Flatljus

En webblogg av David Elmfeldt kring fotosidan.se, foto, community och annat mys.

Att vara sportfotograf i dåligt väder

På fritiden är cykel det jag ägnar mig mest åt. Jag tränar och tävlar för skoj skull. En gren som jag tycker är roligast är cykelcross. I helgen skall jag åka ner till Belgien för att kolla VM i cykelcross (cyclocross) och det är en riktig fest. Banan är en va 3km lång bana som en klass i taget kör på under antingen 40 min eller 60 min. VM är på "hemmaplan" så det kommer vara otroligt med folk. Sist var det ca 50.000 på plats och då är det rejält trångt. I år är det lite speciellt för det är sista året och VM för idolen och legendaren Sven Nys. Sven Nys är större för belgare än vad Zlatan är för oss svenskar.

#3434517

Eftersom jag själv fotograferat mycket cykel (jag var med och startade cykeltidningen Kadens, numera Bicycling, och var husfotograf där under ca 5 år) så brukar jag ofta titta på alla fotografer som är på plats. En som sticker ut är Balint Hamvas. Han är cykelcrossens dedikerade husfotograf och som varje år ger ut en årsbok. I år har han startat en kickstarter kampanj för att finansiera kommande årsbok.

Förra året på VM så träffade jag Balint och passade på att ställa lite frågor till honom om hur han jobbar ute på tävlingarna.

Q: Your are photographing in often demanding weather, what’s your best tips in clothing and gloves?

A: After years of trying out different solutions, as you can see on the photo, I’ve settled with these rather ugly but very useful fishermen’s trousers. I used to use a Gore Tex pair of trousers, but after a season, it stopped being waterproof due to the constant kneeling and laying in the mud. These yellow wonders are totally waterproof and because they are rather thick, rocks and thorns don’t cut through the material. It’s not breathable, but that’s not really important at races.

In terms of gloves, I tried the Aquatech specialist gloves, that have little holes at the end of the fingers, but they were too much faff to operate and I ended up using a simple pair of winter  cycling gloves. They are thin enough at the fingertips that I can operate the cameras but they are warm enough to keep my fingers warm.

I also bought a BMX kneepad, it helps with the kneeling down: waiting at the finish line, on the cold concrete a lot less painful than it used to be.

Q: What is your favorite photo technique?

A: I like to toy with different things, a few weeks ago I hired a tilt-shift lens, but the problem with these special lenses is that it’s very easy to overuse them. What I’m really enjoying now is using the 35 and 50mm lenses and use them at very large apertures (f/1.2 - f/1.4).

Q: Can you share some details in how your are working and settings for remote flash?

To be honest, I used to be using my flashes a lot, but this year, I haven’t brought them to a single race, not even to the night race at Diegem. I just moved away from using them, I’ve moved to a direction that tries to utilise natural light more.

Ironically, this happened not long after I discovered the perfect, remote flash setup. I have two Canon 600RX flashes and with the ST-E3-RT, it’s the perfect system. It allows you to set the power output of the flashes remotely, and what’s more important, precisely. I used to use Pocket Wizards, but with that system, you could only control the TTL output, which changes with every flash. Only manual flash remains consistent and the ST-E3-RT unit allows you to control that perfectly.

Q: Do you have any tips for editing pictures?

I try to minimise the post-processing I do on my photos, I try to get it right in camera.

When will we see the Sven Nys tribute book?

Well, in the new book, that I’m trying to get the funding for on Kickstarter, happens, there will be a lengthy tribute to Nys.

Q: I see you wear the News Wear chestwest. What do you carry with you?

It has four pouches. Here is what I keep in them now:

Leftmost: wide angle zoom lens (Canon EF 17-40 f/4 L)

Left middle: either the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 L or the Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L, whichever is not on the Canon 5D MkIII body

Right middle: Spare batteries, phone, wallet, car keys

Rightmost: snacks, water

In the past, I use to have the two flashes in the middle pouches, with the Manfrotto clamps and the heads sticking out.

Q: What’s your experience regarding weather sealing in your gear?

In theory, most of my kit is not strictly waterproof. Also, I own two sets of Aquatech waterproof camera covers and when it badly rains, I put them on and I don’t have to worry about the gear. They are expensive, but they are a good investment.

However, sometimes you can’t go back to the press centre to pick the covers up, sometimes you’re misjudge the weather, long story short, my gear has been exposed to bad weather more than once and it still works perfectly. I’ve been using the my Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L for almost ten years now, and while in theory, it’s a non-weather proof lens, I’ve done day-long shoots in pouring rain and it still works perfectly. The only time it needed repairing was when I smashed it against a concrete barriers and the front of the lens loosened slightly.

Postat 2016-01-28 09:22 | Permalink | Kommentarer (1) | Kommentera