Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hewlett Packard

In March 2006 I photographed Hewlett Packard's annual stockholder's meeting in Los Angeles . What would normally have been a straight-forward corporate event photo shoot was made much more challenging by the request that the photographs be taken without flash. I knew that I would be shooting at a high ISO and was concerned about grain in my digital images. I shot most of the meeting at 800 ISO, and my Canon sensor performed amazingly well, with no noticeable grain.
The V.P. of Communications at HP wanted to get the images out on the wire with AP within minutes of completing the meeting, so I had to give my compact flash cards to a graphic designer during the meeting. The stage was lit with tungsten spotlights, half were gelled blue, and half were the basic 3200 Kelvin color spots. I shot with auto color balance on, and in both RAW and JPEG formats. The JPEG format was for fast previewing so that the HP staff could pick the best images to get on the wire, and the RAW format was to have editing flexibility once the images were chosen.
Patricia Dunn, chairman of the board of directors at HP, and Mark Hurd, chief executive officer and president, are the speakers shown, and I was able to speak to them after the meeting.
Everything was shot on-tripod, and shutter speeds ranged from 1/30 to 1/90 of a second at f4-f8. With a few of the slower shutter speed shots I got some hand movement blur, but overall the images were sharp and crisp with no problems. Hewlett Packard's V.P. of Communications told me that the images were much better than he expected, and better than those most of those taken without flash at previous events.

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