Tag Archives: performance
Since 4 years I’m traveling around mostly in Europe from one shooting to the next one. It’s a great way to meet many places and spend time with cool people, but there is something who I really don’t like in my job. Way too many sandwiches, sometimes you come on board of a boat and the owner comes with nice Sandwich towards you. He dosen’t know that if you spend 150 days a year on the water and you probably end up having 150 times a year sandwich for lunch.
This week it started in bit different way. I was shooting for the Polish solo offshore sailor Gutek from Operon Racing. We left the harbor as usual for La Rochelle early in the morning around 7.00 am and wonder no sandwich’s around.
Soon later the water was boiling and I got a grey small bag with some dry stuff inside. A bit of water and a wonder happend. I had a very tasty warm breakfast. For lunch we even got goulash.
Have to admit the lyophilized food tast’s way better as I bleived. The next day I was in the chopper for a 2 h helishooting. Guess what we had for lunch at the airport? Sandwich!!!
Thank you Gutek for this warm meal on board, it’s highly appreciated.
Good luck for you solo around the world.
With support from Nikon Switzerland I have had a chance to test a brand new D3X from Nikon Singapore during Volvo Ocean Race Singapore stopover.
I felt honored to have this opportunity especially when I have learnt from Max Sim (Nikon Singapore) that there where only 2 cameras available for tests and I got one of them…that’s a good start.
Since the last Olympic Games I have been using Nikon D3 almost on a daily basis, so I was very curious to see what I can do with the new D3X. The look and feel are the same as those of D3; so are the buttons. In a nutshell, besides the logo there are no external differences.
The menu is identical, so there is no big need to study the manual. It didn’t take me long to spot out the differences. However, ‘24 mega pixel resolution of D3X generates massive files. Max advised me at the very beginning not to expect the same ISO range as the one in D3. In fact, the range in D3X is only from 100 to 1600. Another difference between the two cameras is speed. The high continuous settings from the D3 give me up to 11 images per second and the D3X gives me only 7 images. Though, such difference makes sense as all the data has to be processed and it does take sometime. With D3X we are getting closer to the typical Hasselblad’s resolution and they don’t do 7 images per second.
If all other features remain at the level as this of D3, in addition to the amount of pixels that D3X gives, then D3X is a great tool.
I think we can achieve a good quality at ISO 1000 just like we can with the same setting of D3 for sport and action photography. Those that work in the studio, with plenty of light, will get even more out of the camera as those that normally work with daylight.
Since forever I’ve been missing the flexibility of 200 – 400mm. When shooting racing yachts, there are moments when you can’t get close enough to the object and then you dream about 100mm or more and greater cropping flexibility. The best solution, in my eyes, would be 200 – 400mm lens with 1.4 converter and the new D3X.
On the way to the media center of the Volvo Ocean Race, I had to make a decision regarding lenses. The question remained: “Should I go with 300 mm F2.8 and 1.4 converter on the D3X or maybe its better using the 70 – 200mm F2.8?” Considering the limited ISO range, I opted for 70 – 200mm. So, the long lens (300mm plus converter) was mounted on D3.
I picked up Nikon D3X in the morning and at 11am on that day I did my first shots during the practice race. Through the day, I have had the impression that the quality of images, taken at high ISO setting up to 800, is good. In fact, it’s a real pleasure to look at the screen that’s the same as the one of D3 and being able to zoom and zoom to check the focus of the shot. Here, I realized for the first time, the difference that higher resolution makes.
What I have felt during the shooting was the matter of speed. Before the boats come around the windward mark, I switch on continuous high. I have kept having the speed of the D3 in mind, but the camera in my hands was D3X with capability of 7 images per second. Slightly more images would not harm as all goes so fast, you just shoot and choose your image later. I was thinking “com’on baby, a bit faster”. On the other hand, considering a greater cropping flexibility, D3X is a much better camera.
When I returned to the media center, it was the moment of truth, but all turned out to be as expected. Though, I have to admit that it was the first day I used the JPEG files. Lightroom 2.2 is not reading RAW file of Nikon D3X and Nikon’s software, Capture NX 2 needed an upgrade right away on its latest version.
The next day I tested the camera at the Singapore Botanic Gardens with all the special orchids. My equipment included Nikon 105mm VR macro lens and SB 800. I encourage you to look at the images so you can notice the amount of details that is just impressive.
