A few months back I got a call to shoot a show at the Murat Theater here in Indianapolis that was a bit out of the norm.  Normally when I think of the Murat Egyptian room I think about rock concerts, or at least musical performances in general.  Far be it for someone to do something out of what I consider the norm, but the Canterbury Hotel did, and they hired Paula Deen to come to Indianapolis and speak.  Walking into the theater, I wasn’t sure what to expect; would there be Thousands? Hundreds? Tens of people?

(Nikon D700, 2500ISO, Nikon 85mmF1.4D, 1/60th@F1.4)

It had been a while since I had been inside the Murat just to be inside the Murat, much less to shoot anything in there so I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to need.  I also had no idea what Paula Deen was going to do in there on stage for 3 hours but that’s ok I didn’t have to listen, just make pictures.

(Nikon D3s,1400ISO, Nikon 70-200F2.8VRII@70mm, 1/125th@F5)

She seemed like an incredibly nice person on, and off the stage.  I was allowed in the back and photographed her with the VIP crowd including one particular race car driver’s family, and her husband was with her the entire time enjoying himself too.  He also told me all about how he was a Tugboat captain when he wasn’t on the road with Paula, and about how he talked himself into being nervous waving the green flag at a Nascar Race down in Daytona. “Ladders?” He said, “I’m not worried about ladders.  I’m up and down ladders on the side of ships all day every day.  Been doing it for 20 years.  Not dropping that flag while the cars raced by though?  That was rough.”  We all had a good laugh.  Not as good of a laugh as Paula had though when she went out on stage and re-arranged the VIP table placements making every photogrpaher in the room realize they didn’t have enough glass….

(Nikon D3s, 1100ISO, Nikon AFS300mmF2.8 with a TC20eIII extender, 1/400th@F5.6)

Got a lot of use out of my TC20eIII extender that day after Paula moved the VIP tables out in front of her cooking setup.  I got lucky because one of my Indystar Coleagues had his 300F2.8 with him that day, and we swapped it and my 2x teleconverter back and forth.  Did most of my work with the 70-200 combo with the 2x teleconverter, but I feel as though the teleconverter is a lot softer than I like on my 70-200 where as on the 300 F2.8 it is significantly better.

Paula’s show was pretty entertaining though (even though she made Chef Steven do all of the cooking.)  She also drew quite a crowd while she was there too…

(Nikon D700, 1600ISO, Nikon 18-35F3.5-4.5@18mm, 1/30th@F3.5.  8 images stitched together using Photoshop CS5’s Merge Script.)

It really was a pretty solid crowd.  Made a long day for me too as after I got done there I proceeded to go and shoot a Naptown Roller Girls double header, followed by working on a video the day after.  Speaking of video, I’m in the process of integrating video into my portfolio page on the website.  I can get the video into the website, but I’m not smart enough to figure out how it display correctly.  That way when I get emails regarding doing videography work, I don’t need to respond like THIS. More Soon.