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Bonkers Blog November 2013

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14 November (Part 2) - Bexley council. Ok for a fraction of a second but no depth

Cabinet meeting I planned a second blog for today but Part 1 took around five hours, listening to the tape over and over again deciding what to leave out and making sure any quotes are as near perfect as possible. Some of them have been shortened if I am honest as reports like that can get far too long. Now I can’t remember what Part 2 was going to be about. Instead I think I’ll mention the problems of photography in the council chamber, I know from the correspondence files that several readers are interested in photography, we even have a F.R.P.S among them.

The problem can be summed up as poor light, huge range of subject distance and fixed camera position pretty much in line with a sea of faces. After the fiasco of the council meeting I favoured a very short focal length lens (super-wide angle) to maximise depth of field and minimise the focussing problems that arise at wide apertures. Elwyn felt he needed a long lens with a wide aperture but neither of us owns the sort of beast you see behind football touchlines. The best we could muster was a fixed 55mm f1·4.

Maybe the general view shots are best done on a simple point and shoot camera. The embedded file data on the general view below shows it was taken on a Sony at f2·4 and 4mm focal length at 1/32th seconds. Result, everything in focus.

The two further down were f1·8, 55mm and 1/125th. Fifteen times the file size and four times the resolution (megabytes) of the Sony but almost zero depth of field as illustrated by the associated photo. DoF is inversely proportional to the focal length. Maybe the answer is two cameras but I suspect the novelty of photos in the chamber might wear off before the technique is perfected.

The audio recordings have proved to be very satisfactory. It’d be better if the flimsy table didn’t constantly creak but for its intended purpose the quality is good enough.


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