I work nearby the Australian Federal Parliament, and I often drive around it as a traffic- and light-free shortcut. On the day of the political death of Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, the media had firmly got hold of the story and was intent on milking it as far as possible, so I joined them for a few minutes. They set up camp on the lawns of Federation Mall on what was a beautiful winter’s day, and the TV reportage orgy began.
And when I saw orgy, I mean orgy. Peter Overton, the Channel 9 News anchorman was flown in – he’s recently departed from 60 Minutes. Karl Stephanovic from the “Today” show, the guy next to Overton whose name I don’t know from another show, Chris Bath, another news anchor was there, and this was at 2 pm when nothing was happening, with no politicians in sight. The imports were all wearing heavy coats. It wasn’t cold for a local.
It was interesting to see the set up used for OB filming – they make efforts to get the light under control:
Here, Chris Bath is standing in direct sun, and they have set up a shade to soften what would otherwise be harsh shadows on her face. There is a tungsten spotlight with barn doors with a blue daylight gel to add some light ready for when the sky darkened later in the day – they were still broadcasting when the politicians emerged in the evening darkness like vampires with Parliament lit up like a Gothic castle as a backdrop. There’s also a reflector ready to add a bit of light as and when the sun was shaded when clouds moved around.
The sheer volume of gear they moved in was eye opening: tents:
cameras in abundance:
All in all a circus, to watch the carryings-on of the biggest circus of all…
All of this was shot with an Olympus E-P2 “digital pen” – the media doesn’t understand small cameras. Here is the quality you can pull from this small marvel, even with the ordinary kit zoom lens:
This is a section of the original of the Overton picture cropped out at 750 pixels wide, and quadrupled in area to 1500 pix wide, via Photoshop re-sampling – if I use a better piece of software and sharpen it up it would be spectacular. Now that’s what I need from a P&S camera.