1st Annual PPDUP Conference at UBC, Vancouver

Saturday, June 19, 2010 | with 1 comments |
UBC was recently hosting the first ever PPDUP Conference (the acronym is definitely easier in this case, unless "Proteomics of Protein Degradation & Ubiquitin Pathways" rolls off your tongue easier than it does mine, hehe!)

I'm blogging this one not so much for the photography as the customer service aspect. I think we're a little proud of the fast turnaround time on this one! Due to the tight schedule of the attendees, we took the group photos in the morning during a conference coffee break, and then came back downtown to select, edit, design a 4"x8" postcard to commemorate the event, get approval and then get them printed in time to be able to hand one out to each attendee during the reception dinner that same evening.


As for the photos, shooting a group of 80-100 is quite a bit more challenging than the average bridal party portraits, hehe. The fashion/posing element goes away pretty quickly and the main challenge was to be able to see everyone's face ... and despite the standard instructions provided to the group to "make sure you can see the camera, otherwise the camera can't see you", it's fairly impossible to simultaneously monitor 100 people shuffling about!

It was a sunny day, and the trees lining East Mall Boulevard created a mottled light in our originally intended location, which would have been too difficult to tame for a group this size. We only had 15 minutes to get the photos, so we couldn't have them wandering all over campus. We settled on a staircase on the shady side of a nearby building and thankfully, it turns out the scientists were a very cooperative and self-organizing lot. There were just enough stairs to spread everybody out and get decent visibility, but we also used a step-ladder to get a better angle. Perhaps a megaphone would have made my jokes a little more effective, haha, but things seemed to work pretty well. For the final image, we did use a little of Photoshop CS5's content-aware fill feature to remove the lamp post & blue sign that is visible in the photo below.

It wasn't on the agenda, but in the few extra minutes we had, I wanted to try an interior shot of the group as well, to test out the effectiveness of our Nikon ultra-wide angle @ 14mm. We put bare flashes on stands to either side of the camera and bounced them off the ceiling to get a little extra light on the group. There was no attempt at organizing the group of this shot, as the lectures got underway immediately afterwards.

Many thanks to The Printing House for helping to print the postcards so quickly!

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