I have to admit that part of me would love to be a photojournalist. It would be exciting to have access to exclusive events and be a fly on the wall and instead of the usual “Sir, no photography allowed”, be waived in and be allowed to take pictures. On the other hand, I am not a journalist and wouldn’t like the responsibility of getting “the shot” in order to put food on the table and I especially wouldn’t like giving up my copyright to a newspaper. The best possible scenario for me is to be a pretend freelance photojournalist. When it comes to photography I’m already a freelancer after all. Covering a “story” doesn’t sound like it’d be too different from covering other events – I’d still have to do research before showing up, choosing my equipment wisely and be ready to not miss a shot.
Last night at the Houston Heritage Society’s Candlelight Tour, I was focusing more on getting people shots rather than just building shots. I knew the Mayor would be there, but was expecting her to just come up on the stage and give a speech and leave like how most of these things go and as such wasn’t exactly ready for her when she arrived to tour one of the houses! I only had the 14-24mm on my D600 so I took one picture and it was a little too dark so I got my flash to soften the shadows a bit and bounced it off the porch ceiling.
I should really thank the lady at the door because I was just going to go in and take a few pictures of the actors but she stopped me and then she stopped the mayor and gave her the little speech about the history of the house and such. That gave me enough time to put my other stuff back in the bag. There was a no flash rule inside (actually a no photography rule for the general public, but I had a media pass) so I didn’t even bring the D90 with me. I wish I had the 24-70mm f/2.8 with me but I already had a tripod with me so that was not possible. I got a few pictures like this one:
So about 30 seconds later, the tour was over and we were let out of the back door. It wasn’t the smartest move to leave my D90, 2 prime lenses, and a tripod outside, but I figured at least there would be some eyes on it. Later, I went to the stage where the mayor gave her speech, handed out a proclamation, and the tour was official started. The lighting was good enough here to where I could use my D90 and 85mm 1.8 lens for the closeups.
Any lessons for pretend photojournalists? Well, leave the damn tripod at home and travel light. Of course, as you will see in my next post, I had the tripod for long exposure shots and my choice of lenses was for that and not photojournalism. If I was doing that, I would certainly bring the 24-70mm with me and maybe put the 85mm 1.8 on the D90. Things move fast so there is no time to blink. It’d be nice to have the flash on both cameras too.
On another note, I have run into the mayor at many events from the Rodeo parade to various street festivals that Houston has. I like mayors who get out and love the city they represent.