Clayton Spangler shooting an episode of underEXPOSED with Gracey Dove at the 2014 Bridge Day (Friday before) Photo © Bill Brown
So…..I get a call from the powers that be in charge of Bridge Day this year- wondering if I would like to cover the B.A.S.E. jumping event; but with a twist. There’s a Canadian film crew coming and they want to shoot an episode of underEXPOSED- a popular APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network ) television show.
underEXPOSED” is an adrenaline packed, youth documentary TV series, featuring a team of action sport photo journalists. Each episode has the star partner up with a professional photographer who “mentors” them in the nuances of how to best capture the action and give them tips and tricks to get the job done.
Not everything goes according to plan all the time.
There are always “glitches” that happen when you least expect them, but it’s how you handle those problems that defines the moment, not the other way around.
The shooting and filming part actually went rather well for me…..:-)
However it was AFTER the day was over things started falling apart for me-when we were shooting the end piece of the show where I critic Gracey’s work and let her know how she did.
You know it’s about to go south when:
- 3) You find Three of the Four CP Flash cards you shot- did I mention you used to have four!?!
(Yep….it had it’s own special pocket and fell OUT of said pocket at the venue– never to be found again and had ALL of that mornings shots on it!)
- 2) You borrow a computer and find they don’t have a compact flash card reader- so you borrow one of those too.
- They ask you to show your work side by side with hers – and they didn’t tell you to bring a computer/laptop
- You shoot raw photos- the computer you borrowed doesn’t have any photo editing software to convert RAW files.
- You find a free program that’s a raw viewer that will allow you to adjust brightness and global color- thats it- no other functions.
OK- don’t panic; don’t let them see you sweat.
I proceeded to handle all this with my calm pilots voice – you know the one, like the plane is about to go down and the pilot is telling you there may be a “bump” at the landing?…yeah….that’s me right there and then….
The thing is….When you’re shooting for clients who expect to use your work; there are no good excuses as to why you don’t have anything to show-Visually staring at a blank space where a photograph ought to be tends to really
piss off irritate art directors….just sayin…
( Although I have to say, they were very polite and understanding- but I still needed something to finish the show with…)
I had taken a lot of example photos to show Gracey at the landing zone- where the B.A.S.E. jumpers land under the New River Gorge Bridge- It’s not like I didn’t come back without a “keeper” photo or anything!
Actually because I shoot with a graphic, lead your eye to the subject style- the ones I shot were actually pretty decent- at least they were different from the typical photos I see a lot of – which makes it interesting for the audience- And hopefully I came out still looking like a “professional”…:-)
In the end, we did the “Side by Side” showing of images and everything looked great ( the magic of television…)
Gracey got an honest critic of her work- and we both came away learning something!
( She learned about panning with the action- I learned to put media cards in a ZIPPERED pocket! )
The photograph below sort of sums up the challenges of the day too- I mean, it’s one thing to jump off a bridge, right? But with an approaching storm, winds kicking up and clouds start to block out the sun?….
A lot of the media pit had cleared out by then- most had deadlines for stories to file; but I hung on for dramatic shots like this one.
With a strong tail wind blowing, this dude went for it and made a great jump- and I got a shot that wasn’t like everybody else’s…..Win Win!
Moral of the story? Sh*t happens, but you don’t have to smell like it. 🙂
B.A.S.E. Jumper with chute deplyed before an upcoming storm front hits. Photo © Clayton Spangler Photographic Design