Educated Yorkshire 2015 conference

This time EY conference was held in The David Hockney Building at Bradford College, so photography students had an opportunity to practice at the event (also to spy on the official invited photographer and to get some really helpful advices from him).

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I was asked not to use the speedlight because it could be quite distracting, so in most cases I had to use relatively high ISO, and the maximum value in a dark narrow corridor.

All the participants and visitors were very friendly, so when I was asking people if I may photograph them everyone was agree and some of them even posed for me. I tried to capture people talking and engaging with each other in different ways, playing, observing and working together.

I visited and photographed two lectures on the event. I was aware that I can’t disturb speakers or audience or to get into official photographer’s frame, so I  stayed behind  everyone, dreaming of a zoom lens and trying to get from my perspective useable image. By the time of the second lecture I understood (mainly thanks to the professional’s advices) that it’s a good idea to shoot speakers through heads and backs of audience slightly capturing them as well. Also photographing audience can benefit the series of images. Capturing emotions and reaction makes an event look lively and nice. For me the most difficult trick was to make the lecture look busy, so I’ll be working on my perspective-finding-skills.

Closer to the end of the conference there were few people left so I switched to shooting objects and details reflecting the event – souvenirs from the participants, flags and different attributes.

The SD card I used for shooting the conference was mostly full when I arrived to the event, so after some time I replaced it with another new card. When I was downloading images at home I ascertained that the photographs on the new card are corrupted and can’t be restored. I lost more than a third of my work, but learned three lessons – 1) empty SD card before important shoot, 2) test new equipment before a shoot, 3) keep on reviewing images in camera even after you’ve shot 200 of them.

P.S: By the way I was covering afternoon slot, so I came beforehand to get used to the crowd as sometimes I feel panic in crowded areas. Since morning I was in the mood for calmly perceiving lots of people (the practice that had helped me many times). So when I arrived I went to the second floor to observe the crowd from a distance to get used to it. After a short while fire alarm went on so everyone hurried to the exit and I understood I was trapped in the crowd in the middle of the building. Eventually I was more or less ready to be among people and was able to keep myself under control. I want to mention that I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly evacuation went, staff acted in really organized and professional way. I felt very inconveniently and concentrated meanwhile whole situation seemed so derisive – I came beforehand to get used to the crowd and because of that got trapped in it. However after the alarm was cancelled and everyone could go back into the building, the happening did something very useful for me – the conference participants didn’t seem to be a crowd anymore.

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