I AM NIKON Blog

Every two years, Cologne goes photo crazy.

Photokina, one of the world’s largest events in photography takes place every two years at the Koelnmesse in Cologne. It’s an international event that brings together photographers and filmmakers in one glorious celebration of everything imaging based. Eight days of discovery, education, fun and great memories.

For Nikon, this year was fantastic, and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many people join us at the Nikon stand. Whether you were a professional trying out the latest D810, or a photography fan having fun with the Interactive Light Box, or a professional coming to get your cameras cleaned by our onsite team, or just interested in The Future of Imaging… Nikon had it all.

The five presenters for Nikon at Photokina 2014

The five Nikon professional photographers sharing their tips and best practices to fans at the Nikon stand at Photokina 2014

On stage, we had five of the world’s most inspirational professional photographers sharing their passion for photography with special talks and presentations. Athlete and action-addict Ray Demski, former snowboarder-turned-professional photographer Marcel Lämmerhirt, and adventure photographer Lucas Gilman, gave insights and tips on getting great action shots. Corey Rich made jaws drop as he spoke of his emotional and visually stunning journey behind The Making of Dedicated, while fine art and fashion photographer Miss Aniela added a touch of glamour to the occasion as she revealed the creative process, and hard work, involved in capturing some of her most striking portraits.

An example of the action shots Ray Demski is known for. At Photokina Ray gave Nikon fans the low-down on how he achieves his world acclaimed images.

An example of Ray Demski’s action shots. At Photokina, Ray gave Nikon fans the low-down on how to achieve these.

All the speakers spent time with fans after the presentations, answering questions and offering advice to photographers wishing to further develop their skills. And then it got serious. Corey and Lucas challenged each other to a Western-style shoot out during one of the breaks, putting their speed, agility and (to a lesser extent) photography skills to the test – who do you think won?

At the heart of the Nikon booth was the Interactive Light Box, where visitors could have their photo taken from above, with the image being projected onto a choice of backdrops. Whether they decided to ‘sit on a skyscraper’ or ‘climb the mast of a sailboat’ the image was projected across a ceiling canopy of LCD screens and could be downloaded from the Nikon Life website.

And, if you spotted a Facebook friend walking a tightrope across a waterfall, look again! We set up a vast optical illusion outside the Koelnmesse South Entrance to capture people striking a fun pose as they pretended to cross the waterfall. Naturally, all-round action hero Ray Demski took it to the extreme with a one-handed balancing act, while Marcel perched on the rocks to shoot his acrobatic display.

Action photographer Ray Demski shows us his daring handstand.

Action photographer Ray Demski shows us his daring handstand.

These were just a few of the many highlights from Cologne. We can’t wait until next time. Thank you to all of the Nikon fans who came and helped make it a truly great experience. If you missed out on this year’s spectacle, you can watch a selection of videos from the event on our Youtube channel or find us on Facebook.

See you in Cologne in 2016!

Write a comment

Kim Pimmel’s Compressed 02 timelapse photography project reveals the beauty of bubbles and nature.

In his day job Kim Pimmel is a senior UX designer for Microsoft, outside of this he is also a photographer. A photographer who likes to experiment with colour, textures and light.

In one of his projects called Compressed, Kim investigates the photographic effects of liquids and bubbles. He challenges viewers to see something deeper in the ebb and flow of an intricate network of bubbles. His work explores and creates hypnotizing images, making bubbles a natural phenomena that feel far from real.

Kim Pimmel’s work embodies endless experimentation, fueled by a fascination for the organic flow of patterns, textures and nature’s prophecies. A subject matter reserved for the ever curious, Kim’s Compressed series is a concoction of the “mundane” with the strange.

Perhaps some will connect Kim’s work with sci-fi overtones, a modern reflection of the fabled 2001, A Space Odyssey sequence. “Compressed 02”  harnesses the power of the unusual and unseen, and is equally unnerving in a manner that is hard to look away from. The music Kim composed lends its hands to this, exuding an atmosphere that is alien. Kim believes that building the soundtrack while editing allowed image and audio to come together in the strongest possible way.


