Secret Gardens Opening Pictures

One event I decided not to photograph was the opening of my ‘Secret Gardens of St John’s Wood‘  show last week. Although I had taken a camera along with me and was wearing it around my neck I didn’t take a single picture. So I was pleased to see Paul Baldesare taking some pictures at the event – and he handed the camera over to Jiro Osuga at one point.

I didn’t want to take pictures because I was too busy and perhaps too involved to work sensibly; it was really nothing to do with having drunk several glasses of red wine, very necessary to keep my voice working with all the talking I was doing!

© 2011, Paul Baldesare

This is a nice picture of Dr Cathy Ross opening the show, with a couple of photographers in the background.  Like the other pictures in this post it was taken with a Panasonic DMC-GF2 with a 14mm lens at ISO 640. Although the quality seems fine, it does point out a big difference between the 4/3 format and cameras such as the Nikon D700 where I would have happily been working at ISO 3200, more than 2 stops faster, or even faster, and working without flash, or if I’d brought the SB800 as well, adding a bit of bounce flash.  Of course there is a balance and the DMC-GF2 is a lot less to carry and perhaps easier to use than a D700 + SB800 combination  – and a lot cheaper. In favour of the larger combination are quality and flexibility.

© 2011, Paul Baldesare

Several of the garden owners are in the next picture, along with a few of the others present. But the 14mm in a fairly small space only shows a fairly small section of those present, with its 28mm equivalent field of view. Its the kind of situation where something wider – like the 16-35 mm on the D700 or the 10-20mm on the Nikon D300 (or perhaps better still the Nikon 10.5mm full-frame fisheye) come into their own.

© 2011, Paul Baldesare

The smaller format also I think shows its limitations in this image, where it hasn’t coped too well with the dynamic range. But I’m pleased to have these pictures of the event and Paul has done a good job in catching some of the  gestures and expressions of the people involved in the fairly short formal proceedings of the evening, particularly since I suspect he was ahead of me on the wine.  But they do I think show the limitations of the equipment, and confirm my decision for the moment not to invest in one of these more compact systems.

© 2011, Paul Baldesare

The final picture I’ll include is perhaps a good example of subject failure, if not in the classic sense of the term. I’m really rather better behind the camera than in front of it, seen here thanking Dr Ross for her speech.

But in the end the best camera is the one that was there – and was used by someone who knows how to use it – and my thanks to Paul for the pictures. You can see some better example of his work in our show together (along with Mike Seaborne, who appears in most of the pictures above) East of the City – which will be open to the public from Saturday.

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