4 May 2017 - The Overrated Photographer

Sleep at the G - 4 May 2017

For those who don't know, I do some free photography work for some charities throughout the year as a way of giving back.


I was fortunately enough to get involved in an event called "Sleep at the G". For those who don't know, the event is held in Melbourne, Australia. The organizers (Melbourne city mission) invite people to sleep at the Melbourne cricket Ground, where they are issued with a box, along with some soup and bread. Doesn't quite seem like good value for money, but obviously the money in this case is going to the homeless, and the box and soup is to help people gain insight on what it's like to live on the street for a night.

Fortunately in this case, the entertainment isn't drunk people falling into gutters. The event organizers have arranged a stage with some entertainment, along with games in the sleeping areas to help people keep themselves entertained. Many seem more interested in their phones as is usually the case.

Jim (who organized for us to get involved) and myself were invited by Melbourne City Mission to do some photography on the night. It seemed like a really worthwhile cause and both of us registered for the event. This would allow us to sleep overnight, and potentially get some photos in the morning, depending on what the morning photo opportunities were like. I managed to raise $341 on top of my $75 registration which wasn't bad given I only registered the Sunday before the event and didn't have much time to fund raise. This was thanks largely to some of my work colleagues to dug deep on the donation front.

The event itself was great. Arrive at 5pm, collect a box, Find a place to sleep, and then bed down for the night. The organizers provided great entertainment in the Form of bands, board games, jenga and a dress up competition. My fellow photography Found himself in the finals of the event after dressing up in a superman onesie.

Food was soup and bread, not a favorite of mine but I made the decision to get some food prior to getting there. After the entertainment ended, the lights went off and everyone headed to sleep at around 11pm, with the only noises being the sounds of the snorers. I personally battled on the sleep front, not due to the cold or hard ground, but due to the lack of pillow.

Overall, I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering attend, it was a great event and well worth attending. From a photography perspective, it was also a great experience. To date, the majority of charity events I have done have been daytime events.

Overall, I'd highly recommend it to anyone considering attend, it was a great event and well worth attending. From a photography perspective, it was also a great experience. To date, the majority of charity events I have done have been daytime events.

I think every piece of photography work is a learning curve, and think my feedback from this event would be the following:


1. This event had lots of low light, and I missed having access to some f/1.4's with my f/2's and f/2.8's. I think a couple of f/1.4's would probably have been helpful. I think I'll add the 16mm f/1.4, 23mm f/1.4 and perhaps the 56mm f/1.2 to my purchasing list


2. In the absence of the above, or potentially to go with it, I missed having a TTL flash which I pretty much forgot about because I don't do much night stuff anymore. I took around my manual flash for a while but a TTL Flash would have been more practical and easier as you don't have the opportunity to get second takes in most cases.


3. Dual straps like the Holdfast Moneymaker or a holster setup like the Spiderpro would have been extremely helpful. The standard straps weren't great as they are the same length and this really was an event where having access to multiple cameras would have been extremely helpful. 


4. Bring a pillow. I don't mind the sleeping on concrete and the cold wasn't an issue thanks to a sleeping bag, but the lack of pillow meant I got about half an hours sleep.

Thanks to Jim for organizing our involvement in the event, and thanks to Melbourne City Mission for extending us the Media passes and allowing us to be involved.


Over $450,000 was raised thanks to this great event.


I've included a subset of the photos, but if you want to look at the full set of my photos from the event. Have a look at the scrolling set of photos below.

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