I sing in two choirs. Blame Gareth Malone…he started my obsession with choral singing.
Now when you are known for being a photographer friends assume you can just show up, wield your camera and all the shots will be terrific. But generally friends want you photograph stuff out of your comfort zone in crap light…or maybe that’s just my friends…well one friend in particular. Remember Chris? He of the uke group, which meets fortnightly in a small, badly-lit room in Raunds? Well he also runs one of the choirs I sing in and needed photos for the website. A Different Direction Choir is lively and fun but the room we meet is poorly lit by those ghastly fluorescent tubes beloved of council-run buildings countrywide.
Still nothing ventured…
The thing about group shots is planning. Chris wanted ‘natural’ but most people don’t act ‘natural’ when they have a camera pointing at them because being photographed is not a natural everyday occurrence unless you’re a supermodel or a movie star, and although DD are a pretty attractive bunch we are not comprised of Hollywood A-listers. So Chris and I planned. He made a list of all the sorts of images he wanted, giving me a framework for the shoot. Then he as director worked out what activities he needed to get the group to do that session, so that I could move around positioning myself for the shots. The idea was that he kept the choir’s attention focussed on him, and they would then forget I was taking photos. It worked well.
I shot RAW and high ISO as there was no option to set up lighting and I could shoot freely without worrying about cables and/or flashes. I chose to shoot shutter priority in the main so I could keep the shutter speed at 1/100, avoiding the risk of blurry shots. The light might have been rubbish but at least it was constant, so once I found the right ISO for the shutter speed (1600) I could get on with concentrating on capturing the images Chris wanted. I’m reasonably happy with them and he seems pleased too. Like any photographer I’d have preferred ideal lighting conditions but the brief was to capture the enjoyment and happiness and I think between us we cracked that.
Canon 5D Mk II
Shot in RAW under fluorescent light. Shutter priority 1/100 ISO 1600
Mix of Canon 50mm prime, 135mm prime and Tamron 28-70 f/2.8
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