28 févr. 2009

Do you caption??

I really started editing my images for Olympics Games in Atlanta 1996 ( I was official photographer for sailing, shooting for ALLSPORT ). It's why  I started to scan slide and neg, and  I learnt a lot from that time. 
Every morning  I was first one in Media center in Savannah; and last one to go back to hotel. My english was not very good (not much better now) , and for every single image I had to do a caption telling a long story ( English way to do caption). It's where I started to really use the rule of 5W and H. 
Few years before I spent some weeks at CFJ  ( Journalism school in Paris , 35 Rue du Louvre, Paris.) for a Photo journalism course. 
Our Professor was a great nice old photo-reporter. He pointed the fact that a photographer is reponsable for caption coming with his image. 
I never forgot that.
And the best way to be correct is to use the 5W 's an H rule ( WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE  and HOW). Sometime it could be a pain, making  your job longer. The way to write a caption is dictated by the audience . In general I always do a caption thinking that Photo desk in magazines and newspapers don't know the subject . If that image is used by a specialized magazine , it will not be a problem for them to have too many info.
Not everybody know where to find IPTC information in image and where is the caption. At Sea&Co we add a white stripe under the image where we put the caption. In that way we try to help Photos editors to have a confortable way to look at our production.

screen copy of a photo on Sea&Co server (here)

In each caption I try to have: Location name, Country, Name of the event ( with details of the event if possible) date, and who is on the photo. Names of skippers, Names of boats, start or finish for races , ...
In many case it's obvious , but 2 or 5 years after , when your are searching in archives will you remember what was names of boat, skipper? Record time? 

19 févr. 2009

For sure white flare is better !

In Les Sables d'Olonne (FRA) we had again more flare photos with all sailors arriving  in Vendee Globe. Mich Desj did well with a lot of flares which is better for us photographers. 
So all sailors used more than one time flares, which is a great progress , giving us more chance to catch up with quality that difficult photo. All newspaper and magazine used these sort of image.
I am glad Dee Caffari (GBR) used white flare. You can have a clear idea what I was telling in previous post. On top of white flare we had been lucky as Dee arrived to pontoon at sunset , and that day was ending with a nice orange-pinky sky. 

16 Feb 2009 , Les Sables d'Olonne (FRA),  Dee Caffari (GBR) with a big smile and white flare as boat arrive at Vendee Globe race pontoon. 

I took that photo with my favorite camera , Canon 1DS Mark III with the magic lens 600/4 mm ( I nearly do half of my production with that lens) camera was set : Tv, 1/500, F:4, 250 Iso .
Flare light is strong so lightmeter automaticly under expose image.  Note that light on Dee's face look natural and not red . I shoot only Raw images, so it's a bit easier to edit images on computer. Not sure result could be that good if shooting with jpeg.

Earlier , Dee also with white flare , and day light. Same camera :
Canon 1DS Mark III, Lens : 300/2,8 mm, Tv : 1/350, F: 5,  flash push +1/3.

©Th.Martinez / Sea&Co

2 days before, Sam Davies (GBR) crossed the finish line by night, and used flare ( red flare, as you can see on image below). Sam arrived at low tide and have been waiting outside Les Sables port  before coming in.

14th february 2009, Sam Davies (GBR) arrival. 

Camera : Canon 1DS Mark III, Lens zoom 70/200 2,8 Manual 1/125, F: 9 , Flash on (normal). You can notice flash effect on boat's name but not real effect on Sam's face.

More images of Vendee Globe arrivals on: Sea&Co server  

Feel free to do comments...

5 févr. 2009

Red flare or white flare , that is the question...

For his second victory in Vendee Globe (Solo sailing  round the world race non-stop without assistance) Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) have been very good with us.
He have used flare , again and again, during 45mn his "FONCIA" was on tow in Les Sables d'Olonne fairway. 
150 000 people were on bothside of quays . 
What a great moment.
It's part of magic of Vendee Globe. No much sailing race provide a big welcome as Vendee Globe finish do in Les Sables. It will be nearly the same for all competitors coming back after their "world tour"

On the photographic side, to catch the atmosphere is not an easy one. 
Flare are made for safety, and are very very powerfull light. Red flare are not very good for quality photography, as the red added at strong light , nearly burn the image.

1 Fev 2009 Les Sables d'Olonne (FRA)
Normal image ( a bit hard to calibrate) NO flash.

1 Feb 2009 Les Sables d'Olonne (FRA) 
Photo with 2 layout , superposition, one B&W and normal color one. No flash.

It's hard to balance the natural skin and  keep the red ambiance. 
This time I tried to work with 2 layout, one normal and the other one in Black and white. and mixed both images in one. result is not bad but not good as a photo with flash light on face.
I was not able to use flash as our photo boat was more than 5 meters of Michel ( between 15 and 30 m).

It's what I did in 2001 when Michel Desjoyeaux won Vendee Globe. 
As I was his team photographer, I have been in the best position possible to do the photo, and Mich helped me a lot , looking at me . I was around 4m from him  and flash was strong enough to balance the strong light of red flare.  
I got only one image! (see below) 
Not much but enough to get front page of "L'Equipe" the day after. 

10 Feb 2001 Les Sables d'Olonne (FRA) 
Michel Desjoyeaux , winner of Vendee Globe on "PRB" (red flare + flash)

When Ellen MacArthur (GBR)  succeed in  Solo Sailing Round the World Record ( on trimaran "B&Q / Castorama")  she did a fantastic arrival in Falmouth (UK) the morning after crossing the finish line off Ushant (FRA). 
Her communication staff make a nice move, providing Ellen ( should say Dame Ellen, sorry Ellen ;+) some white flare!
Big difference, very very big difference, for us  photographer.
by day or by night  no problem with burn image ( white don't burn like red do).
it's make a nice yellow colour on people, but photo it's much easy to make  (see image below).

8 Feb 2005 Falmouth (UK) 
Ellen MacArthur arrival back in UK after breaking solo round the world record. (White flare) No flash

We should suggest to race organisers to provide a lot of white flare to sailors celebrating ( winner or not) 
It's a strong image as champagne celebration.

3 févr. 2009

White sunrise

3 feb 
After few days in Les Sables for Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA) victory in Vendee Globe, nice surprise this morning, to see a white blanket on Locmariaquer. On top, sunrise what interesting, so in 1 hour I did a tour by the Golfe du Morbihan by foot, and came back with some unusual images of my village. In 13 years, it's second time I  saw some snow.