I had a couple of questions yesterday and today on some equipment – plus the always flattering “how the hell did you do that” comments – so I just thought I post quickly some pointers.
Somebody asked on my cardreader… Yes, it is three Lexar readers daisy-chained together using the FW-800 port on my MBP; the fourth one on the top is a standard USB-reader. Why this set-up? Well, I work with four cameras (two remotes and two in my hands), so I don’t have to switch cards at all when I do the editing. Plus, when I am going thru card number 1, Photomechanic is already loading the previews on the other cards. So why not have four FW-800 readers? Because my Mac only has one FW-800 port (and no FW-400). If that port for whatever reason stops operating, I’d be screwed if I did not have a USB back-up. Plus: Canon EOS 1D can use also SD-cards; should I for some reason not use CF but go SD; I need a reader for it.
The “weird” DOF – like my opening shot? Tilt-Shift (24mm) on a remote – no, no photoshop to get that effect, it’s “straight out of the camera” as they say. Shooting raw, naturally, so there is image editing, but no soft masks. Here’s another one:
One thing I learned is that when using Manfrotto’s hydraulic magic arms it’s a smart idea to take away all excess of weight. Just makes it easier. So I stripped my EOS 5Dmk2’s by taking away the transmitters n the bottom. The transmitter (WFT-E4 IIB)) is real nice piece of work if you need to access the camera in the middle of the action (it has built in server software, so you can access it easily with e.g. an iPad with no extra software needed – and e.g. download images if you need to). But I had no real need for that, so I took the transmitters off.
I used Multimax remotes for firing, one channel and then subchannels (A, B, …) to differentiate between the remote cams. I clamped the remotes on metal bars, next to the rink, secured them with climbing leashes. Multimax radio NOT on top of the cam but hanging below it. A skater might come very close to the side and accidentally hit it with a hand – and you DO NOT WANT any pieces of your equipment flying to the ice.
And DO NOT leave the hood on… for the same reason: you don’t want it to be flying around to the ice. And yes, I did take mine off from the camera on the right… ;-)
The photo-chief was a good friend of mine, so she gave me basically free hands to do what I want – but “don’t disturb anybody and don’t f*** up anything…” -reminder ringing in the back of my head.
Thus: I was very careful asking for permission from the people on the first row i.e. if they’d mind me setting up a remote on the bar in front of them – little courtesy and being polite makes a big difference when dealing with people. And a big “thank you” to these people, should any of them be reading this.
On Saturday I noticed that the leg of a TV-cam in the corner would be an optimal position for a remote. A very low angle. I asked the cameraman for permission to do it and he gave me thumbs up, so I set it there. Took me some practicing to get the angle, focus and exposure as I wanted them but I think the trouble paid off. Aamulehti (at least) ran the image pretty big this morning (image below).
On the whole, what would I do differently next time? Very simple: TS-45mm lens, from a bit elevated position. That’d be cool. And make a point of seeing all the practises before I set the remotes. That is crucial – but this time I got lucky.
The gallery I made from the games is now updated.