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Arwen

Airsoft Game Day Photography Do's and Don'ts ?

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And before you say it, yes I searched, yes I found topics 4 years old. I've read them (and maybe got some tips), but would rather a more up to date point of view.

 

The past few months I've not really be fit enough to play airsoft properly. I've taken photos at a few games days at my local site before, so rather than miss the day completely , I'm thinking of taking my camera shooting instead of my aegs ! 

I find I prefer using a long lens and stay on the outskirts of play. Not only does this mean I am less likely to get hit, but it gives me a wide range of people to photograph, and I can more easily move around without getting in someones way/cross fire. 

Pictures are here if you fancy a look - 

VSA Game Day 31/03/19      

VSA Game Day 06/01/19

 

Players, what annoying things do photographers do when you are playing? As player myself I think I do my best to not give away peoples positions or get in the road of your shot, but I wonder if there is anything else I am possibly doing that can be classed as annoying. 

 

Photographers, any tips? I've now got a polarizing lens, so hopefully a lot less over exposure shots when the sun is out 

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Good point! I can honestly say I've never asked anyone to stay still for a shot when playing a game, that would really irritate me too 🤣

 

 

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I’d say you’ve nailed it your self , long lense so you stay out of the way ! 

I also get really pissed off if someone with a camera gives my position away .

one thing I’d say I find helps if I’m taking  pics is if your shooting some action run your camera full auto and have set for multiple frames as well , you take a burst of shots and quite often most are ‘meh’ but you’ll find a few cracking action shots in amongst them . Also try fiddling with the shutter speed and panning with your camera as you take it so you get more ‘life’ in the picture so so many Airsoft photos are just flat boring pics with no life to them .

Ps hope your on the mend now 👍 

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2 minutes ago, Arwen said:

Good point! I can honestly say I've never asked anyone to stay still for a shot when playing a game, that would really irritate me too 🤣

 

 

 

Honestly, the jobs easy as its Airsoft. I marshal and sometimes walk around with a camera, I'm a 4/10 at best for taking photos. All I do is watermark the sites logo and upload, blurry ones and all. Airsofters go crazy just to see if they are in a photo lol.

All I'd say is just don't get in the way of a rush/push/entry etc..

 

You will get shot tho. a lot. or at least I do

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On the rarity someone cathes me in a shot or movie clip I'm normally doing something retarded...

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Cheers guys. I'll give the panning thing a go next time @Druid799. I've done it when taking photos at the race track. I definitely need some practice at it though.

Out of the 300-odd shots at the weekend I took. Around 80-90 of them are good enough to post in my eyes 😆 I do love the burst mode on my camera. 

 

I tend to wear hi-viz and don't get shot too much. Normally it's by the hire guns I've found. 

 

I would rather be playing @ImTriggerHappy, but I much prefer breathing 😅

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Things that annoy me are photographers that get in the way. Either by pointing their camera at me as I'm rounding a corner or are in the crossfire between me and my opponent. Doesn't happen often but when it does.. ugh!

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19 minutes ago, Resistor170 said:

Things that annoy me are when photographers only put pictures up on Facebook 😏😉

Totally understand that. A few months ago I would have put them on Flickr. But since Flickr limits free accounts to 1k photos and more than doubled the price of pro, I've fallen out with them! 

 

If you have any suggestions of a better photo sharing platform, pass on the info. 

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Can't view your pics on FB (doesn't seem to work and I don't use FB anyway)

I think everything's been covered from the players perspective.

 

Use a clear UV filter to protect the lens. (Better to make one out of thicker perspex if you can)

 

What mode do you shoot in?

Most situations would likely be in shadow I imagine. 

 

I wouldn't go with a polarizing filter myself unless you're shooting in bright sun.

Lower the Exposure Compensation to get higher shutter speeds and darken the images if needed.

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26 minutes ago, Arwen said:

Totally understand that. A few months ago I would have put them on Flickr. But since Flickr limits free accounts to 1k photos and more than doubled the price of pro, I've fallen out with them! 

 

If you have any suggestions of a better photo sharing platform, pass on the info. 

That is a shame and must be annoying for people like you especially. I'm afraid I can't be constructive here and I also imagine you know most photo websites.

