Some of the photographs were lit with Lumedyne lights, but most were either available light (400 ISO) or used one or more Canon 550ex speedlites triggered with a Canon ST-E2 transmitter. Within the two hours remaining I had completely covered the project, it's key personnel and I was really confident that I had filled my brief so I went home to edit the pictures. I sent twelve images back to the picture desk by dial up ISDN connection.
These four pictures represent different ways of shooting, a range of techniques that the news photographer needs to be able to switch between quickly and easily. The first image on the left was purely available light in a room with some daylight, several sodium floodlights and a number of tungsten spotlights. This required custom white balancing at 400 ISO and an exposure of 1/60th of a second at f2.8 (Canon 70-200f2.8L lens).
At 200 ISO the exposure was 1/45th of a second at f4.5 on a preset flash white balance (Canon 17-35 f2.8L). The third picture is just bounced flash off of a low ceiling in a room so small and dark that little else was possible without totally disrupting the session. 1/125th of a second at f5.6 (Canon 17-35 f2.8L). The fourth image was in a fluorescent lit room, with the camera on fluorescent light balance using a Canon 550ex on camera set to -1 1/2 stops filling in with a green Sto-fen Omni-bounce 1/45th of a second at f4 at 400 ISO (Canon 28-70 f2.8L).
The story ended up being promoted to the front page so I had to go back and make a really graphical front page image. Following discussions with the picture editor, the designer and the sub-editor I had a strong idea what they were looking for. We had looked at examples of how similar subject matter had been handled before and we decided on a few variations to try. The fly in the ointment was that it was the last day of term by now and I only had about half an hour to shoot the job.