Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living Peace Series: Richard Branson at UC Irvine 25-Jan-11

by 13 Stoploss

Nikon D700, Nikkor 2.8 105mm AF-D, ISO 2500, 2.8 and 1/80

I took this assignment for the school newspaper because not only do I want to photograph all the big names on campus, I wasn't really sure that other photographers, with the exception of the two sports guys who do great work, could handle the responsibility of such a big event, or that they had the gear to accomplish the shot.

Of course, the joke was on me when I couldn't land the paper's 200 2.8 or 300 2.8 and had to make do with my dinky 105mm!

It was a penis joke gone sour as I walked between a dozen different "professional" photojournalists from the local papers and all of them had multiple bodies (D3's and whatever the comparable Canon's are) with 200mm and 500mm lenses and monopods and tripods. And it didn't help that we were all corralled into an area at the rear of the room.

Yeah, I was that dinky student/kid with the subpar cute, right?

Anyone have a 2.8 80-200 AF-S VRII for a couple hundred bucks?

Anyway, for most of the talk, I stood paralyzed at the back. I'm used to walking around like the gig is mine, that I can do whatever I want. Here, with ushers and snobby elites and photogs with phallic lenses, I doubted that I would get the shot.

To make up for my, uhm, *shortcoming,* I dropped down to 3/4 sensor, effectively *lengthening* my focal *length* to 152mm. This helped, but I still did not have the height advantage to get a shot without heads in the foreground.

Well, during the Q/A, it was announced by the dude on the right (above) that time was running out and that Branson had time for only two more questions. So, I grew a pair and did what no other photographer did.

I walked right up the fucking aisle, took a knee at the front, snapped three shots, stood up, and walked away.

As I walked away, some old snobby fucker in the aisle a few seats behind me was trying to get my attention, as if to tell me to move or get away. So, I didn't look at him, I stuck my nose up and walked away proudly.

This isn't the world's greatest shot. It's okay, but at least I did something that no one else did. And while the pro's had giant $5000 zoom lenses, I fucking made do with what I had.



KathyB said...

I remember a photographer, maybe for a community paper, maybe for city paper, who walked around on stage in an auditorium space taking pictures of the university president and others. She acted like she thought she was invisible. Very annoying and kept it up for a long time. At times it was almost comical, walking around by the row of flags at the back of the stage. Setting herself at whatever distance she pleased from the speakers.

I remember being slightly astonished. Maybe she was a student on assignment, but I don't have a clue.

You, on the other hand, acted with care and managed to fulfill the assignment. Nice shot.

Anonymous said...

It's a nice shot. Despite being close, the guys on stage are ignoring you. You did your job. The guy trying to get your attention was probably making more fuss than you. z

Pattie Matheson said...

Is he holding flowers in his hand?