04/06/10 276 W - + 3 - 12 How to Photograph a Ceremony in an Apparatus Bay

The March 27 ceremony at Station 16, honoring four firefighters with awards for heroism, presented an interesting set of photographic challenges. The setting: regular Raleigh apparatus bay, with projection screen, display board, and several chairs aligned perpendicular to bay doors. Strong ambient light from bay windows. Weaker florescent light from overhead. Composition challenged by power cord hanging from ceiling (for projector), and some less-attractive areas. Fitness equipment in one corner clutters some shots; the rear wall-- a metal extension of the building-- is rather dark and scary-looking.

Thus, the best direction for pointing the camera was back to front. With the display board in the foreground, left of frame. The patch graphic prominent. That added immediate identification and branding to the photo. Raleigh Fire Department. Bay windows in the background, and right of frame also added context. And they're easily recognized at lower resolutions. Between the patch and the windows, it's pretty easy to identify the setting as a fire station.

For filling the shadows and improving the lighting, an external flash with funky bounce attachment worked well. (That plastic cup is a Gary Fong Lightsphere. Or tip jar, if you prefer. Large bills only, please.) High ISO setting on the camera, of course. And lots of shots, to compensate for closed eyes or funny poses. The results were okay. The should've, could've list includes the medal presentations. Should've asked each recipient to hold that pose a little longer. Or perhaps restaged later. Need to remember for next time. But don't we all. Life as learning lesson. See the photos from the ceremony.

[ Missing photo ]
Mike Legeros photo

why dont you ever do any blogs for christopher king of ncfireart. he has done some fantastic artwork for some fallen FF in raleigh just a idea. He is well known across wake county.
rfdff10 (Web Site) - 04/06/10 - 23:11

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