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Sponsor Photos

Old 09-27-2013, 02:40 PM
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JH313
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Hi,
I hope you could help me. Our club has a 3D event coming up, and as web administrator, I volunteered to photograph the event as well. I just found out that our sponsors want the photos as well (the pressure is on). While I have a good amount of knowledge on Photography, I have never attended a 3D even nor have I photographed one. Any tips/advice? What would these sponsors be looking for? I hope I have this in the right section, and any advice would be greatly appreciated. I use a Nikon D40 w/ 18-55 and 55-200.
Thank you,
JH313
Old 09-27-2013, 03:55 PM
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JH,
I think I can offer some advice. Sponsors like lots of pics of the pilots,planes,crowd shots and of course the sponsor's banners and vendor's displays. So basically a little of everything
Without knowing your experience, I'll suggest getting up close & personal candid shots whenever possible (use fill-flash for closeups of faces) and watch your backround for sponsor banners or unwanted clutter etc. If the pilot is wearing sponsor logos, try to make sure it's visable in the shot. Think as though you are a proud sponsor.

Try to get pics of (at least one) every plane & pilot entered in the event. I also try to get a few pics of the pilots while they're flying. You'll need access to the flightline and should stand off at a safe & undistracting distance from the pilots.I typically use a zoom of around 100-300mm for these shots. The pilots never know I'm there shooting them.
Since, I suspect, that there will be alot of hovering models at a "3D" event, you should be able to get decent action shots with that 55-200mm. (I would if possible, rent a 1.5teleconverter for those tight cropped pics ) A 200mm is a little short to get good closeups of the models in flight. However, a good dynamic photo doesn't have to be a closeup of the model. If you can get both the pilot & plane in the shot, that would be great too.
If you have access to the flightline, you'll get good shots of take-offs & landings and close-in flybys. During two day events, I spent one day at the departure end & the following day at the opposite end so I can get both good landing & take-off shots. Watch the wind direction for determining this.It often changes in the afternoon.
I can't stress this enough, get lots of people pics. This is the hardest thing for me to remember because I'm attracted the models more

The sponsors want to "see" a successfull event. Lots of eyeballs on their ads. So what means success to you? Lots of contestants and lots of spectators. So show that in your coverage as well as neat pics of the models.
Try to get a list of sponsors from the contest coordinator or event CD and keep those names in mind all day. IT'S NOT EASY! to get coverage of everything. I would also suggest having an assistant maybe shooting with a good quality "point-'n-shoot" of the behind-the-scenes so you can focus on the main action. I have found over thirty years of airshow photography that I'm not great at people coverage. Pilots like to see pics of themselves and family members/support team.

The numbers:
I recommend using all the aids possible, Vibration reduction, auto focus, auto exposure and shutter speeds between 800-1260 for action shots
If you want good prop blur you'll need NOT to use anything higher than about 1000/sec. You'll also need to have a pretty good and stable panning technique to achive good consistant results. If you get nervous ( I do all the time ) use a higher shutter speed - 1260 to 2000 If light is bright- on those fast action shots.
Once you relax & get the hang of it, you'll be able to slow the shutter down to 160/sec and get really cool action shots with blurred props and backrounds. It takes alot of practice to get consistance results at that slow shutter. Since 3D flyers tend to fly erractic, it might be better to use the higher speeds to freeze the action.

Get a high speed memory card too. There's nothing more frustrating than having to waite for the camera to write to the card. See camera manual for the fastest card it will support.
Don't forget to eat and drink water. I sometimes get too involved and forget. Stay hydrated.

I hope this helps & doesn't scare you too much. It's alot to take in. If it's possible, try to practice at your local field on a ordinary day.
Ken
ps; I've been using Nikon 35mm and Pentax (645) for over thirty years and I still get nervous when covering events.
Old 09-28-2013, 01:57 PM
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I'll tell you what I do, FWIW, I use TV (Time Value) or Shutter Priority for flight shots and slow the speed down to 320 or 250.

