Awesome weekends work

Posted: October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized
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As my previous post explains I spent this weekend away in Perth, Scotland as the official photographer for the Home Nations Trampolining/DMT championships.

The journey up was horrendous as the weather was simply appalling. Torrential rain whipped up by high winds made driving a total nightmare. Even with my ‘Quattro’ there were times when the vehicle aquaplaned in the rivers of water crossing the motorways. Suffice to say that when we finally arrived at the hotel there was a palatable sense relief, throughout my family, at our safe arrival.

Both days of competition produced some fantastic routines from the 400 competitors. I was shooting from an elevated judging panel mezzanine which gave me an elevated and less restricted view of the competitors. This elevated position also saved a great strain on my neck and shoulders with the reduced angle of my shooting position. Whilst I certainly still had fatigued arms and feet after each 8 hour day of continual shooting I woke on Monday morning quite sprightly and with no stiff neck.

A total of 1293 images, from 1400 taken, were deemed, by myself, suitable for sale and we were indeed busy, on both days of competition, selling the images. All are now live on the website, password protected & via the client access page, for people to purchase post event. I have found that parental attendance at events such as this is lower. Many clubs travel using mini busses as it’s far more cost effective so only local parents usually attend along with coaches who have driven the mini busses. We were inundated by kids wanting our web address and the gallery password so parents could be shown, and hopefully purchase images post event. The gallery has already been viewed by a decent amount of visitors and products have been purchased.

Our regular offering of prints, frames, key rings, mugs, jigsaws and collages are all available to purchase and are very popular. I found that offering too many options for purchase actually generated less sales. Narrowing the options to something easily viewed, rather than a 400 item list of product options, appears to work. The less is more thought.

So onto the photography. The stadium lighting was superb allowing more than adequate shutter speeds along with low iso’s. I found a simple balance allowing me to freeze all action with a suitable iso and an aperture of f/2.8. Custom white balance completed and I was ready to go on my elevated platform. From a power point of view I flattened 4 LP-E6 batteries over the 2 days.

So the big opening ceremony and competitor parade.

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My superb shooting position in the main arena meant even my 70-200 was rarely over 150mm unless it was the juniors competing. This allowed the subject to easily fill the frame with absolute minimal cropping to most images. Image taken on iPad by my daughter with only colour correction applied.

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One of the many contact sheets to show just how monotonous this event photography can be. There’s certainly no glamour with this work but possibly an RSI after a few years of doing it.

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My final comment with this post is about the now growing number of parents who feel they can ‘out do’ the “Pro” with their bridge cameras and phones.

On Sunday a man approaches the desk and asks to speak with me about images. At my next available opportunity I attend our desk to see what he wants, thinking he wants a deal on several images as we will negotiate price on bulk buys.

Oh no…… this guy has been snapping away, from the stands, with his Canon 400d and has an SD card full of blurred images with a serious yellow hue owing to the sodium lighting.

His request is for me to correct the lighting, attempt clean up and reduce the blurring of his images so that they looked like the ones we had of his daughter competing………….for FREE !!!!! and secondly to let him know my settings !!!!!

Short conversation with that chap who, as he toddled off, had a parent queuing let him know how rude his requests were.

Onward to Liverpool in a few weeks for another round of nationals before the finals in December.

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