Black Grass Live

Being a professional photographer I get the opportunity to listen to a lot of business conferences and speeches whilst taking photographs, it is one of the aspects that definitely makes my job quite interesting at times.

This week I was booked to photograph Black Grass Live ran by Bayer CropScience, who brought together the best black-grass minds in the business in a question and answer session. Now I’d never heard of Black Grass before, I certainly didn’t think I had any in my garden, however a quick Google before I went told me that Blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) is an annual weed that can reach heights of 80-90cm.

There was a good turnout for the event and Black Grass is obviously a problem faced by farmers across the country, with the audience all having lots of questions for the panel of experts: Tom Bradshaw, Andrew Cotton, Colin Lloyd, Richard Hull, Gordon Anderson-Taylor and Paul Drinkwater.

From an event photography perspective it was a fairly challenging shoot. I was asked beforehand to ensure I didn’t get in the way of the audience so my territory for finding good angles was down the sides of the room and over heads where possible. I used my Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L USM lens in order to get nice close ups of the panel and audience members from a distance away.

The main challenge was the background they were using to the stage was reflecting the hard stage lights and giving off a fairly heavy glare, I tackled this by under-exposing the images a little to ensure the background wasn’t too bright and then cleaning the images up in Lightroom afterwards to ensure the people on stage were correctly exposed. Not ideal and a little time consuming in post processing, however sometimes needs must.

All in all this was a fun event to be involved with and if anybody has any Black Grass questions, well I’m now a bit of an expert!

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