Public hearing






















The transit agency where I work is proposing to raise fares. A public hearing was recently held, giving riders and taxpayers the chance to testify before the agency's Board of Directors, comprised mostly of elected officials in Los Angeles County. 

Photographing the hearing was difficult. I was confined to a small space about 20 to 25 feet from the lectern used by the public. The room tends to be dark; I couldn't use a flash. 

So I decided to largely stick to one spot to shoot and increase the ISO -- knowing I would convert to black-and-white later to get rid of the dim colors and give the photos more of a newspaper feel. I also found that what I thought was a disadvantage in terms of shooting location turned into something kind of interesting: a study in the way different people testify in front of some high-profile elected officials over a heated issue. 

Above are some of the photos I took during the hearing. The whole collection is on the agency's Flickr page. I tend to be extremely critical of my own photographs and these are far from perfect -- but I really like them. I used my Nikon DX 85mm macro lens which delivers good results. The one thing that I could have done better is get a faster telephoto lens to better isolate the speakers -- in some photos they tend to blend in with the background. 

Please check out my SmugMug site for more of my photographs. 

--S.H.

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