Corporate event on the London Eye

Media: Photography

Behind the scenes
I cover a lot of corporate events. I don’t blog about everyone but it’s been
a while since I’ve taken photos in the London ‘Eye’ so I thought it was
worth posting.

In fact the ‘Eye’ was British Airways the last time round and now its
EDF energy.
The weather in the day had been particularly excellent and the private champagne pod was booked from 7-8pm. Unfortunately it couldn’t have been any earlier and when we launched the sun had set and we had missed the ‘golden hour’.

The enclosed space and reflective surfaces in the pods can be challenging when using flash. Security restrictions also mean that you are limited to what equipment you can bring on. It’s cramped when at maximum capacity and 3 staff members are trying to move around and serve food and drinks.

As we set off the sky in the west was still pink and I balanced the flash with the outside ambient light to get balanced exposures.
This worked well in the beginning but when it became properly dark you could only make out the building and city lights, luckily London looks great with the lights off.
The lighting in the pod is almost nonexistent, except for when exiting, so after one round the lights came on [we stayed on] and I pushed the iso to around 4000 and fired away.

As usual the client had a web gallery and downloadable and corrected high res jpeg images available the next day with a CD-ROM in the post.

Gear & Tech
Canon 5d mark II  /  580EX Flash with diffuser  /  Quantum Turbo 2×2
Canon 24-70 F2.8  /  8mm Sigma fish eye lens  /  Off-Camera Shoe Cord

IEA Hayek memorial lecture 2011

Media: Photography / HDSLR Video / Post Production / Social Media


Behind the scenes
This is a flagship annual event held by the Institute of Economic Affairs [a profile of previous work for the IEA can be viewed at this post].
This is the second year I have been commissioned to photograph and video the lecture.

I know that anyone who is viewing any website or blog nowadays is ‘very busy’ so I don’t expect anyone to watch the entire 1hr 12 minute lecture with Q&A unless you have an interest in economics in which case please do so and the link to view is here

To showcase how I film and edit this type of work I have edited together a 6 minute show reel. This approach and high production value style is also used on full day conferences, seminars and events and differs greatly from other video companies who simply place a camera at the back of a room and press record.

Being adaptive on shoots is key. For this lecture I was told that the lights that lit up the lectern and panel would be switched off during the opening speech and for the Q&A session.
For optimal filming this really is a not ideal. However, having no choice I had some comfort in knowing that my cameras with full frame sensors are some of the best at filming in low light situations.

I used three cameras on this production. One fixed and operated with a Canon 100-400mm IS lens. One attached on the second floor pointing down and filming throughout the lecture, this was key for referencing on the edit where to put the presentation slides and for full room shots and edit cutaways.
The final Canon 5d camera was roaming with my 24-70 and 70-200IS F2.8 lenses for creative video angles and still photography.

Q&A session: This is a section I always enjoy filming. I have to be very fast to spot where the question is coming from (something that’s not easy if the audience members don’t stand up and are poorly lit) and quickly manually focus in on the action. It becomes even more challenging when as can be seen in the video clip, a qustion is fired from the balcony level.

Post production: Audio syncing.
The conventional way is for the A/V team to lay down cabling to the video cameras from the mixing desk to all the cameras. I like to stay mobile and don’t need this connection. I use some very clever, award winning software called Pluraleyes to sync all the cameras in post production using a master recording from the mixing desk [through my digital broadcast recorder].
The audio recording has some clipping in certain places and this was the fault of the venue and the mic / wireless setup.

As this is a long video file the client prefers the content in SD and HD formats on their Vimeo channel and HD selectable on YouTube. I encode and upload to the IEA video channels which saves the client upload and delivery times.

Gear & Tech
2 x Canon 5d mark ii cameras and a Sony HD video camera. Zoom H4n external digital audio recorder. Pluraleyes for syncing.
Lenses: Canon 24-70mm / 70-200mm IS F2.8 / 100-400 IS

“I’m absolutely delighted with the service we receive from Karim at Creative Visual Services. The photos and the multi camera video productions we receive are always imaginative, elegant and beautifully shot. Very highly recommended indeed.”
Mark Littlewood, Director General of the IEA