Compressed 02 from Kim Pimmel on Vimeo

Not only does the series revolve around experimentation, the process of filming was a series of trial and errors. Kim was first forced to play around with the quality of bubbles before even introducing the chosen black liquid. “The black liquid in the film is ferrofluid, and this is essentially tiny metal particles suspended in fluid, so it is naturally attracted to magnets. The black sphere in the film is a small magnet, which pulls the ferrofluid towards itself. But not all the motion of the ferrofluid was done through magnetism – most of it was actually done using the natural capillary action of the bubbles.”

Shooting all the scenes using a macro lens was a must, however Kim didn’t have one to start with. He resorted to taping a medium lens backwards in front of a Nikon nifty fifty, a home-brew lens that “got the job done” but lacked aperture control. Finally, he decided to buy an AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D lens, which proved most effective. Yet even with the new lens, the difficulties of focusing on the moving object and the unpredictable nature of fluids movements was challenging. In total he captured 375,000 shots with his Nikon D90.

His DIY ingenuity didn’t end there: “With Compressed 02 I was still using stop motion techniques – shooting still frames and combining them on the computer. The advantage to this was that I got close to 4K resolution footage using only my D90. I also made my own intervalometer, which meant that I could capture scenes as close to real time as possible.”

These powerful and mesmerizing images that Kim creates do not only describe beauty in unpredictable interactions, but also in how the viewer reacts to such abstract imagery. Where one person finds comfort another may feel fear and urgency – and that is the power of nature, Kim says.

You can follow Kim Pimmel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kpimmel
His photographic work is on Flickr: http://bit.ly/1tlWeQO
And his videos are available on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/kimpimmel

Write a comment

Five Tips for Better Travel Photography with Nikon professional photographer Scott A. Woodward

As most will attest, making great photographs has little to do with owning the best and most expensive equipment. The real secret behind great photography  is in how you see a moment and interpret it in a still frame, regardless of what type of camera you are using.  

Are you able to make something ordinary appear extraordinary  by showing it differently?  Are you able to make the viewer feel an emotion when they see your photograph?   Are you able to transport someone to a moment with you simply by pressing the shutter?

I once read that a camera is a great excuse to delve into a place deeper than we otherwise would.  I like this description.  Searching for an interesting photograph forces us to look at our surroundings  differently, to explore a place further, to look beyond the obvious and hunt for something unique and special.  

SCOTT-A-WOODWARD_1SW1943

Scene from A Journey to Perfection: The New Nikon D4S when Nikon professional photographer Scott A. Woodward heads to Bhutan to test the Nikon D4S’s capbabilities.

 

 #1 –Be inspired

Research the destinations and locations your travels will take you ahead of time.  The more you know about where you will be shooting, the better prepared you can be.  Try to have some ideas for the types of photographs you want to create beforehand.  There is no shame in looking at other photographers’ interpretations of a location or scene.  Use others’ work – there is an endless stream of imagery from photographers across the globe on Instagram and Facebook and Flickr and Twitter – to be inspired and help get your creative juices flowing so you can create your own unique photography.

 

  #2 Add life to landscapes

Beautiful landscape shots can be breathtaking, but if you’ve ever been subjected to a friend of family member’s holiday snaps, you know how dull they can become after you’ve looked at dozens of them in a row.  Try adding people to your landscape photographs.  Even if they occupy just a little bit of space within your frame, a human touch helps make a more powerful photograph: it gives scale to an image, offers perspective and adds drama.

Travel Photography Tip: When shooting people, frame them up with interesting local elements to add a sense of context to the shot. Photo Credit: Scott A. Woodward using the Nikon D4S Shutter Speed: 1/400” Aperture: F10

‘When shooting people, frame them up with interesting local elements to add a sense of context to the shot.’ Scott A. Woodward. Nikon D4S. Shutter Speed: 1/400, Aperture: F10 Photo ©  Scott A. Woodward

   

#3 Play with light

The most critical ingredient in all great photographs is the lighting.  The best images always make interesting and powerful use of light.  The angle of the sun significantly affects the warmth, contrast and texture of a photograph.  As often as possible, shoot in the warm “golden hours” of early morning and late afternoon (one hour after sunrise or one to two hours before sunset when the sun is low and the light is soft and yellow/orange).   Dramatic light can make even the most mundane subjects appear outstanding, so also be on the lookout for beams of light peeking through clouds, filtering through trees, or shining through windows.  Make use of long shadows cast during the golden hours, and try to use backlighting to silhouette your subjects.

 

Photography tip, light, travel photography, lighting

‘The most critical ingredient in all great photographs is the lighting. The best images always make interesting and powerful use of light.’ – Scott A. Woodward. Nikon D4S.

 #4 Experiment

Be on the lookout for creative and dynamic angles.  Shoot without looking through the viewfinder.  Shoot speeding traffic by moving the camera at the same speed as the vehicles.  Get on the ground and shoot up.  Climb a tree and shoot down.  Shoot without the flash.  Try long exposures.

Get close to your subjects.  And when you think you’re close, get even closer.  The more creative you get, the more you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t work, and the better your photographs will be. Or maybe you’ll just get lucky and make a beautiful accident.

#5 – Be a tourist in your own city

To me, people don’t necessarily have to travel to make “travel photography”.  London is an exotic destination to someone who lives in Bangkok, just as Bangkok is an exotic destination to someone who lives in London.  There are fascinating places, characters and stories everywhere – even in our own backyards.  My advice is to be a tourist in your own city: explore your familiar surroundings with a keen eye and you will find wonderful photographic opportunities.  This practice and experimentation  will help you be better prepared when you do finally go on a big adventure.

—————————————————————————————————

More about Scott …

When asked to describe his photography style, Scott said, ‘ I call my photography  style “Choose Your Own Adventure Photography”,  after the books I used to read as a child. Literally and creatively, I can go one direction and discover a remarkable photographic  opportunity; or I can go another direction and find something entirely different. It is this adventure that is the beauty of photography for me.’

When Scott was a young boy his father, an avid and accomplished  amateur photographer, taught him how to operate a manual camera, skilfully interpret light and imaginatively compose an image. But more importantly,  his dad instilled in him a sense of wonder and adventure .

Scott’s editorial work has appeared in publications  such as National Geographic Magazine, Condé Nast Traveller, Travel + Leisure, Departures, Monocle, Vogue, GQ, Esquire, The Financial Times and The New York Times and he has photographed  advertising campaigns for global brands like Google, MasterCard,  Adidas, Nokia, InterContinental Hotels, Johnnie Walker, Nestle, Standard Chartered Bank, Johnson & Johnson and Unilever.  Luerzer’s Archive honoured Scott as one of the “200 Best Ad Photographers  Worldwide”  and Nikon named him “One of Asia’s Finest Photographers”.

See how Scott captures his images in A Journey to Perfection: The New Nikon D4S

You can follow Scott on Instagram, Twitter, or learn more about him by checking out his blog and website 

 

Write a comment

What’s it like to be a pro photographer covering a much anticipated and keenly followed worldwide event? Nikon UK Ambassador and 2012 Olympics Photographer of the Year 2012, Mark Pain, was in Brazil on the ground and has been keeping a diary for us! Here is part two of four.

The Opening Match & Ceremony Day – 1

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014, Arena De Sao Paolo, Brazil, Pro photographer, the pitch

My Football Diary, Brazil – Nikon UK Ambassador Mark Pain at the Arena De Sao Paolo. Photo © Mark Pain.

What a day. It started with a 5:20am landing at Sao Paulo airport, but I didn’t clear passport control until 9:15am!  Absolute carnage in the arrivals hall with thousands of fans from competing countries all arriving at the same time – the airport was totally unprepared for the level of traffic. It was all very good natured, though, with fans of all countries mixing well together as they waited for that precious Brazil stamp in their passport. It has to be said though that the English fans on my plane from London looked by far the grumpiest as we waited for hours to get out of the airport. The Costa Ricans were the most lively and upbeat with almost all of them travelling in their red team colours. Awesome supporters!

On arriving at Arena De Sao Paolo it was obvious that the stadium was nowhere near ready to host the opening game. I feared the worst for the photographers’ working conditions too. Whilst the collection of accreditation was simple and quick, the structure and the condition of the stadium itself was shocking. Nothing was finished, from the Media Centre to the VIP areas I managed to walk through during Brazil’s training session. It was all a complete shambles. However it looked great on TV, and that’s all they care about really. But the fact is this was the most unfinished stadium I have ever worked in. I managed to shoot some exclusive pictures of workmen finishing the temporary stand at one end of the ground during Brazil’s final training session and bizarrely all the workers downed tools to watch their heroes practice.

