Shooting reportage at Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon 2017. SFG is back on the track!
How to prepare and organize the shooting process during a big sport event. We are telling about the SFG shooting group and their work at Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon 2017.
The second year in a row Dnipro has hosted a big running event Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon which is a part of the all-Ukrainian running league Run Ukraine. And this is the second time SFG team has become a part of this great event. The organizers turned to SFG for photo and video reports for a number of reasons that we are not going to reveal. But without mock modesty we will only mention that SFG’s last year photo report was named to be the most detailed and professional. Why has it happened so and what were the main differences between last year and this year’s work we are going to tell in this article.
Last year, despite some difficulties and the Team’s comparatively poor experience n shooting sports events, we were working on on the edge of our capability and were taking absolutely non-standard solutions. But every photographer and operator was not just doing his job. We were diving into this holiday of healthy, sportive way of life. Tired and burned under the merciless May sun, we still realized that we would be willing to do that once more. And then came the next year, the next Half Marathon and a new strength test for athletes, as well as for us and our cameras.
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© sfg.ua
The goals and tasks that the competition organizers usually set for the crew generally do not radically differ from year to year. But knowing all the pitfalls from the previous year’s experience, we decided to prepare for the shooting day more thoroughly. Of course, the top-important task was to shoot the maximum number of participants, to catch their anticipation at the start, fight against themselves, weather conditions and competitors at distances and the most unique emotions at the finish of any of the 9 races *. So three days before the start, the team coordinator, photographers and operators thoroughly studied the entire route of distances, selecting the most suitable points for shooting. Where the city landscapes will look as harmonious as possible in the report photos, where even the most tired participants will be able to see the photographer and will find enough courage to give him a smile for a successful shot, where it will be convenient to shoot for the photographer himself. Such locations included: start / finish zone, hydration point with showers for the runners (here, by the way, one of the most emotional photos were taken by our photographers) and the point near one of the most beautiful places of the Dnipro City — Monastirskiy Island. However, our photographers, looking at runners, could not just be standing in one place for a long time and were in constant motion, following the runners in a 1-2 kilometer radius
To ensure that the fans, who are also a very important part of any sporting event, could also find themselves in photo reports, one photographer was working in the sports town, capturing the fans’ tension and expectations of their champions.
As a result, we made a bright, emotional photo report, which will be interesting to review for the participants and which will motivate newcomers to try themselves at such a dynamic and affordable kind of sports.
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Video shooting is a separate and very complicated process, which becomes even more difficult to fulfill at any sporting event because of the inability to re-shoot, to make a couple of "spare" doubles, etc. 3 video operators were announced to work from SFG, but later on we realized that we could not do without the fourth :) If we go back to last year's video shooting experience, we were immediately aware of the difficulty that the operator who shoots and records the leaders face. In 2016, we made the most fearless operator sit on a sport-bike. Bumpy roads and the inability to properly fix the camera made the picture look far from being perfect, that’s why this year we immediately stipulated this issue with the organizers. They readily accepted the fact that for the sake of the common good and beautiful video, the video shooting of the leaders should be made from the place with conditions that are less extreme for the operator and his camera. SO we were given a spacious trunk of a huge "pickup" Mitsubishi L200, which accompanied the men and women leaders throughout the entire distance. Comparing the uncomfortable seats of the sport-bike and the spacious trunks of Mitsubishi SUVs you will easily guess that the video of the Half Marathon 2017 will be even better than the previous one. Also our operators were working in a more physically relaxed, but at the same time more emotionally tensed start / finish zone.
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© sfg.ua
Summing up all the above said, there were 4 photographers and 4 videographers who continuously were doing their best to make sure that all participants of the event will have the best memories. Also, there were flying drones for shooting general views from the bird’s eye, for these panoramas look great in video reports. These were two Phantom 4 Pro quadcopters. Well, who would ever doubt that we choose the best when it comes to our dear city? ;)
It is worth noting that this year we significantly improved the video quality by shooting it at 60 FPS, which allows us to slow down any particular fragment to have greater effect and beauty while creating teasers and a full video report.
"SFG photographers have broken the prejudice of all the runners about the fact that there can be no good pictures from the race!"
Elena Tokovaya, the participant of all the Run Ukraine Running League 2016-2017 races
In the SFG team there also were a few innovations: two positions, without which the shooting process would have become even more complicated. The assistant working with the footage: a person who heroically agreed to miss all the fun and passions and was sitting humbly in a cafe nearby, with a card reader and a MacBook, waiting patiently for the memory cards, filled with gigabytes of photos and hours of video. This way we saved a lot of time, constantly changing one memory card to another. Also, we invited an assistant for the photographer who helped with the equipment transportation change.
Speaking of equipment. This year we supplied our photographers with monopods, and some operators were also armed with triaxial camera suspensions in order to maximally stabilize the picture when shooting in constant motion. Not to mention the light filters, sets of lenses of different focal length and the cameras themselves.
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© sfg.ua
It is also worth noting that the professionalism and quality indicator of the film crew as a whole is usually estimated by the customers and participants in terms of speed at which the first part of the footage was received. Therefore, our task was to show the most memorable moments as soon as possible, to let the participants, fans and organizers see the results of their races and hard work by the evening of that same day. Thanks to the installation and retouching operators, in only 3 hours after the end of the competition we had a teaser to the upcoming video report and published the first part of photos. The next day photos started to be sent on Pic2Go and the second day after the race we started to give final, corrected pictures. And let's not forget that shooting sports events you have got no time to permanently change camera settings, as well as to frequently change locations and adjusting yourselves or cameras to weather (or rather light !!!) conditions. Despite all the above mentioned, more than 70% of the material (which is about 6000 photos!) was given to the customer on the same day, that is, they were high-quality images ready for publication.
So, comparing the SFG Team’s work at Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon в 2016 and 2017 we will see the following statistics:
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"I was running paying no attention what or who was around me. But thanked to the bright photos I can see and remember that actually there were lots of emotions at my face."
Dmytro Ovcharenko, 10 km Dnipro Run racer
No matter how tacky it might sound, SFG Team is proud to take part in such events. And below you will see a few pictures showing SFG photographers and operators working and sometimes resting:
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Meet Igor: the soldier of light and shadow, he is always armed with cameras and good mood.
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Something is totally wrong with Sergey’s backpack, absolutely right with Vitaliy and by the way, what time is it, what takes the leaders so long?
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Looks like Gleb bet on the right racer!
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Igor is trying on a half-marathon medal, thinking of transferring from a photographer to a marathon racer.
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Sergey was supposed to be the Team coordinator, but it is hard to resist when you have a camera and everyone is so happy.
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When the operator becomes an animator to get the right shot and the emotional storm.
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You don’t mind the weather with a friend together! Our photographer Vlad and operator Vitaliy are ready to meet the runners in the finish zone.
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A Little tired and well tanned Nataly and Ed do not mind having a few pictures either.
We truly hope that the next year we will again be invited to cooperate with Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon 2018, that Dnipro City will be visited by more and more racers and we will be sharing their emotions and saving the best moments of the sport event.
* During Interpipe Dnipro Half Marathon 2017 the following competition distances were hosted:
- 21.0975 km (individuals);
- 21.0975 km (relay);
- 10 km;
- 5 km;
- Charity 2 km race;
- 1 km;
- Children races: 100 m, 500 m and 1000 m;
- 2 km race for disabled people.
By Zhenya Shokun
2017