Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Covering The Reynoldsburg Civil War Re-Enactment - 2013 Edition

I cover the Reynoldsburg Civil War Encampment every year.  It is an event that never disappoints with its colorful characters, knowledgeable and friendly re-enactors, and the skillfully crafted battle sequences.

Sometimes I shoot for just me, but most of the time I am hired for event coverage.

Ever since watching the Jay Maisel videos on KelbyTraining.com, I've tried to take a different attitude toward these kinds of events.  It is far too easy to get into a place where images from year to year look all too much like the ones from the year before.   In that sense, I think about something that Jay talked about, which is "Going out empty".   This means that sometimes you  have to go out with no pre-conceived notion of what you want.  You very well could miss some great images because you set yourself up to be looking for images that fit a mindset.  You very well could be missing a great opportunity.

I also went out with a few other Maisel gems in my head:

  • No chimping - I check one or two images in tricky lighting situations to make sure that I did not botch a shot completely.  Other than that - stop looking at the LCD!!
  • Find something that you've not seen before and get that shot.
  • Get images of things that interest you.
  • When you find that great image, you know that the center or the subject is there.  The thing that can kill your shot is not paying attention to the edges.
  • Get the framing of the shot the way you want it in camera if at all possible.  Crop only when you meet a focal length limitation, not because you were too lazy to frame it correctly to start with!

  • Nikon D700 with Nikon 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5(SB-600 attached, but only on when I really needed a bit of fill light)
  • Nikon D300(MB-D10 battery grip) with Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8
  • BlackRapid DoubleStrap(DR-1)
  • RainSleeve
  • Powerade Zero/Water
  • Cabelas Boonie Hat/Sunscreen

Post Processing:

  • Lightroom 4.4 - basic adjustments to color, contrast, vibrance, sharpness and clarity.
  • onOne Software Perfect B&W
I've taken now to shooting with a "flatter" tone curve.  I toyed in the past with tweaking the in camera JPG engines to add more contrast, boost the colors - even shoot straight to B&W.  I will still do this on those occassions I need to shoot directly for print....but I find it better to have a more versatile dynamic range then use the Camera RAW or editing tools in Lightroom and Photoshop to get the final product the way I want it.

Also, shot the whole event in JPG.

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