 

A construction worker at the Arena De Sao Paolo takes time out to watch Brazil's final training session before tomorrow first game of the 2014 World Cup Brazil World Cup 2014 - Arena de Sao Paolo Picture : Mark Pain   11/6/2014

My Football Diary, Brazil – A construction worker at the Arena De Sao Paolo takes time out to watch Brazil’s final training session before tomorrow’s first game. Photo © Mark Pain.

During the session I was able to walk freely into the VIP areas of the ground which were still being put together, partition walls being created, loose electrical cables dangling from ceilings being hidden, men with saws all over the place, pot plants being carried and drinks vending machines being delivered in a panic on trolleys. All on the day before the opening game. Madness really.

Opening Match – Brazil v Croatia – Sao Paolo

Brazil v Croatia photo match ticket  Arena De Sao Paolo

My Football Diary, Brazil – My Brazil v. Croatia match ticket! Arena de Sao Paolo. Photo © Mark Pain.

Well the day finally arrived, after all that planning. What kit to bring? How to carry it around? Where to stay? Where in the stadium should I shoot the game from? And how good exactly is the new Nikon 400mm 2.8 and can I get my hands on one?

All these questions and a thousand more had gone through my mind in the last six months. Some questions you can try to find answers to way before your trip, but there is only so much you can plan. You have to be fully prepared to be able to work at your absolute best in the surroundings around you, and many questions can only be answered fully once you set foot in the stadium. Especially when it’s your first game at a new tournament, in a new country.

How big are the advertising boards on the pitch going to be? Will I be able to see easily over them to shoot the game? Having shot Brazil’s training session in the stadium the day before I was able to get a good idea of how it would work out.

The first photographers briefing at a big football tournament is always an interesting event. Have they learnt any lessons from the previous tournament? Have the photographers’ comments been taken on board? Sao Paulo was no different; organised chaos really.

Photographers brief sport photography Brazil World Cup 2014 behind the scenes

My Football Diary, Brazil – The usual chaos during the photographer’s briefing. Photo © Mark Pain.

Photography agency pre-allocation planning pitch Brazil World Cup 2014

My Football Diary, Brazil – Photography agency pre-allocation plan around the pitch. Photo © Mark Pain.

As you can see from the map of the available positions (above) all of the big international wire agencies (Reuters, Getty, AP, AFP and EPA) have pre-allocated positions on the pitch, mainly in the four corners. The other positions are decided on a priority basis, with each photographer allocated a priority of 1, 2, 3 or 4 for each match. The priorities are:

1) Photographers from the two competing teams
2) Brazilian Photographers
3) Photographers from other countries whose national teams are qualifiers
4) Photographers from other countries

Within those priorities you can choose your position on the pitch on a first come first served basis; those who get to the Media Centre earliest on the day of the game have first choice of where to sit within their priority category.

Each photographer gets an individually numbered seat to sit on which has both power and an Ethernet cable running to it. There is also media WiFi in the stadiums but a cabled internet connection is always preferable as the WiFi tends to go down when 50,000 plus spectators are in the stadium.

When you get accredited to cover such a huge event you then have to apply for individual games that you want to cover and tell them where you want to shoot it from. You have a choice of shooting it from the normal pitch positions or you can shoot it from the stands which is called a “tribune” position. These positions are high up in the stands and can work really well for big matches – often providing the iconic images we all remember and this is where I had chosen to shoot from months ago. The position also works very well for the Opening Ceremony as the elevation gives you a great overall view of the show from high above the pitch. It’s also a great position for shooting a 360 degree picture which I needed to do for the Daily Mail Plus App.

If you shoot from the tribune, you are allocated to a specifically numbered seat for the whole game. This can be a bit of a lottery as you have no control of where it will be in relation to the pitch. It is invariably on the front row half way up the main stands that run along the length of the pitch. Sometimes you are towards one end overlooking a penalty area but my seat was almost bang on the half way line – ideal for the opening ceremony and most of the action on the pitch.

