Photography - pro-choice meeting press shot

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This photo is one I took a couple of weeks back at a national pro-choice meeting in Dublin called as part of the process of launching a new national campaign. I was stuck at home with an injured leg when I got a sequences of tweets & txts asking me if I could come in as there wasn't anyone else available and we wanted a photo to send out with the press release.  So I called a taxi and in I went.

The image requirment was  a bit of a challenge as I didn't want to do a standard 'person speaking from the platform' picture and wanted instead to capture the energy in the room.  But we also didn't want to have anyone very recognisible in the picture unless we had checked with them it was OK - just in case it ended up on the front page of a paper.  I'm not sure where it was used beyond Broadsheet.ie which used it and the press release as the basis of an article.

So I went for a shot from the back of the room using an ultra wide angle (10mm) which meant both getting most of the room into the frame and making most of the people too small to be easly identifiable - the three with visible faces in the foreground are two of the meeting organisers and a TD (member of parliament) with the ULA.  The fact that to get the shot at all I had to go to ISO 5000 also makes it quite noisy / grainy.  I should explain that I didn't want to disrupt the conversations by using a flash although I had brought with with me just in case there was no alternative.

The lens is the Canon 10-22mm which is good in daylight but is quite a slow lens (f/3.5 at 10mm) and so very limited without a flash indoors or in the dark.  If you want to capture lots of people its still invaluable so I've been using it in dark conditions quite a lot in the last month - November & December in Dublin being a time when daylight of any sort is rare.  What I'd like to have is the 24mm f/1.4 L but thats currently selling for almost 1300 Sterling on Amazon so I may be waiting. For the demonstrations in November & December I was mostly swithching between the 10-22mm and the 40mm depending on what compromises were allowable in what I was trying to capture.  If you check the EXIF information that accompanies the flickr photoset you will see I'm often forced to use ISO 6400 but what you can't see is that generally I've also had to dial down the exposure 1 to 1.5 stops in order to get enough of a shutter speed to capture the image without blur.  The best of them are taken with another (borrowed) lens, the very fast Sigma f/1.4 50mm.

There are more of my photos from this event, including a number taken with the 40mm f/2.8 pancake lens over in the album on the Irish Choice Network's Facebook page.  You'll be able to spot the images created with the 40mm as its faster speed allowed me to shoot at ISO 3200 which is a lot less noisy than 5000 on a Canon 60d.  

Follow me on Twitter at @AndrewFlood

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