When batteries crap – or – The Professional

The room was gorgeous with an entire wall covered in window overlooking the lake. Sweet window light bathed the entire place. The event I was sent to cover was routine. An alumni celebration with old artifacts to look at, a short program, food, entertainment, and some current student presentations. Document the high points and out of there in a couple of hours.

Of course, the podium was against the window and faced the seating. You make your choices here. Expose for the person speaking and let everything in the background blow out or cut it back and use some fill flash. Fill flash.

As I worked the event, I’d use the flash to fill in the shadows anytime I took pictures toward the window and then turn it off when I had the window light with me. Naturally, I left the flash off a few times and used back lighting because I love the dramatic. That was for me. You can’t sell dramatic for an event like this. Everyone wants to see everyone and that’s the point.

And then suddenly the flash wasn’t keeping up and I was seeing entirely too much drama. And the band came in. With the mascot. Because I’m a professional, I’d never run out of batteries at the peak point in the event. A professional with a dead flash. Never, not me, I know about batteries because I’m a professional.

There were more batteries in the bag. Because I’m a professional. Yet the bag and I are suddenly separated by an ocean of people, a marching band, and a lively mascot sharing the love with the alumni. Now, a professional can adapt. Pictures are made without flash all the time. So I did, because I’m a professional. A professional probably would keep the bag with him, though, because professional.

I made do, as the saying goes, and found my way to the bag where I just grabbed the other flash. There are two because I’m a professional. And several sets of spare batteries also because I’m a professional. Made it through. Covered the high points. No one noticed but me. Because I’m a professional.

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