Namsan Room, Seoul Park Hyatt: The last three times the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of Korea called me to photograph one of their events our schedules never worked out. Today I was happy to finally have the chance to work together. It was a straightforward mission — I was to photograph their 1st Breakfast Forum. I got a few shots of the room, each participant, a group photo, and it was all over in less than an hour making it my shortest photo shoot to date!
So how do you get interesting photos at an event where everyone is seated in a big rectangle doing one of three things: speaking, listening or eating? Frankly, it’s tough. This time I focused on capturing expressions. Each time a speaker took the mic I panned to them, trying to sync my shutter with their words. I also made sure to capture what looked like listening too. The large windows were by far the funnest thing to play with, by exposing for the subject I transformed them into high-contrast, white backdrops and sometimes further contrasted those against the neighboring dark walls. My 70-200 f/2.8 was the perfect piece of glass for the event allowing me to shoot unobtrusive portraits in pretty low light (ISO 5000). It also landed me the 14 person group shot at the end, something that would have been hard to shoot with everything wider due to the room setup. I only wish my shutter were a little quieter. Time to upgrade to a 5D Mark III perhaps? 😉