Do you think it could be hand movement? I really do have to brace myself on something most of the time if my shutter speed is less than ~320 or so. Even though I don't think I move the camera when I press the button, apparently I do!

    I'm so proud of you - it sounds like you did GREAT!
    kerry
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    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead

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    Default Re: First 'assignment' - help!

    PS. Also at wide open, the 50-200 is softer, I guess because the focus plane is more narrow? I usually stop it doen to at least 3-4.5+ for portraits at the 50mm end.

    Also make sure you have focus assist turned on, on the E1, and you have the FL36 on (you probably do but I thought I'd mention).
    kerry
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    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead

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