So, if you’re tired of shooting the same thing again and again maybe it’s time to try shooting that same thing in a different way.
Several times a year we dutifully cover press conferences associated with a lecture series in town. Each press conference is the same – speaker comes in a side door, sits down at a table and fields a few questions from the media before leaving to make his (or her) speech.
The setting for the press conference is horrendous with nasty light and cluttered backgrounds. For years I’ve shot this presser the same – using available light combined with a high ASA and a healthy dose of prayer for a spontaneous, emotional moment by the speaker.
Sometimes I get that moment but usually not. Usually I end up with a glorified head shot, shooting tight to minimize the distracting background.
When I got the request to photograph yet another speaker I wanted to break out of my visual rut of covering this press conference I knew I couldn’t change the setting and I’ve got no control over the subject so the only thing left to change was the light.
I set up a single strobe bounced into an umbrella and triggered by a Pocketwizard remote.
Adding the strobe made a huge difference to improve the photo. The second, strobed photo still isn’t the most dynamic image but at least it’s now got interesting light.
This is what the scene looked like with the strobe set-up: