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Author Topic: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"  (Read 1575 times)

Offline Jonathan

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What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« on: August 02, 2010, 08:42:22 AM »
So that was quite a weekend.

On Friday I was getting my kit ready for a nice little 10 hour job on Saturday (4 cameras, 6 lenses, 5 flashguns etc) when the phone rang.  I took a booking for a 300 head Sikh wedding on the Sunday.

Saturday was pretty cool.  No major issues.  Little bit of rain in the morning, then cloudy and humid, then gorgeous light in the early evening.  Sadly got stranded on the wrong side of a lake with the 'blad in the car so had to shoot beautiful light on the Nikon.  It will do ;)  Overran by an hour but no biggie.  Home for 9:30, copy cards over, charge batteries.

Out at 8 the next day with most of the kit from the day before plus new cards - set with Saturday's wedding on 2 hard drives plus safe on the desk.

At the temple for 9:30 and met with the rest of the crew.  Girl's side had video and stills.  Stills guy had basic Indian wedding kit - D200 with Sigma mid range zoom plus on camera flash and Gary Fong knockoff.  (Seriously don't knock kit like that - it gets the job done at loads of Indian weddings) Boy's side had video, stills and assistant.  Stills guy had some sort of Canon (450?) with grip and pop up flash.  Hmm.  I was there working for groom's mother to put a "creative spin" on the day so I was travelling light - D3 with 24-70, 70-200 and 14-24 plus a couple of flash in a Boda bag.

It kicks off OK with all the usual stuff.  A bit later, I'm in the temple.  Groom's there and bride will arrive in 10 mins or so.  I swap lenses for a wide shot.  Took the shot and heard that s-l-o-w shutter speed that tells you something is wrong.  Sure enough, exposure is a white out and camera is blinking "Err".  Not good.

30 seconds to run through my basic drill (take off lens, take out battery, pause, replace, mash shutter button hard) and I was breathing again.  In that 30 seconds I'd mentally run the distance to the car, grabbed one of the D2s in there and run back - I reckon I could do it in 4 mins if I could find my shoes.  Anyway, all was cool - no panic and I settled in to get some snaps.

Fast forward a few hours.  I'm at the hotel, 300 guests.  DJ asks all the photographers if they can put something up on the 2 huge projection TVs and 2 tiny 40 inch LCDs.  Mr D200 explains that it's not technically possible for some made up reason.  Mr Pop up flash suddenly remembers he can't speak any human language.  I'd been warned about this at 8pm Friday by the groom's father (and person who was paying me) so dragged out the laptop, pulled 70 pics without really looking at them and handed over to DJ.  Gulp.

A little later I was delighted to see that the majority of them were in focus and although the projection TVs were nasty the LCDs looked OK.  Generally well received.  :dance:

Hour or so later.  I notice the boy's media crew have gone into a huddle.  They are looking at the Canon and looking worried.  I drift past them and see "Card cannot be read - please format" or something on the screen.  10 mins later they haven't moved and the other media team have joined the huddle (this is in the middle of the so far unused dancefloor).  They are all missing shots big time now.  Remember I'm only there for creative spin - they are the full coverage guys.  Also they are from 2 separate firms employed by 2 different clients.

I wander over in a lull.  "'s'up?"  Err, my camera has stopped working.  "Do you have another one?"  No..............................................................   ???

"'k looks like the card is trashed - is there anything on it yet?"  Yes.  The wedding.................................

"Hmm, that's not good.  Take the card out, run recovery when you get home and use another card for now - anything you do to get that card working is likely to lose the pics you have on there".  At that point they just looked horrified at me.  I took that to mean they hadn't heard of recovery software and, err, didn't have another card.......

They look panicked so I pitch in for 10 mins and grab the family record shots they are missing (remember I'm working for the groom's family - the guys with the working camera are bride's side - plus they look slightly in shock too)

After 15 mins I see he's back taking pics.  Sweet, I can get back to my job.

Then I notice that the flash is popped up but isn't firing.  I don't know Canons too well but on Nikons that's actually hard to do.  So I say "cool - you got it working!".  Um, no.......but we have video.

I wander off at this point because I'm really unsure what's happening.  Plus there is Bhangra and some crazy uncles kicking off and my place is on a chair on the dance floor with a 14mm.