During the evening I went for a night skyline shooting, just to see how the camera performs at night. Believe or not, you can zoom so much that you really see what’s behind windows of those skyscrapers. It sure will be a great tool for secret services and detectives.
In the meantime, I got hold of the capture NX update and I could finally work on the raw file and ‘yes, you can watch right into the offices of the buildings’. With Nikon D3X, you can start to do landscape panorama shots and still have a good amount of pixel/data in your image after the crop.
Being a spoiled Nikon D3 user, my expectations for D3X were high and I have to say I am more than happy with this camera despite it’s high price. However, I’m not sure how many agencies will switch on to D3X at this time. Studio photographers working in different segments have a better chance to amortize such an investment and I believe this is the place where the cameras will be sold the most. My question would be ‘invest in camera or lenses?’ I would love to go for the camera, but an old rule says ‘invest in lenses first’, then in the camera.
The rate at which the amount of pixel increases is 20-40% and the size of the file doubles almost every year. Although this is in line with the principles of technological advancement, the question ‘what are we heading towards remains’? An even higher resolution? More colors, therefore more data? Speed or price reduction ? One thing is certain, once I return home I need to double my hard disk storage space in the archive , if I am to use Nikon D3X.
Now I’m jumping on the plane to Auckland, New Zealand to the next shooting, Louis Vuitton Pacific Series regatta. Who knows, it might be that by the end of this event I will start to miss higher resolution so much that I will consider buying D3X.
Nikon D3x Digital SLR Review go4image go4image.com yachting photography marine photography aerial photography sailing
Teambuilding for match race teams
Maybe you wonder why I’m writing about teambuilding for match racing teams. Probably the correct title would be: how much more can you improve teamwork.
Since we all saw the Alinghi team working as one perfect team during the America’s Cup, at least in the 2003 Cup, everybody knows that you require a high level of teamwork to perform in a boat.
Imagine now you get engaged by two top match race teams to improve their teamwork. As an example a normal good crew on a 30 foot boat takes about 15 -20 seconds to hoist the spinnaker, those guys sailing in the top 50 and 30 of the world ranking list do it in less than 12 seconds and they are not happy.
Therefore it is quite a challenge to support these 2 teams, what kind of advice would you give them, how do you advise them on areas to improve without compromising the already high level of teamwork?
The main area for improvement that I helped them to apply was communication between the team and the decision making processes. This can be applied on an overall tactical level but also in, for example, the hectic pre-start period.
The learning curve is never over and there is always room to improve, which is clear after such a training session.
We divided the training into 3 main steps:
- Assessment: Know your strengths and weaknesses
- Agreement: Of the strengths and weaknesses
- Improvement: Apply this new knowledge
At the end the spinnaker came up in less than 10 seconds which was an improvement but the major change was in the communication between the team, there was almost no shouting on board, they all knew what they had to do and how to talk to each other.
You may ask yourselves why is communication so important? Imagine you are sitting in a meeting with 20 knots of wind and big waves crashing over the table. How do you make joint decisions in no time often without clear communication channels, but be working seamlessly and instinctively as a team with the same goals and desired outcomes? That’s where teamwork comes into play.
Sailing, like many team sports, can be an excellent tool for focusing attention on teamwork. If there is a misunderstanding about roles and responsibilities you find out within seconds, not days, weeks or even possibly months later as often demonstrated in the business world.
Today I will join the Swiss Sailing Team in Magglingen and we will spend a 2 days and talk about rules. After several discussions with sailors involved in the Olympic selection, Swiss and some of other Nationalities we realized the knowledge of the medal race details (Addendum Q) is quite poor even among some the top world class sailors aspiring for a medals at the games.
Interesting fact considering that federations and sailors invest a lot of recourses to get sailors to the medal race, and once they are there the hardly understand the rules of the game. Some months ago I was involved with a similar session for another Olympic sailing team, we did the ISAF medal race Quiz which contains about 20 questions. Most of the sailors got right from 7 to 13…..
Normal racing rules will also be discussed and for sure will also talk about rule 42, I think it’s becoming a bit of an emotional issue. The rule 42 is clearly described however there is still some room for interpretation and some judges go harder on the subject as others which may create a bit confusion.
It’s a great way to work with sailors and learn more about their concerns and point of view , will be really curious what will be the key lesson learned for them and me.