Nikon provide all accredited photographers with full technical support throughout the football tournament. They have a dedicated service area inside the Media Centre at every match in every venue. They not only clean and repair your equipment (within reason) free of charge, but they also have an excellent loan facility. You can literally borrow anything you want for the match if they’ve got it – and they had a lot of kit in Brazil.

Nikon Service Centre FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 pro-photographer sports Arena De Sao Paolo

My Football Diary, Brazil – Dedicated Nikon Service Centre. Spot the new recently announced Nikon 400mm 2.8 lenses in the front? Photo © Mark Pain.

I had been trying to get my hands on one of the new recently announced Nikon 400mm 2.8 lenses for the opening match, but they were so new that Nikon themselves weren’t actually sure how many samples of the lenses they would have in Brazil and in what venues. It turns out they only had one lens in São Paulo and I was given exclusive use of it for the game along with the new 1.4 converter. This was a worldwide first professional test of the lens at a big sports event. I was given a full debrief of the new 400mm 2.8 and had all the big differences pointed out to me. Then off to the tribune position for the first game!

New Nikon 400mm 2.8 pitchside Arena De Sao Paolo FIFA WORLD CUP 2014

My Football Diary, Brazil – There she is! The recently announced AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. Photo © Mark Pain.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 kickoff Brazil vs. Croatia dove Arena De Sao Paolo the pitch

My Football Diary, Brazil – The kickoff: Brazil vs. Croatia in the Arena De Sao Paolo. Photo © Mark Pain.

The game itself ended in a 3-1 victory for Brazil, Neymar scored and the party in Brazil had started. Neymar-mania had taken off!  If only they knew what was to come. There were signs even in that first game that not all was right with the Brazilian team – they won 3-1 but the Croatians had given them a real test.

First impressions were that the new 400mm is super-sharp, beautifully balanced and much more flexible to use now that it is 0.85Kg lighter that the lens it replaces.

2014 World Cup Brazil World Cup Brazil v Croatia Neymar celebrates Brazil vs. Croatia Arena De Sao Paolo

My Football Diary, Brazil – Neymar celebrates Brazil vs. Croatia Arena De Sao Paolo. Photo © Mark Pain.

The lens has been completely redesigned and uses two large fluorite glass elements at the front of the lens that help to reduce the weight. The lens also now has a completely new electronic motorised aperture diaphragm which they have been able to move further towards the middle of the lens. The combination of the reduction in weight and the improved balance make for excellent handling it feels so much more usable in the field. I still used it on a monopod but I reckon at a stretch you could hand hold it for a while, something you could never do with the old 400mm. It now has a one piece hood which is actually longer than the old two piece hood when they’re combined together for use. So the lens with the hood on is longer. It comes with a new lightweight lens case who is SO much lighter – out goes the old heavyweight lens box. However the guys at Nikon say that the new case is stronger.

This was part two of four of Mark Pain’s diary. Make sure to check back later for the rest of the story. In part three, Mark continues his football tournament adventure in Manaus in the Amazon Rainforest.

For more insight into the life of a pro-sports photographer, visit blog.markpain.com and see more of Mark’s award winning images at www.markpain.com

Mark Pain is the current 2012 Olympics Photographer Of The Year and has twice been named as the Sports Photographer Of The Year in the UK.

 

Write a comment

The Football Tournament in Brazil is now well behind us, but far from over, with many of us still in a whirl of emotions as we reflect back to the different moments that had hit home. In the coming weeks, we take a look back to all those riveting weeks, to relive the memorable moments and discover the stories behind them – through the eyes of Nikon UK Ambassador and Olympics Photographer of the Year 2012, Mark Pain, who was on the ground in Brazil keeping a diary for us!

What follows is part one of four of Mark’s dairy– make sure to check back later for the rest of the story.

The Football Tournament in Brazil. A sports photographer’s dream or a complete logistical nightmare? It was the question on most photographers minds before they departed for Brazil. I for one I had no idea what to expect. I heard tales of woe and read endless news articles that stadiums weren’t ready – even that locals would be protesting by burning barricades of tyres outside the grounds.

 

WORLD CUP 2014 SELFIE pitch side with new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR

My Football Diary, Brazil – Selfie in Brazil on the pitch side, Nikon UK Ambassador and Olympics Photographer of the Year 2012 Mark Pain. Photo © Mark Pain.

