Scottish Independence Rally: Review

An interesting day. Arrived at the Royal Mile just before 11am and there was already quite a crowd. By 12:30 or so the place was jam packed, dwarfing even a peak festival turnout. Having worked out how to use my camera’s light meter in class I took light readings etc but found it a bit of a hindrance at times. When using flash in overcast conditions like today I’ve found that a shutter speed of 1/200 to 1/250, and aperture of f7 to f9 (with 400 iso) gives quite nice results.

I found myself in the usual quandary over which lens to use at certain times, such as covering the march/crowd. When the march itself began I was using the 18-55mm, getting quite close, which worked quite well. But then decided to switch to the 55-2000mm for close ups which I think was a mistake as the results were generally poor in comparison to previous approach.

Upon reaching Calton Hill I headed straight for the front of the barrier facing the stage, unintentionally annoying a couple of people in the process, who then couldn’t see, and had been there before my grand arrival. I decided to go where I was really supposed to be, being a photographer, which was inside the barrier perimeter with the other photographers. I explained that I was a student from West Lothian College, showed my matriculation card, and was allowed in, which was great, and very nice of them too. This was obviously far better as I could then move position, as well as getting closer to the action.

For this part of the event there was no lens quandary, 55-200mm all the way (there may be a better lens to use but that’s what I have). At first I again took light readings using the inbuilt meter but the lighting was so bad, there were blue spotlights facing me which were playing havoc with the camera and distorting the shots, that I switched to auto. This meant that I didn’t have to waste time thinking about lighting so much, and allowed me to concentrate on subject and composition. This generally worked fine, although even then some shots were distorted by the lighting when shooting from the front.

Another lesson learned was to take a back up memory card. I reached the limit of the one I had, having shot well over 700 photos, and thus had to delete some to make space. These were shots that would have been deleted anyway, but it took time, and meant I had to concentrate on that instead of the subject. Luckily at that point there was a band on, not a speaker.

Overall I got the shots I wanted. Here are some examples:

Independent Socialist Scotland.

Aye Have A Dream.

Elaine C. Smith

Elaine C. Smith

Nicola Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

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