In Part 1 I talked about the whole planning aspect of event photography: agreeing on a fee, getting the detail sorted, having a structure to work with. Now if you’ve done well in that first part, this stage should go smoothly right? Maybe but probably not. You’ll always come across hidden surprises that you could never plan for and you’ll always come away having learnt something new, no matter how experienced you are. But the better your planning, the better you cope with these uncontrollable factors.
So I was out with Jamie Barrow in Verbier for his speed record attempt. I’ll get down to the grit of what we did, how I went about it and what advice I have.
1) Take plenty of spare memory cards – they fill up quickly when you’re shooting in 1080p and in rough conditions there’s always a chance they could fail (not that I’ve experienced that yet with the Sandisk Cards)
2) The same for batteries – charge everything each evening and take spares out with you. Cold weather drains batteries quickly. I also use a Nikon Battery grip for my D7000, gives you another way of gripping the camera and the option to add more power when needed.
3) After a day of shooting, download everything to your computer and back-up to external hard drives. You can’t afford to lose your content so the more locations you have it backed up the better.
4) Protection – make sure all your gear is weather-proof. Luckily the Nikon D7000 is amazingly well built and I’ve never had any problems with it in snow, wind or dirt. I use the Thule Gauntlet sleeve for my laptop, nice and solid and moisture proof. The Dakine Mission Photo back-pack is brilliant and comes with a removable, padded camera block for all your gear as well as helmet straps, phone pocket etc.
We did a number of interviews during the event and for these I preferred the Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 lens for it’s sharpness and my lightweight Camlink tripod for it’s stability and flexibility on pretty much any terrain.
The Glidecam HD 4000 was incredible. Although it took a few hours to really master getting it balanced, once I had that nailed I couldn’t believe the stability it provided, running, skiing or even in a moving vehicle. The HD 4000 was a bit of an overkill for the Nikon D7000, so I’d recommend the HD 2000 or 3000 for that particular DSLR.
I also highly recommend the iTalk iPhone app – really simple to use and great sound quality, better than the built in mic on the D7000. I just hit record every time we did an interview take and then labelled the recording the same as the video file name not the D7000. During editing I could then sync the audio and video files. The only issues were wind interference so if you can, shelter it if you’re outside.
I shot pretty much everything with the Nikon D7000 straight onto Sandisk Extreme III SDHC cards as they are toughest ones I’ve used yet without fail.
Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 Mark I
Sandisk Extreme III Class 10 SD Cards
Glidecam HD 4000
Dakine Mission Photo Rucksack
GoPro HD Hero 2 + Helmet mounts
iTalk App for Audio