What would you do?

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#1
Ok, so just for fun on this sunny day, here’s a scenario I encountered last night at an award show.

I’m set up with a 70-200 2.8 with a nice position to get shots on stage, no obstructions, not in the way etc.

Also at the event is a video crew with several cameras at fixed points and a roving reporter on the floor.

In shooting at f2.8 because as with nearly all events, the lighting was pants. And I’m getting a nice shot at 1/200 ish, give or take.

Every time someone went up for an award, the roving camera walked up to the edge of the stage, and his massive (in effect - on camera flash) LED continuous lamp. So not only do I get his silhouette in frame, but my subjects are completely overexposed with hideous shadows. Even up to 1/640 and f5.6 they were burnt out. You could keep raising the speed but you would end up with simply 3 faces and no background, no context, and no value.

I spoke to the chap at half time, and explained my problem, but as nice as he was, shrugged his shoulders and said there was nothing he could do otherwise he wouldn’t get any feed.

So aside from smashing his light or locking him in the toilets, how would you guys have dealt with this differently?

Discuss. :)
 
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Toni
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#2
Spot meter off a face when he went up with his light rig, then use those settings for the rest of the shots when he was up there? Otherwise leave the camera on spot meter and aperture priority, meter off a face for every shot.

What can you pull out of the background in post? Could you use a properly exposed BG and then add people receiving awards as a layer?
 
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#3
I know not of the dynamic relationship that should be agreed but I wonder if it should/would be appropriate that there is an agreed sort of "me first.......you second" so that you both have time to do your individual jobs.

For the video guy (and his company) to trample over your job is just not on!!!
 
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gremlin16
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#4
Spot meter off a face when he went up with his light rig, then use those settings for the rest of the shots when he was up there? Otherwise leave the camera on spot meter and aperture priority, meter off a face for every shot.

What can you pull out of the background in post? Could you use a properly exposed BG and then add people receiving awards as a layer?
Just to make it even more enjoyable, there was a white led screen in the background,not a particularly good quality one either! The rest of the background was black drapes, with a 2” gap! down the centre.

I tried spot metering but it didn’t solve my problems.

Honestly, it’s like all your worst nightmares all in one evening.

Re layering, great idea, but there was so much dynamic variation in the lighting that you would never get a good composite.

Good suggestions though :)
 
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gremlin16
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#5
I know not of the dynamic relationship that should be agreed but I wonder if it should/would be appropriate that there is an agreed sort of "me first.......you second" so that you both have time to do your individual jobs.

For the video guy (and his company) to trample over your job is just not on!!!
It was quite funny. They were a nice group of guys, but..... they were quite clear on telling me not to stand in ‘their’ shot and showing me the line of sight for their cameras during our pre match conversation. They even rearranged some of the table dressings and all sorts to give themselves the best view. The organisers were more keen on having video as a priority, but as with most folk, they want to eat their cake and have it with stills too!

I can’t wait to see them publish the video clips of the award presentations in the magazine!

I’m not at all cross about it, and perhaps I haven’t portrayed it too well, I got enough of the other stuff to tick my boxes but it really goes back to the organisers insistence on having a video record ahead of a photographic one.
 
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Tim
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#6
What about taking control of the light with your own flash? Ideally set up before hand with a couple of well placed off camera flash.
 

KIPAX

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#10
Talk organise sort.........You seem to ahve let them do whatever they want and you suffer.. if I was there and was expected to get pictures then i would have spoken to the video people and made sure some agreement was made... usual would be as @Box Brownie has said.. you first me second... A shrug from the cameraman wouldn't have been an acceptable response.. you have to be firm or lose out..
 
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#11
Talk organise sort.........You seem to ahve let them do whatever they want and you suffer.. if I was there and was expected to get pictures then i would have spoken to the video people and made sure some agreement was made... usual would be as @Box Brownie has said.. you first me second... A shrug from the cameraman wouldn't have been an acceptable response.. you have to be firm or lose out..
Fully agree, and trust me, if it had been my neck on the line, I would have made it quite clear that my work was as equally important as theirs and I wouldn’t have stood for any shenanigans:)

However, I posted this thread to generate discussion about this type of scenario, and how different folks would deal with an issue like this, and maybe to provoke thoughts for others before they end up on the wrong end of a situation. I got everything I needed on the night, I am just highlighting how the video crew seemed to take over the event on such an intrusive scale, even moving the furniture etc

The bottom line is that the roving cameraman had gone a little rogue and instead of following the winners from table to stage as briefed, he became static in front of the stage. I reckon this was because of how tightly they had packed the tables in! The other static video cameras and 2 main spotlights were plenty for the presentations and he was just superfluous. His manager should really have taken him to task over it because it looked really unprofessional from the guests perspective in my opinion. Plus, the dignitaries on stage were clearly being blinded by this chaps pocket sunlight.

Absolutely, discuss with all other crews working on the night, share your plan and expectations, listen to theirs, mutually formulate a plan where everyone gets what they need IN ADVANCE, make sure everyone sticks to their part of the plan. If there’s a problem, don’t just accept it and mutter under your breath, deal with it at the time, its too late afterwards, the shots can’t be repeated.

My saving grace is that the client was happy to prioritise video over photo on the night. Whilst obviously not my preference, that is their prerogative, and as we all know, the client is always right. I knew this, and did what I needed to do.
 

Nod

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#12
If they were shooting 4K video, they can probably pull 8 (?) MP stills from it for the magazine - no need for a dedicated stills shooter.
 
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#13
Many years back at Swanseas Vetch football ground I was covering a game with the local Evening post sports photographer and local ledgend Len Pitson, we were near one of the goals. The match was televised. One of the cameraman kept walking back and fro in front of us. Len got up and asked the camerman nicely not to keep doing this as we needed shots too.
A few minutes later the camerman did it again, Len got up grabbed the cable to the camera and pulled the camerman over backwards, "told you not to do that again" he said. The camerman stayed well clear of us after that.
I don't know if he ever got a row about it but he was at the next game, and covered matches there for years after..
 
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