If there is a god of outdoor event photography you can make sacrifices to in order to hopefully have favourable conditions for a smooth and trouble free shoot, then nobody’s told me about it! However, that said, the whole shoot went remarkably smoothly at the sod-turning ceremony for the new WCCTV premises on the impressive Kingsway Business Park about a mile or so from Rochdale’s town centre.
Outdoor event photography, what could possibly go wrong?
Plenty. Bad weather, poor light, problems with access, the list goes on. Fortunately for me on this occasion the people in the picture were happy to oblige when asked to move, not to blink (always a problem with larger group shots) and generally shuffle this way and that to get the composition right.
Having spoken with the project manager at the Rochdale Development Agency earlier in the week, we did as much homework as possible to make sure everything during the outdoor photography went smoothly. I arrived early to set everything up and to my horror a large bulldozer was just beginning to take off the top surface of the plot. Fortunately a quick word with the site supervisor bought me enough time before the dignitaries arrived.
Then it was into ‘art director /photographer’ mode. White even thin cloud provided excellent diffused light. This meant there was no real need for flash lighting that can lead to harsh or unflattering shadows. It was then simply a matter of getting everybody relaxed and into position.
Making sure all the angles are covered
Checking the histogram and reviewing the images to make sure nobody had blinked meant that I was fairly confident that I had the images I needed. Then once everybody had left I took a few more images of the site being bulldozed as possible ‘interest’ shots.
The one conundrum I did have was regarding high vis jackets, glasses and hard hats. We did have them available but in a mixture of colours and branding. It was decided that because the bulldozer was stationary, there was no other construction work happening on the site and the site supervisor was stood with us, then there wasn’t any need for the full PPE dressing up pantomime.
The end result was a great range of shots with the WCCTV directors wanting a print for the new boardroom wall!
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