You'll end up deleting some out of focus but the one's that work will be better shots.
Old 09-28-2013, 07:28 PM
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Try to get pics of (at least one) every plane & pilot entered in the event. I also try to get a few pics of the pilots while they're flying. You'll need access to the flightline and should stand off at a safe & undistracting distance from the pilots.I typically use a zoom of around 100-300mm for these shots. The pilots never know I'm there shooting them.
I was thinking the same thing, take a bunch of shots and use what I can. Although, I was also thinking of talking to the pilots (I believe we have 1 HH sponsored pilot) and see if he has a plan. He may have an idea of what he is doing and could possibly clue me in (i.e. He's going to hover on the left side, go there). Would that be wrong to do?
A 200mm is a little short to get good closeups of the models in flight. However, a good dynamic photo doesn't have to be a closeup of the model. If you can get both the pilot & plane in the shot, that would be great too.
If you have access to the flightline, you'll get good shots of take-offs & landings and close-in flybys. During two day events, I spent one day at the departure end & the following day at the opposite end so I can get both good landing & take-off shots.
I will have flightline access, and being a pilot at this club, I know the ins and outs, how people land, take off, and where I can safely be . I will also have a quick conversation with one of the safety officers before hand and see if there are any areas which would normally be okay but aren't for this event.
Try to get a list of sponsors from the contest coordinator or event CD and keep those names in mind all day. IT'S NOT EASY! to get coverage of everything. I would also suggest having an assistant maybe shooting with a good quality "point-'n-shoot" of the behind-the-scenes so you can focus on the main action. I have found over thirty years of airshow photography that I'm not great at people coverage. Pilots like to see pics of themselves and family members/support team.
I actually have someone else helping me. He only has an 18-55 so he's going to focus more on the people shot, although I will do both.
I recommend using all the aids possible, Vibration reduction, auto focus, auto exposure and shutter speeds between 800-1260 for action shots
If you want good prop blur you'll need NOT to use anything higher than about 1000/sec. You'll also need to have a pretty good and stable panning technique to achive good consistant results. If you get nervous ( I do all the time ) use a higher shutter speed - 1260 to 2000 If light is bright- on those fast action shots.
Once you relax & get the hang of it, you'll be able to slow the shutter down to 160/sec and get really cool action shots with blurred props and backrounds. It takes alot of practice to get consistance results at that slow shutter. Since 3D flyers tend to fly erractic, it might be better to use the higher speeds to freeze the action.
That is my plan, quick enough to freeze the action yet blur the props. If I have a chance, though, I want to try blurring the background.
Get a high speed memory card too. There's nothing more frustrating than having to waite for the camera to write to the card. See camera manual for the fastest card it will support.
That is my one grievance with my camera, it can only do 4 shots before the buffer fills, I will just need to make do, though. Thank you for all of the help. I have a few more questions, though:
What are my rights to these pictures? If I send them to a sponsor can I still display them? Should I expect any of them to be published/displayed (assuming they are good)? Can I expect any money from it? I'm not expecting to profit at all, but hey, I wouldn't complain if I were lol.
Thank you again for all of your help.
Old 09-29-2013, 12:29 AM
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[ He may have an idea of what he is doing and could possibly clue me in (i.e. He's going to hover on the left side, go there). Would that be wrong to do?

I use whatever help I can get to allow me the best coverage. If you can plan ahead by talking with pilots before they fly, then that definitely makes your job easier. When pilots know that a photog is present for the specific purpose of "event coverage", they tend to place the model in front of them as much as is practicle.A 'win-win' for everyone.

I
I actually have someone else helping me. He only has an 18-55 so he's going to focus more on the people shot, although I will do both.

That will be a big help to you. It's always good, I think, to get a different perspective on the event through the eyes of another photog. You will both be impressed with each other's work.

That is my plan, quick enough to freeze the action yet blur the props. If I have a chance, though, I want to try blurring the background.
That is my one grievance with my camera, it can only do 4 shots before the buffer fills, I will just need to make do, though. Thank you for all of the help. I have a few more questions, though:
What are my rights to these pictures? If I send them to a sponsor can I still display them? Should I expect any of them to be published/displayed (assuming they are good)? Can I expect any money from it? I'm not expecting to profit at all, but hey, I wouldn't complain if I were lol.
Thank you again for all of your help.[/QUOTE]


If possible, try to practice 'slow-shutter-panning' at your field during a regular flying day. Less pressure on you. If you're not experienced at it, start with 800/sec while pilot flys a low pass down runway at a safe speed for him and safe distance for you. "panning-blurr" is about two things: slow shutter & relative high speed. I say "relative" because it's the speed AND the distance away from the model together that makes it happen. The plane may actually be going a moderate speed but very close to you = a "relative high speed pass". or the plane may actually be flying 200mph and far away ( 300ft) and you're using a long lens like a 400mm. So with your 200mm lens and standing only 50ft from the edge of the runway, the plane flying by at 70mph down the runway center line will almost give you the same challenge of tracking it. Practice,practice,practice.

As far as the last couple concerns:
The photographer is & will ALWAYS be the copyright holder of the image. Don't let someone tell you different. You own all rights.
Now, if you allow someone to publish your pics, you still retain ownership to those photos but you are simply giving / selling them a "one-time-publishing-right" with terms to be determined by you both. Meaning whether or not money changes hands, no one can take away your ownership to your images by paying you money or some other comp.

If the sponors want to "publish" your photos they need your consent. You should expect them to publish because that's why they want copies. I always place some kind of watermark on all my photos. If you're dealing with reputable people then you should have nothing to worry about.

Don't expect money or compensation, but you can ask for it. It's entirely up to you. You don't work for them. Also, I don't know what was discussed between you and the sponors. The worst thing is when you find your pics being used in some ad that you didn't agree on or it happens months later without your permission. I have been plagiarized several times over thirty years and two of those times were very recent. With the internet, some people feel that if it's on the net then it's up for grabbs.
I often see my photos on the net with my name / logo removed and said photo displayed on a website or blog and often that website has nothing to do with aviation.
It's a depressing thing to think about. A LOT of people will say - "whats the big deal"
We can discuss whether or not photography has or deserves the same protection as "art". Some say no. But when you spend thousands of dollars and thousands of hours behind the lens and hours upon hours standing in the sun and wind shooting those photos, you get kinda bitter when you're taken advantage of.

Don't worry about it too much, just think positive and have fun while you're shooting those awesome pics.
Ken.
ps; Anything else I can help with, just ask. I don't have all the answers but I will try to help whenever I can.

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