Thursday, August 24, 2006

HVX200 Shoots: Baltimuda Triangle (sports and features)

It's been a couple weeks, and I've been farting around with the HVX200 (not really ... I've really been working like a mutha mutha) in my attempt to find the right settings for the camera to use it as a still camera. I've not been shooting film stories lately; there's simply not enough space to do it effectively, until we order a 100-GB Firestore drive. So far, the Panasonic has blessed the front page as well as section fronts for the local section and inside of sports. I'm working on the sports and features section fronts as well, and I may have shot just what I needed today.

My first shoot was in Washington, covering Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (is "The" in caps or not??), who made an appearance for the local media for an upcoming feature film, Gridiron Gang. I was pressed for time since I had to run to Annapolis for another shoot, at the Naval Academy. The problem: Any time you have to travel the route between Baltimore, Washington, and Annapolis, you're flirting with possible failure. I call it the Baltimuda Triangle, because somewhere along the line, you're gonna sink. Either the timing between shoots will be off, or you'll get nailed with the traffic issue somewhere along the way.

I did get to the hotel in plenty of time, but the PR flaks said that we wouldn't get to have Rock until 2:40pm. And the Navy PR said they wanted me to be in Annapolis by 3:30pm. You ain't gonna get to Annapolis from DC in anywhere less than an hour or so, and I started the protest. Finally, the Rock crew relented and gave me a couple minutes with Rock, so they hustled me to a room and told me to ready it for him. Opening a shade for the main light, I moved two room lamps a little to get some warmth as a key light and give the room some ambiance. After sitting an assistant down for a test shoot, I was ready.

We had to leave so Rock could come in, and then we were called back in. Asking one of his assistants to sit across from Rock to chat with him, I started shooting some horizontal and vertical stuff as he listened to the lady talk about how she fell and hurt herself. I only shot perhaps 3 minutes worth of 1080i-HD clips, shot at 1/30th second, with a wide open f-stop. I will post a couple shots of it, once the shots run. The color rendition looked great!

The PR guy waited for me to arrive at 4pm in Annapolis (after I misplaced my phone), and escorted me to the practice field to capture some stuff of the players. One camera operator for WBAL-TV told me that I couldn't shoot video after the 6th period (they were in the 8th period), but I scoffed at the notion, saying that it didn't apply to still shooters. Hey, we aren't gonna post video on the net of this, anyway.

Two frames in particular interested me: one of a player who was backlit like crazy - His sweat just jumped in the frame I shot. The other was of a cornerback busting through the offensive line - I opened the video screen, holding the camera low and stood near the two players during the drill. The angle looked somewhat unusual, one shot you rarely see during game action. I'll post these once they get published, as well, which should be within the next several days, I hope. Most of the shoot of the practice was around f/2.8 @ 1/1000th second, using the built-in ND filter.

I saw a shot I lifted from a clip of James Kinstle, who did a piece about Shakespeare downtown. The shot, which ran 2 columns, below a photo shot with a digital still Nikon, held up so well, you simply couldn't tell which one was a still frame and which one was a movie frame! It's posted in the pictures section. I may start posting some video once I learn about downsizing to post here, as well.

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