A Look Back

My first Football Tournament working as a professional photographer was in Japan in 2002. Not much could go wrong. As an English photographer working for a leading British newspaper it was picture heaven. David Beckham was in his pomp, made for great pictures and you just knew that everything from the trains to the shower in your hotel room would work perfectly.  Germany 2006 was pretty fantastic too. My abiding memory of that tournament is the great weather – so, so hot. It was brilliantly organised and the whole feeling was one of a big football party.

World Cup, 2002, JAPAN, fans, Mark Pain

Football Tournament 2002 – Japan: England fans party in Sapporo Dome. Photo © Mark Pain

South Africa 2010 was a great football party too, but in a different way. There was a genuine feeling that this was Africa’s moment to show the world how far it had come. We knew that Africa was mad about football, but could it successfully put on the biggest tournament in the world? Well the answer was an overwhelming yes. The football looked after itself, England was useless once again and South Africa did itself proud as a host. There were a few teething issues with Media Centres at the beginning of the tournament but apart from that everything was great – and most things worked as they should and turned up on time.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2010 SOUTH AFRICA fans

Football Tournament 2010 – South Africa: South African fans get behind their team. South Africa v. Mexico. Soccer Stadium – Johannesburg. Photo © Mark Pain

And now…

So to Brazil and what lay ahead. For a start Brazil is nine times the size of South Africa – it was going to be a football tournament of planes, planes and more planes. A flight from Sao Paolo up to Manaus takes four and a half hours. That’s if you can get a direct one. Eight hours plus if you can’t. That amount of plane travel is a real headache to sports photographers. With new airlines to deal with, and their luggage ‘carry-on’ policies vague at best, it could be a real lottery. So planning how I was going to get my camera gear from A to B took up a lot of my time in the run up to the tournament.

There were two different types of travel I had to plan for: from airport to airport between games and to and from the stadium on match days. Both had different needs and, in an ideal world, you would probably choose different bags for the two different situations. But logistically that wasn’t going to happen and a solution that does both jobs well needed to be found.

Carrying €35k + worth of camera gear around with you in Brazil is not the safest thing to do, and photographers are obvious targets. We stand out like a sore thumb. There were also shocking stories of equipment being stolen from under your nose by other photographers inside the Media Centres at the Confederations Cup, the test tournament in Brazil in 2013.

 

Fifa World Cup 2014 Brazil lense Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR

My Football Diary, Brazil – Ready for it with the new AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. Photo © Mark Pain.

Unfortunately, our fears were confirmed and the very same happened during the World Cup 2014, with tens of thousands of Euros of equipment regularly being stolen from different stadiums all over Brazil by other accredited media, some of them photographers. That’s just the last thing you need.

My regular camera bag is a rolling Thinktank bag. However, I was very wary of safely travelling to and from the matches, and a wheelie case makes you stand out as an obvious target. That’s why I opted for a bag identical to my regular bag but one that also had excellent shoulder straps as well and doubles as a backpack. The kit list is below.

Kit bag Sport photograpy Fifa World Cup 2014

My Football Diary, Brazil: Pro-sport photographer Mark Pain’s kit bag – 2x D4s bodies – 1x D4 doy – 1x AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm 1:2.8G ED – 1x AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm 1:2.8G ED – 1x AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED VR II – 1x AF-S NIKKOR 16mm 1:2.8G ED VR II – 1x TC 14e 1.4 converter – 1x SB-800 flashgun & battery – 1x Pocket Wizard MultiMax remotes x 3 – 1x Ethernet cables, card readers and data cards – 1x 13″ Macbook Pro and iPad 2

•             Nikon D4s Body x 2

•             Nikon D4 Body

•             Nikon 400mm F2.8

•             Nikon 70-200mm F2.8

•             Nikon 24-70mm F2.8

•             Nikon 14-24mm F2.8

•             Nikon 16mm F2.8

•             TC 14e 1.4 converter

•             Nikon SB800 Flashgun & battery pack

•             Pocket Wizard MultiMax remotes x 3

•             Ethernet cables, card readers and data cards

•             13″ Macbook Pro and iPad 2

This was part one of four of Mark Pain’s diary. Make sure to check back later for the rest of the story. In part two, Mark kicks-off with shock at the readiness of the stadiums and the first match, Brazil v. Croatia, in São Paulo.

