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The 2012 is full on, and so the production of spectacular images. This days we released 2 sailing videos, following the successful start of last years videos production.
I never thought that filming can be so interesting and specially such a excellent way to share the passion for sailing and outdoor sports. This year beside sailing we are planning the production of a spectacular short mountaineering video which will be produced in the Alps in high altitude and thin air.
The elements is water as on the sea and the lakes, just in a different state; ice and snow. Probably the most precious resource on earth helping us survive and enjoy our outdoor sports sea & mountain.
This year most of the activities are focused on the 2012 Olympic Games. The Pure Passion Tour is planned for the fall after the Olympic Games, the plan is to bring home images and the emotions and share them with you.
Please enjoy the 2 videos released in January.
This video has been played more than 4000 times in the first 6h since published.
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.
Since a while Daniel Forster and me we started to work together on projects, this give us the chance to cover more complex shootings easier such as for example the 33rd Americas cup.
The distances are so big it’s impossible to shoot at the start and then being on time also at the weather mark. So during the 33rd America’s cup we will share the positions on the race course with the goal to give a better coverage to our customers.
The size and speed of the boats is also a bit of a challenge. For those who shoot in their free time try to go on the street and take a picture of a car moving towards you with 50 – 60 km/h maybe even more, you have to be quite fast with framing and the focus to get a sharp picture. Another point are the distances that’s why we will be using the big long lenses. For the cup Nikon Switzerland give me the chance to use their 500mm lens with VRII function. I really curious too see the difference. by the way the lenses it selves is 3.5 Kg plus 1.2 Kg the camera this means holding up almost 5 Kg.
Sometimes I think back at the Olympic Games where we got Chinese agency photographers used to work in the football stadiums with tripods, coming on board with tripods and monopods. Very quickly they realized that this is of no use as the boats are moving too much. Some even got seasick but that’s another story.
Please come and visit our new website www.go4image.com especially for the 33rd Americas cup we made a gallery with Daniels images of the last 10 America’s cup going back more than 30 years to Newport 1977 until the images we will start to publish next week.
After 2 weeks shooting the classic yachts on the cote azur…here is my best image, enjoy….
See the book online
PARTNERS IN TRADITON – CLASSIC and MODERN YACHTS in SAINT-TROPEZ
Saint-Tropez, France (September 26, 2009) –Yachting photographers, Juerg Kaufmann and Daniel Forster, and sailing writer, Lynn Fitzpatrick, have teamed up to produce a coffee table book of Les de Saint-Tropez entitled PARTNERS IN TRADITON – CLASSIC and MODERN YACHTS in SAINT-TROPEZ. The book will be packed will stunning images and highlights of the yachts, people and atmosphere of the event.
The regattabook’s development can be followed online at regattabook.com. Each day we will reveal the images that the team will publish.
The 10th anniversary of the event will be exceptional. This year, Les Voiles celebrates the 100th year anniversary of Tuiga and her sistership, Mariska. Many of the world’s most beautiful traditional yachts such as Elenora, Cambria, Shamrock and Moonbeam will ply the same waters as the stylish Wallys. Additionally, all five of Eric Tabarly’s Pen Duick yachts will be assembled in the marina and raced during the day.
The regattabook will capture the essence of the event – the excitement, the venue, the yachts, the organizers, the partners, the characters and personalities that sail these boats. From the quiet of first light to the cacophony of 300 boats leaving port and the Mistral whistling through the rigging, the regattabook will enable you to live vicariously and remember a decade of regattas marking the close of the summer sailing season in the Mediterranean.
Yesterday on flight back from the Audi Medup in Cagliari I found this picture. It’s a sunset on the Hirzel one of my favorite shooting place. Right after the shooting the picture didn’t made it in to the selection of the day, would have almost deleted it, sometimes you really need to look twice before you see the real beauty.
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
Photo from Bruno Huber / Pilot Tiziano Ponti
This has always been a bit a dream to me as it represents a milestone in my learning curve. Not that I have hundreds of hours of experience but in the last two weeks I was up there twice. There are many big guys who know better than me , however I’m happy to share my expirience.
Besides being a great feeling sitting in a chopper with to open door, legs out, headset on and having a excellent position to take pictures I also feel a certain pressure and responsibility of what we are doing.
Time counts so there is no much time to touch setting on the camera and every image should be the one. Sure with the digital cameras you can soot as much as you like but the composition must be ok, the deep of field must fit your image and it have to be sharp.
Over the past I made a little checklist to make sure I don’t forget anything:
1: Expected images and flight plan agreed with the pilot and other photographers
2: Warm cloth, harness on, hooked in, position tested, headset on and working
3: One camera around the neck(70 -200mm lens), the other connected to the chopper (normally the body with the big lens 300mm as this is less used)
4: Settings: ISO value ~250, AF mode, VR on active, lens aperture 6, shutter single, focus priority (it’s a good starting point as the shutter speed should be high)
5: Ready to take off
6: Mental walk trough images composition (normally before shooting you have a few minutes and I use this time concentrate about my expected images)
A few months ago I bought my own climbing harness for top mast shootings and this turned out to be a good deal. I feel comfortable and I can get ready quickly. Sometimes jumping in the chopper and fixing everything has to be efficient.
The shooting itself is always a great experience, I think it’s one of the best photo shooting experience possible, you just go to the position where you need by talking with the pilot.
Vibration is one of the subject who I haven’t really solved, in every shooting I get great images with a outstanding composition but not sharp, specially when I start to work too much with the deep of field by going up with the aperture however I think that the VR functions on my Nikon lens is a big help.
If someone have some more good tipp’s let me know.
Take care and enjoy your airtime
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.