 

However, I can be cheeky here and suggest to add a handful of photos on a suitable thread on airsoft-forums.uk 😉

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3 hours ago, Arwen said:

I find I prefer using a long lens and stay on the outskirts of play. Not only does this mean I am less likely to get hit, but it gives me a wide range of people to photograph, and I can more easily move around without getting in someones way/cross fire.

 

Honestly, that's all I really want from a photographer.  You do your thing, we'll do ours, nobody gets shot or shot-blocked.

 

Scout the Doggie style in-your-face photographers would do my head in.

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30 minutes ago, Resistor170 said:

However, I can be cheeky here and suggest to add a handful of photos on a suitable thread on airsoft-forums.uk 😉

Hmm... That could be something I could do! Take the best handful from a days shoot 😊

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Nice pictures.

 

The best advice is to just keep doing what you are doing, and remember why you are doing it.

You are doing it to still be around Airsoft while you are unable to play, that tells me that you are doing it for the joy of airsoft.

 

Discuss with the site what you will be permitted to do, and consider some of the following:

 

High visibility - try to do a mixture of wearing a hi vis vest and taking it off.

Hi vis shows that you are a non player, but taking it off every now and then makes you more inconspicuous.

(Also consider a ripped up hi vis vest to make yourself armbands)

When you are not wearing full hi vis then you are bringing less attention to who you are pointing your camera at.

 

Consider telling a story, 

Photo opportunities do not only take place on the field.  Become the airsoft paparazzi and capture arrivals, setting up and chilling in the staging area etc

 

 

 

Don't take no for an answer, and do take no for an answer.

Most players are going to be vain and want their photos to be taken, published and be taggable.

Some are going to fein shyness and say they don't like their photo taken, or you got the wrong side etc.

Others will be truly unhappy about getting their photo taken, I have had nos from people I know, and a couple of genuine nos.

The genuine nos were not refusing to have their photo taken, but asking not to be published.  They did not want a record of them being there. My choice then was to delete the photo.

(Note that it may not just be someone who is meant to be somewhere else etc, but there can be protection issues)

Asking for permission to take a photo loses the moment - but its the right thing to do sometimes.

 

Be ready to tell people where the photos are going.  If in a small local group etc its easy enough to name your Facebook, everyone may know you,  or post a link onto the sites facebook etc, but consider getting some business cards run off.

 

 

Use a big lens to get shots at a distance, but mix it up and get in close with the same lens.  Then contrast the two images for the different perception of the situation.

 

For lens protection consider your options and how valuable the lens is to you against risk.

Some people use lens filters, some don't.  I did but a DSLR lens is tough, whereas a broken lens filter put glass shards on my lens risking scratches.

I prefer to use my lens hood which deflects side hits and has a high chance of taking the main impact if a ball is heading in.

 

 

Play around with your camera.  

Auto focus is a winner, bit see if you can set 'back button focus' and quickly pick a focal point and zap.

Burst mode gets you the perfect image sometimes

If you can then set your camera to raw mode (and maybe raw + jpg). Even if you never plan to edit from raw just file them away for the future.

Never hand over raw originals to anyone, they are yours alone.  Just give jpgs out etc

Use auto settings for a lot of the time, it saves you worrying about the technicalities but always flick through some modes and experiment with the priorities and settings.

Set yourself some targets.  There should always be that elusive photo that rewards you with the pleasure of catching it one day, but also have a few ideas of the photo you want to take today.  But don't be tempted to manufacture the situation (or allow someone to offer to do that)

Search the field and get an idea from the staff about mission objectives etc for likely opportunities that could get you lucky with a new photo.

 

Consider a photography identity - you don't know when you're going find yourself turning into an official photographer for 5 years.

 

 

Brand your pictures.  Ive put up a lot of unblemished pictures, put event branding on sets without obscuring the image, added a logo in the corner and now I have both a visible watermark logo over the main image,  a small corner logo, and copyright info in the meta data.

Meta data gets removed by facebook etc, but your camera may be able to add that to all your images by default.

I have 'sold' a photo for the highest price because one of my clear images was memes and sent to a manufacturer.  They produced a Facebook advert using it, and my inbox went into overload asking if I knew.   This resulted in a very embarrassed company and a copyright compensation payment.

First unless team / event branded I was publishing photos on Facebook for free with the rights open to people to tag themselves etc, this didn't prevent people taking liberties.  Then with just a corner logo people would still crop and take.