I really don't know what happened and don't want to make accusations....but my best guess is that the camera/card was toast and they had decided to pretend to take pictures then pull stills from the video and call it photography.  :o

I don't know why but this still scares me.  I was there for "extra" coverage of part of the day.  The other guys were there for all day and taking the shots of record.  I had 3 cameras, a bunch of lenses and 12 cards on me.  The D3 was writing raw and jpeg to separate cards all day (I used the jpegs for the slideshow but at a push they would do a hell of a lot better than video stills).  They had one camera, one lens and one card.  And it failed.  Ooops.  Even worse, in my experience, standing in the middle of a dance floor looking at it ain't going to fix your camera.  Strip it down, reset, wait, reboot.  If that doesn't work then grab a backup.

Maybe I worry too much.  ::)


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Offline Oldboy

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 08:56:18 AM »

Maybe I worry too much.  ::)

I don't think so. Having backup is important at any paid for event. I can accept just, only having one camera, but only one card!  :o I always carry five card every day I'm out with the camera, and as they are so cheap now, it's madness not too. Just shows the difference between a real PRO and those who call themselves pros.  :tup:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 12:08:26 AM by Oldboy »

Offline Jonathan

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2010, 10:17:06 AM »
Quick snap to show you how the day went.

Note
1. I'd never really turn this in for lots of reasons.
2. The guys really are doing an important job.  There's some family stuff going on on the table on the right.  If I was doing the same job as them I'd have no option but to cover it.
3. The second video guy has noticed the dancing kicking off.  Standing where he is he probably felt the bass.
4. ISO 3,200 FTW!
5. How cool does that projection TV look?

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Offline rksmith51

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2010, 10:23:38 AM »
I think the Indians were cowboys in disguise  :2funny:

I must agree Jonathan, 2 cameras as a minimum when recording a one off event like a wedding, I hope that they did get the images it would be so sad for the couple if the card was totaly toasted.

Bob
Hi, "Guest" long time no see, how are you

Offline Graham

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2010, 05:02:55 PM »
  You don't have to be very proffesional to know that a wedding is a one off and that things will go wrong!
  I'm prepared to bet two of my pounds that you get some more bookings from this. :tup:
                          Graham.
Build a man a fire and he'll be warm for a day.
Set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. 

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2010, 06:14:44 PM »
Absolutely frightening.

I'm worried about taking some pictures for a friends birthday party with a single body - but it is only a party and i'm hardly on a paid commission.
A wedding though would see the credit card take a hit for a second body - though in fairness that is the only area i don't have covered for redundancy.

So how does this work Jonathan?
If the pictures from the other crew do not come out do you get a bonus? Or do you take the hit on what you've done in return for a potential future revenue stream?

Offline Jonathan

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2010, 06:30:58 PM »
So how does this work Jonathan?
If the pictures from the other crew do not come out do you get a bonus? Or do you take the hit on what you've done in return for a potential future revenue stream?

Neither.  They are literally nothing to do with me.  In the same way it's nothing to do with me if the video is rubbish or the champagne is flat or the ice sculpture melts.

My pictures won't replace theirs because I didn't take the pictures they should have been taking.  For example in the temple there was generally a wall of 4 shooters - 2 video 2 stills with mid range zoom and flash.  I would deliberately be far from them often on the opposite angle with 70 - 200 shooting available light.  It was pretty funny that after about an hour they started following me.  I made a couple of lucky guesses about what was going to happen and then I kept looking up and there they were :)

It will make more sense when I post pictures....
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Offline Jonathan

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Offline Oldboy

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2010, 07:23:05 PM »
Cracking series of photos JR and looks like you had fun.  :tup:

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2010, 08:53:37 PM »
Yes in agreement re pictures.
Clearly not got this business thing down pat...

Offline SimonW

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2010, 08:59:29 PM »
Yes - always have backups.  I thought my SLR would be a bit intimidating for my mum's 90th birthday party and took only my familiar and very trusted seven year old compact - which developed a faulty sensor after only a few shots.

(I mentioned Canon's great service some time back - they repaired it free of charge despite its age, and it's working good as new, but I don't suppose I'll ever fully trust it again.)
Simon Warren
(in Dunning, Scotland)

Offline Jonathan

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2010, 07:45:30 AM »
>> Cracking series of photos JR

Thanks chaps :)

BTW pics from Saturday are up too - http://peoplebyryan.com/weddings/turkey-mill-wedding-lucy-and-chris

That top pic.....
1. Yes, she really is lying on the floor in her wedding dress
2. Wish I'd had the 'blad -  it would have popped that pic but I reckon the Nikon did OK
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Offline Oldboy

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Re: What a weekend....a.k.a "have backups"
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2010, 11:57:07 AM »
Oh! That afternoon sun really brings out the colours in the boathouse, and I like them lying down with the lake in the background. Who needs a Blad?  :tup:

 

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