For more insight into the life of a pro-sports photographer, visit blog.markpain.com and see more of Mark’s award winning images at www.markpain.com

Mark Pain is the current 2012 Olympics Photographer Of The Year and has twice been named as the Sports Photographer Of The Year in the UK.

 

 

Write a comment

Whether on or off the circuit, there’s a lot we rarely get to see at the British Grand Prix, unless you’re a professional photographer covering the heated event that is. So we approached Sutton Motorsport Images to give us the inside scoop. In this blog, we ask how they prepared to capture the tension, speed, battle, and excitement at the 2014 British Grand Prix.

 

Motorhome and Garage Setup

Formula One World Championship, Motorhome and garage setup, circuit, track, British Grand Prix 2014

Motorhome: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 70-200mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 300, f1/400 s,
Aperture: F10, No flash, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 116.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 116.0 mm)
Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

Silverstone is our home Grand Prix, and with Sutton Images HQ just down the road from Silverstone Circuit, I was able to visit the track easily on the Monday before the race to capture the Paddock build up and early pre-event preparations. I was hoping to capture some of the teams’ transporters passing the Silverstone road signs on the A43 but, despite waiting for some time, was out of luck so continued on to the track, snapping the Silverstone 50th Grand Prix display on the way in.

The Paddock build was well underway as it appeared that most of the teams had arrived on Saturday, and whilst I was shooting the various construction was tipped off by a security guard that Williams had a brand new shiny three story motorhome, so immediately went to shoot some images of the build. It is an impressive 15 cm taller than the previous highest, the Red Bull Racing Energy Station.

I captured this image showing the Paddock activity, a full six days before the race, from the Paddock Club in order to gain some elevation.

 Formula One World Championship, Motorhome and garage setup, British Grand Prix 2014
Garage setup: Formula One World Championship

Nikon D4, 70-200mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 200, f1/640 s,
Aperture: F8, No flash, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 130.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 130.0 mm)
Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

From there I went down onto the circuit and saw that a lot of the advertising signage had been put in place already, very noticeable being the DHL branding on the run into into Vale corner. I took some shots showing the sunlight on the kerbs and then headed into the pit lane. Most of the English teams had set up their garages and had already painted their garage floors with a polyurethane gloss, no detail is left unturned in the F1! Ferrari appeared to be a little way behind in their prearations, but as the cars had not yet even arrived in their transporters there would be plenty of time. The next couple of days would see the teams prepare for action, and the Silverstone circuit polishing the final small details for the arrival of the world’s media. I would return again to the track on Thursday, our traditional day of arrival at each Grand Prix.

 

 

Race Day & The Kit – 6 July

 Formula One World Championship, Behind the scenes, British Grand Prix 2014, Nikon D4

Behind the scenes: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 24-70mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 1250, f1/60 s,
Aperture: F4, No flash, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 24.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24.0 mm)
Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

My kit for the race would consist of Nikon D4s bodies / Nikkor 500mm F4 ED / 70-200mm F2.8 ED / 24-70mm F2.8 ED / 1.4X converter / 2SB flashes / 10 x 8GB SD cards /  1 chamois / 1 FIA jacket, all serviced with sensors cleaned (by the excellent NPS in the photographers area) early on Sunday morning and I was ready for action.

 

 

The Grid

Formula One World Championship, The Grid, Prince Harry, British Grand Prix 2014The Grid & Prince Harry : Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 24-70mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 400, f1/500 s,
Aperture: F14, Flash: Yes, compulsory, return light detected, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 24.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 24.0 mm)
Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

I had a tip off that Prince Harry was due to visit the British GP as a VIP guest so we were well prepared when he arrived!

Myself and the Sutton Images team took photographs of him with his friend, three times F1 World Champion Sir Jackie Steward, who he knew from when he visited Jackie’s Formula 3 team and also Stewart Grand Prix, Jackie and Paul Stewart’s Grand Prix Team, as a young boy. (We even captured Harry in 1998 at the British Grand Prix sat in the Stewart Grand Prix car!). Here in this image you see Sir Jackie Stewart and Prince Harry on the grid with Bernie Ecclestone. Prince Harry met many of the team principals during his grid walk and I did overhear him say to Sky F1 HD’s Martin Brundle that he would not conduct any interviews, but he still created great TV against the backdrop of the enthusiastic British fans and their Union Jacks.

