Working the press theatre

Minister George Abbott takes questions from the media.

Set up for video cameras, the press theatre in the Parliament Building is a frequent venue for my work photography. Given the relatively small size and the available light, the theatre is a good venue for using a rangefinder camera instead of an SLR.

Minister George Abbott addresses the media.

Since acquiring my Leica M9 last month, I have looked for opportunities at work to use it. Therefore, I equipped myself with the M9 and the 35mm Summicron and the R-D1 and the 50mm Summilux when I shot yesterday’s event. This is a great combination as I can get fairly wide shots with the 35mm on the M9 and the 50mm on the R-D1 gives me tighter or longer shots.

Given the lighting in the room, I shoot at between 800 to 1600 ISO with both cameras and at f2 to f4 with either lens. ISO 1600 is a bit noisy on the M9 but I can fix that reasonably easily with Lightroom. The noise from images shot at ISO 1600 with the R-D1 is not as noticeable, or at least, I find it less of an issue. In fact, the rendering of that small, 6 megapixel sensor is surprisingly good. The 50mm Summilux helps, I’m sure (f1.4 anyone?).

Comparing equipment.

Aside from photographing ministers and the Premier at a podium, I also try to capture the media doing their jobs. The remaining photos show them hard at work…