Wednesday, December 15, 2010

National Farmers Association Annual General Meeting

 The National Farmers Association had holds their 37th annual general meeting today. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to cover the launch of this event yesterday by my boss because it was officiated by our Prime Minister YAB Dato' Sri Mohd Najib.

The food wasn't bad actually - stir fried chicken fillet, fried fish, beef curry, curry potatoes and stir fried vegetables.

There was a little exhibition outside relating to palm oil products, which still one of the major agricultural exports of our country.

Delegates taking a closer look at the products.

Photographing some important people, whom I don't really know who they are.

Its important to get the timing of shaking hands right. It must be perfect.

 Group shots at the table.

 A local gamelan group. They used to be the chamber orchestra for the royalties.

 The welcoming party for the Prime Minister.

Our Prime Minister arrives. The blue shirt in the right hand corner is from one of his pesky bodyguards.

 The disappointing thing about photographing the Prime Minister is the presence of an army of bodyguards. Although they're not as vigilant as the American secret service, they certainly get in the way of your picture. They shove you out of the way without warning (as all bodyguards do anyway), and their heads get into your images.

Of course, the bodyguards aren't too impressed with us photographers. One of them even said - "Can't your lens even zoom?"

A brief group photo before the dinner commences.

Everyone's seated in the hall waiting for the dinner to start. Three bodyguards are standing behind our dear PM.

It's an absolute No No to photograph your Prime Minister or other VIPs while they're eating. It doesn't look nice, and on top of that, you're bound to get screwed.

And the speeches begin.

One of the ministers giving his speech.

 Members of the audience listening attentively to the speech.

 Our Prime Minister arises to deliver his speech.

I was thought to always shoot the person delivering a speech while he is looking at the audience, not at his text.

 After a while, the static pose becomes boring, so you look for opportunities when our PM raises his hands as some form of expression.

The problem is that you're also competing with a horde of press photographers with 1D cameras and white L lenses. They blast off at 10 frames per second and use flash like a sledgehammer, effectively denying other photographers the opportunity to photograph something.

I wasn't keen to blast off my D3 at 9fps however. It would kill off the SB900 which  I was using for bounce flash.

 Officiating the AGM with the gong.

Yep, this is what press cameras do to your images - blast your images into highlight oblivion.

 He then presented some scholarships to children of NAFAS members.

A group photo with the students.

Its good to photograph our Prime Minister shaking hands with his people.. without the large crowds and pesky bodyguards. Urrgh  :(

You have to follow the PM to his car and see him off. He's taking some time to read the report and speak with the VIPs.

Well, that's about it for now. I hope I've been able to give you an insight into the work that I do. It's not easy (and admittedly I still suck at it), but I try my very best nonetheless.




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