 

The Race Start

Formula One World Championship, The race start, British Grand Prix 2014The Race : Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 200-400mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 400, f1/1000 s,
Aperture: F11, Flash: Yes, compulsory, return light detected, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 290mm Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

This image shows the start of the race, and was shot from the photo tower at the first corner, which is actually situated within the BRDC (Track owners) grandstand. It offers room for approximately 60 photographers who, after covering the grid, will walk to the first corner and through a gate onto the tower. The shot shows Nico Rosberg leading Jenson Button and the rest of the field away.

 

 

The Crash

Formula One World Championship, The crash, British Grand Prix 2014The Crash: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 500mm Telephoto. Exif: ISO 200, f1/1000 s,
Aperture: F9, Flash: No flash, Exposure mode : Manual, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 500.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 500.0 mm)
Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

The first lap saw a big crash involving Kimi Raikkonen crashing into the barriers, and Felipe Massa making contact with the wrecked Ferrari as it span back across the track. Felipe was able to drag his damaged car around the rest of the lap and, as he came towards me at Club Corner, I was able to shoot a sequence of frames with sparks and smoke coming from the damaged rear of the car as it scraped along the floor. Unfortunately for Felipe the damage was too severe for him to continue in the race.

 

 

 

The Flip

Formula One World Championship, Flip, British Grand Prix 2014The Flip: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 500mm Telephoto. Exif: ISO 200, f1/1000 s,
Aperture: F7.1, Flash: Yes, compulsory, return light detected, Exposure mode : Shutter priority, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 500mm Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

The race was stopped for over an hour to effect repairs to the barriers damaged after the first lap crash, and at the restart many cars were out of position which resulted in lots of great overtaking. From my position at Club Corner I could view a screen showing the early overtaking attempts. As I followed Esteban Gutierrez dive down the inside of Pastor Maldonado he locked his brakes, they collided and as they made contact his front wing flew into the air. I continued to follow the cars as they touched again launching Pastor into the air, and I was able to capture the whole sequence as he went up onto two wheels and then became airborne. As he bounced back to the ground it became apparent that both cars would be too damaged for either to continue in the race. Using the WT-5 transmitter and a My-Fi device enabled me to transmit the images almost immediately to FTP at the Sutton Images office and upload to the Sutton Images web site for distribution to the world’s media.

 

 

Fans Celebrate

Formula One World Championship, Fans, British Grand Prix 2014, England flagFans celebrate: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 24-70mm Zoom. Exif: ISO 200, f1/1000 s,
Aperture: F6.3, Flash: No flash, Exposure mode: Manual, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 28.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28.0 mm) Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

Pole Position starter Nico Rosberg had lead the race from the start but was being pressured by a chasing Lewis Hamilton. Nico then experienced gearbox gremlins and retired from the race. I could hear the partisan crowd behind me shouting Lewis’s name and another action shot was not the best picture in this case. So I turned around, took the hood off my 24-70mm lens and poked it as good as I could through the fence, aiming at the celebrating crowd who were shouting, screaming and cheering Lewis’s name. As he passed by I thought, what a great picture it would make to capture him taking the lead and a possible victory at his home race.

 

Champagne

Formula One World Championship, Rd9, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England,  Valtteri Bottas, Chamagne, Sunday 6 July 2014.Champagne! Second placed finisher Valtteri Bottas: Formula One World Championship
Nikon D4, 500mm Telephoto. Exif: ISO 200, f1/1000 s,
Aperture: F8, Flash: No flash, Exposure mode: Manual, White balance : Auto, Focal length : 500.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 500.0 mm) Silverstone Circuit – Northamptonshire, Sunday 6 July 2014, Photograph © Sutton Images

I had a great position to shoot the podium from below in parc ferme, and knew that shooting the drivers against the sky could create some amazing shots, however you are never sure where the champagne will be sprayed! Fortunately, second placed finisher Valtteri Bottas came forward and sprayed the champagne directly into his mouth, and against the sky with the perfect light results in an amazing celebration photo.

 

Write a comment