Entertainment photographer Larry Busacca talks us through what was in his kitbag at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Here are some of my tools I used to shoot the roaming dinner party and arrivals position for the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party:

Photo by Larry Busacca/Personal Collection

Cameras: Nikon D4 and D-800
The D4 was used  as the main camera for the majority of the party photos and much of the red carpet.

The D-800 was dedicated to the images shot with the Profoto lighting I hung on the lighting truss on the red carpet.

Multiple cameras are used so that we can dedicate a camera to each type of lighting and achieve many different types of looks during one event. In this case the lighting included on-camera-flash, studio lighting and available light.

Lenses: 24-120 f4, 24-70 f 2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8.
These are standard issue for most of our staffers and most pros in general.

Flash:
I shoot with a flash bracket, flash and flash battery pack on a Nikon D4.

I use this setup for most event work. In this case I used the on-camera flash to blend with the lighting on the truss provided by the party producers.

There was A LOT of light so all we needed was to add a little flash to even up the shadows.

Lighting Support: Magic Arm supports

In this case, I had Profoto studio lights mounted on the lighting truss on the red carpet using these brackets.

Pocket Wizards:
The pocket wizards fired the strobes. One is mounted on the D-800 camera and triggers the Profoto lights when I press the shutter.

Miscellaneous Items:
The misc items are so critical. These include compact flash cards, lots of them.

Laptop to work on images if there is no editor on site.

An external hard drive for backup. 

Lastly are the battery chargers. Don't leave home without them!

 

WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Musician Lady Gaga attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/VF14/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

I was allowed to roam and move around the carpet during arrivals for both the dinner and then again for the after party. I stepped out onto the carpet to get unique over-the-shoulder shots of the celebs.

The celebrities are aware of the photographer’s presence since you are basically standing five feet away from them so all you have to do is ask them to turn to you for a moment.

The challenge of course, is being heard over the ear shattering decibel level of most of the press corps who are yelling at the celeb to get their attention and eye contact. It usually works.

Gaga preferred the ethereal stare-into-the cosmos look. It was a fun day.

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