Monday, January 23, 2012

Shooting news with less than the best

A newspaper quality shot of Ken Lewenza, national CAW president.

The other day I covered a rally in London, Ontario. I was writing a story for the Digital Journal and needed art to accompany my piece.

As a former newspaper photographer, I can appreciate the advantages offered by top-of-the-line equipment: No shutter lag, great motor drives and phenomenal image quality.

Unfortunately, the one disadvantage is price. No longer working for a newspaper, I can no longer afford the best. So, I shoot with a Fuji FinePix HS10 and a Canon PowerShot S90. I carry a spare set of batteries at all times for both cameras.

I have one other problem when I am out shooting news. I have a heart condition. Ideally, I would have liked to be on stage shooting with the local news folk but if I had a "spell" and I was on stage, it would be embarrassing and disruptive. I staked out a spot in front of the stage. And I did have a spell and was able to ease myself out of the crowd and find a seat to recover.

My small, shoulder case with two cameras and spare batteries is quite light. It is light even for me.

I think my shots from Saturday are proof that reporters can get usable shots using simple equipment. They may not get the images that a photographer would, the shutter lag alone is enough to prevent that, but they will get good, usable stuff.

One needs at least one overall crowd shot. One quick shot from the stage delivered.

A real strong selling point when it comes to my kit is the wonderful zoom lens on the Fuji FinePix HS10. It goes from a wide angle to super telephoto and it does it with a twist of the lens, rather than a push of a button. I much prefer the manual approach over the motorized one for setting the focal length of the lens.

I'd write more but you get the idea, I'm sure. If not, check through some of my older posts about these two cameras. If you write me, I'll reply or add to this post so that all can benefit.

Good shots are made at rallies using all focal lengths.

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