Its not a matter of getting rich, but you're doing the work and providing the photos.  People can use your published Facebook photos, but if you've taken the best ever photo of them that they want to use then a mention of a credit or a bit of recompense wouldn't go amiss.

 

 

For a bit of a random selection here are a handful of my images and a couple of airsoft and off field tournament photo sets

 

  

 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Anidiotwithacamera/photos/?tab=album&album_id=888814627895081

 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/Anidiotwithacamera/photos/?tab=album&album_id=825763220866889

 

 

171097_162808280432322_1395340_o.jpg

11041546_852306454879232_7546235708074739989_o.jpg

11845031_852303938212817_7555841618045662255_o.jpg

11864871_852304504879427_520400315981489494_o.jpg

19146017_1307281006048439_7941576459516001135_n.jpg

20645363_1517563421623461_7903451623165036078_o.jpg

36063842_1661949830581553_8682260162477555712_o.jpg

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37 minutes ago, Tommikka said:

 

20645363_1517563421623461_7903451623165036078_o.jpg

 

Blimey I was only googling for the br 2 camouflage about an hour ago. What was this and where was this? 

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I spent last weekends games taking photos, and marshalling. that way i was in the action and had to be in places that you wouldn't want a photographer, but was also there to take the photos and capture moments. i shoot in high speed continues, and so ended up taking nearly 3000 photos, to which I've got a couple of hundred that are usable. 

 

Imo, if your going to be out on the field taking photos, your going to get shot. your going to want to be in the action rather than shooting with something like a 70-200 as your able to move yourself and adjust to the scenario, rather than have to wait for the players to move into better positions. and so its a risk you have to take with you glass.

 

Out of curiosity what are you shooting on?

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38 minutes ago, Resistor170 said:

Blimey I was only googling for the br 2 camouflage about an hour ago. What was this and where was this? 

We have run mini games at NPFs Paintfest for the last few years

Last year and the year before NPF added Airfest alongside, and we had a number of airsofters come down and play 

 

We run it as paintball, but with our Battle Royale format you go in and find the weapons we have left you.  Could be a paintball gun, it may or may not be loaded, it could be tied to a barrel or a body, but it could also be a tennis ball gun, rubber frying pan, catapault etc

 

You just need to see if you can survive to be the last one standing, and get a medallion. the ultimate survivor of the weekend got a goody bag from our sponsor and an appearance on stage

Bets were also taken as to whether I would remain standing on stage for the last two years or topple off due to the sponsored free bar.

 

 

We have run 3 Battle Royales in the last 4 years, currently I have banned the team from proposing a 4th to avoid the format going stale

 

 

All custom BR prizes and trophies have been provided from my friend at Kews Emporium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6911ABA5-EEF7-4712-A6BD-591C37D7CDF4.jpeg

7EF222C4-A237-4F66-ABB2-19C8F12F309F.jpeg

CA5FAB0F-5F97-4AF5-BAD2-6731F0460F1C.jpeg

0BC3A9A8-68B9-4C53-9128-5A34A2D9B242.jpeg

E836775F-17A3-40C4-9429-CEB8BBC441B9.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Tommikka said:

We have run mini games at NPFs Paintfest for the last few years

Last year and the year before NPF added Airfest alongside, and we had a number of airsofters come down and play 

 

We run it as paintball, but with our Battle Royale format you go in and find the weapons we have left you.  Could be a paintball gun, it may or may not be loaded, it could be tied to a barrel or a body, but it could also be a tennis ball gun, rubber frying pan, catapault etc

 

You just need to see if you can survive to be the last one standing, and get a medallion. the ultimate survivor of the weekend got a goody bag from our sponsor and an appearance on stage

Bets were also taken as to whether I would remain standing on stage for the last two years or topple off due to the sponsored free bar.

 

 

We have run 3 Battle Royales in the last 4 years, currently I have banned the team from proposing a 4th to avoid the format going stale

 

 

All custom BR prizes and trophies have been provided from my friend at Kews Emporium

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6911ABA5-EEF7-4712-A6BD-591C37D7CDF4.jpeg

7EF222C4-A237-4F66-ABB2-19C8F12F309F.jpeg

CA5FAB0F-5F97-4AF5-BAD2-6731F0460F1C.jpeg

0BC3A9A8-68B9-4C53-9128-5A34A2D9B242.jpeg

E836775F-17A3-40C4-9429-CEB8BBC441B9.jpeg

Brilliant. I have always wanted to play a game like this. 

