About 6000 delegates from more than a 136 countries converged at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center for the World Congress of Accountants which is held every four years. It was a truly eye opening experience for me. The last time I was here, I was covering the Architects Convention by PAM in the middle of last year. This time, I return as a true photographer instead of someone just trying to casually cover the event as a participant.
Of course for a project this big, you would need a lot of shooters to do the job well.We were sufficiently equiped (for Malaysian standards).My D3 and another Canon 500D are not included in this picture, together with some studio lights for group photos.
For this kind of intend shooting, a very reliable camera counts. Fast frame rates, accurate and quick AF, great ISO performance, good battery life are among the important criteria for an occasion such as this. Fortunately my D3 did not disappoint.
Of course when shooting jpegs, everything must be accurate in camera. Among things which are important to get right (aside from having the subject in focus) is the white balance and exposure. Jpeg files have very little exposure latitude, so getting the right exposure is very important. I was also using a coloured gel together a SB 900 to get the colours right.
No doubt, in no flash situations, we are forced to shoot as well as determine the thresholds of our camera usage. For example, I would keep my shutter speed at least 1/100 secs to reduce shake, especially with long focal lengths with the 70-200 lenses.
Available light can be your best friend for great images. I used a hand holdable shutter speed (at least 1/30 secs), f 2/.8 and 6400 ISO. Too bad it only works for the front rows though. Its more dim at the back of the hall.
I read someone's blog before stating that clients are only looking for technically perfect images. If that is so, the images will definitely be very dull. Today's clients are more discerning, and do appreciate some artistic input. It all depends on how the photographer works things out.
There were 3 very experienced shooters in my team. I've learnt a lot from them by studying their images. I haven't got everything right, but I'm getting there. Being a photographer is a life time experience; a marathon. The learning process never stops until you choose it to be so.
I've also learnt how to control flash output vs ambient light for pleasing images, instead of a dumb harsh flash output. As good as the Nikon flash system is, results weren't entirely predictable all the time. Some fine tuning on my part, but overall I've learnt to control it quite satisfactorily.
The WCOA is indeed a very memorable event. I've learnt a lot, albeit feeling dead tired after the event ended yesterday. I hope this valuable experience will help me to shoot events better in the future.