Move and bounce

When photographing, don't be content to stay in one place. Move around - find a new spot with a different perspective ... lower down ... higher up ... an angle from which the light is better.

Never be satisfied with the first spot you have chosen. It may turn out to be the best place to shoot from ... but it probably won't.

My first photographs of Pettina Gappah addressing the Geneva Writers' Group gave an impression of the location and what was going on but, as I discussed in my last blog, shooting from a distance through a doorway gave problems with the light. I was using my new 50mm f1.4 prime lens with no zoom, so I needed to get physically closer.

I shifted position around to the other side. You can move around discreetly, even when someone is addressing an audience. I did it by creeping through a corridor at the back and popping out on the other side of the room.

But the problem with the light was worse in my new position. Look at those huge windows behind ... and Pettina with her back to them.

I pushed things in Photoshop here. And you can see it. Over-exposed panels and side of the man's face behind her, and noise on the dark area of her dress.

I knew, as I was taking the photograph, that it was going to give problems with that light, so I got out my flash. I don't like using flash so close to a speaker, with it going off 'POW!' in their face. But, from where I was, I could bounce it off the ceiling ...

Beautiful! Pettina being thanked by Susan Tiberghien at the end of her presentation. The bounce flash worked well, casting just enough light on their faces to eliminate the shadows, whilst the background is not over-exposed.

I feel this photo shows a wonderful expression of friendship and support. But that's what the Geneva Writers' Group is all about.

I'm glad I caught it.

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