Photojournalism advice, please.

sb700ca

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Next week, I will be documenting a community town hall and need a few shots showing concerned citizens working together.

Here are the challenges:
  • Big, grey room with poor lighting, just a bit of ambient light from east-facing windows when the sun is setting
  • People will be sitting at round tables
  • I want more than just a "100 people showed up" type of shot
  • I'll need some depth of field to cover multiple people talking
  • I don't want flash to make a dark background (I'd like to show others talking but out of focus)

I'm hoping for suggestions for how I document this resulting in pictures for the local newspaper and for some PR.

I'm still a newbie, especially to this forum, so I apologize if I have posted in the wrong place. I have a Nikon 5100 with regular 18-55 & 55-200 kits lenses plus a 50mm f/1.8 prime.
 

The_Traveler

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Get there a day or so before and see what kind of light you will need.
Try bouncing your flash.
Understand what the lenses you have will cover and will need for light.


Get 'setting the scene' shots
Individuals talking
Couples interacting
Individuals with OOF people in foreground.
Interactions.

take 50 times as many shots as you need.
relax
take your time
 
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sb700ca

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The ceiling is 20 feet. I haven't found that bounce works, so I went with lower power for fill. Lot's of falloff problems.

Do you have a lens suggestion? The 50mm is good for the crowd shots if I solve the lighting problem, but my 55-200 really struggles with low light. I don't want to get in people's faces. I am very hesitant to go with anything above ISO400.
 
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sb700ca

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I need to do some experiments with 800+ on the 5100. In the past, the noise was prohibitive for shots destined for print.

Thank you for the encouragement. That might address the issue with the 55-200.
 
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sb700ca

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Woah! I must be doing something seriously wrong. Thank you for the help, traveler.
 
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sb700ca

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I'll post a test and get some comments then. By having to do shots like this for work, I got hooked on photography as a personal passion. That's why I want something better than the stale group shots.
 

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