Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Praying for the Legislature

People gather in the Arizona State Senate chamber Monday to pray for a fruitful and productive legislative session. The "Prayer Walk" was organized by the Center for Arizona Policy, a right wing think tank. The Prayer Walk was just one of several activities that took place at the State Capitol Monday before the Governor's State of the State address. 

I like photographing politics and the political process and I've covered almost every State of the State since 1999, when we moved to Phoenix. There's usually a lot to photograph. 

Special interests groups congregate on the Capitol to press their issues. The CAP Prayer Walk was the first event Monday morning. 

There were also rallies by Planned Parenthood in support of pro-choice and women's health issues (only 3% of Planned Parenthood's services are abortion related, most of the rest are related women's health needs), there were Tea Partiers rallying for lower taxes, smaller government and greater gun rights and a small number of conservative Catholics rallying against abortion rights. 

Governor Brewer delivered a rather short State of the State speech in the afternoon. She promoted the state's centennial (Feb 14, yes Arizona became the 48th state on Valentine's Day in 1912), and took credit for righting Arizona's Ship of State. 

I was at the Capitol for about 10 hours, from well before dawn for the Prayer Walk, until late afternoon for Democrats' response to the Governor's speech. I shot way too much - I filled nearly 3 eight gigabyte compact flash cards. That's not unusual for me at something like this. There was a lot to photograph.

Then there are the State Senate and House chambers. They are very dark, cave like really. The base exposure is about 1/60 of a second at 2.8 and ISO 3200. Factor using a 300mm lens and although I shot a lot, I only archived about ⅓ of that because many of the photos were soft from movement (both the camera and the subject) and some were out of focus. In others, the subjects had their eyes closed or their hands were in front of their faces or there were other issues. So 24 gigabytes quickly gets winnowed down to 8 gigs. 

Thanks to the miracle that is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom though, the editing went pretty quickly. It took me just about 3 hours to ingest, sort through, caption, tone and transmit the photos.