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10 hours ago, Tommikka said:

Hi vis shows that you are a non player, but taking it off every now and then makes you more inconspicuous.

(Also consider a ripped up hi vis vest to make yourself armbands)

When you are not wearing full hi vis then you are bringing less attention to who you are pointing your camera at.

I didn't have a hi-viz for about 50min. The amount of players who thought my camera was a gun and started shooting at me was simply amusing 😅 Not only does it mean I get hit a lot more, but it is frustrating for players if they think I am not take my hits... 

I'm sticking with wearing hi-viz. 

 

9 hours ago, TantoJoe said:

Out of curiosity what are you shooting on?

A Lumix GX7. Using either my prime 25mm lens or 45-200mm lens. No perspex or anything covering them. I don't see the point in spending good money for glass to then shoot through perspex. I'm "protecting" the camera by trying to stay out of direct fire, and keeping the lens hoods on. (I do also have insurance, but I'd rather not have to use it) 

Generally outside shots I leave on auto with "colour and brightness" adjustment. These turn out pretty much spot on in most cases.very bright sunshine being the most common annoyance.Inside shots I usually end up turning to shutter priority. 

 

10 hours ago, TantoJoe said:

, if your going to be out on the field taking photos, your going to get shot. your going to want to be in the action

Totally expect to get shot a few times. But being "in the action" often means I am then in front of someone's "perfect shot". Which understandably is frustrating.

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My tips:

Don't compose people in the middle of the pic. Use the thirds at least.

Do many photos of the same thing and keep the best one when post processing.

Do some sharpening, contrast adjusting, etc as needed in post processing, it can really make the images pop.

Please don't add a huge watermark across the photo unless you want to make a living of it. Add logos in the corners plz if you must.

One can't really photograph actions so weirdly crouched masked people in the distance gets old quick. Do close ups, players love to see themselves.

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15 hours ago, Musica said:

I'd hate the below style. I do like when I see myself after the game day in a video or picture but wouldn't want people bugging me while playing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQe7IbfjyKo

Oooh he’d most definitely piss me off and get a very strong “no comment now f**k off !” from me ! 🤬

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23 hours ago, Arwen said:

And before you say it, yes I searched, yes I found topics 4 years old. I've read them (and maybe got some tips), but would rather a more up to date point of view.

 

The past few months I've not really be fit enough to play airsoft properly. I've taken photos at a few games days at my local site before, so rather than miss the day completely , I'm thinking of taking my camera shooting instead of my aegs ! 

I find I prefer using a long lens and stay on the outskirts of play. Not only does this mean I am less likely to get hit, but it gives me a wide range of people to photograph, and I can more easily move around without getting in someones way/cross fire. 

Pictures are here if you fancy a look - 

VSA Game Day 31/03/19      

VSA Game Day 06/01/19

 

Players, what annoying things do photographers do when you are playing? As player myself I think I do my best to not give away peoples positions or get in the road of your shot, but I wonder if there is anything else I am possibly doing that can be classed as annoying. 

 

Photographers, any tips? I've now got a polarizing lens, so hopefully a lot less over exposure shots when the sun is out 

 

I shoot with a 24-105mm lens on a Canon 5D - does everything you need.

 

Be careful of using a polarised filter, you will lose a couple of stops of exposure. I would more recommend a UV filter which is clear and still protects your lens to a degree (although it would shatter if a 0.4 hit it close range, at which point I would call it a day through sheer shock! :) )

 

  • Don't be afraid to get alongside shooters to catch them in profile and look to frame them in doorways
  • Zoom in closer, use a wider aperture to get a greater depth of field, again gives more focus to the player
  • Sometimes a different colour balance can be what a shot needs. Urban shots benefit from lower saturation to give a dirty/hard edged look - forest shots can be more colourful, think "Predator" - greens and warm
  • Get down low, use foreground elements to give depth and drama to shots
  • Don't be scared of using a hi ISO, you need a fast shutter speed as players will not stand still for long, and especially not in a firefight and if you're indoors. My lens also has stabilisation which is a godsend - lets you use a good couple of f-stops lower while maintaining a stable shot, great for indoors

A load of my shots from Urban Assault a few months back : https://photos.app.goo.gl/8jTvLpsBGi7y8WbG8

Glad I got to the site before its done

 

Hope that helps!

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