Podcast: EP24 – Remote Control

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Matt gets back to shooting basketball. Ryu gushes about shooting at Old Trafford and makes a vow to get better at shooting basketball.

Master Class
Mark Rebilas joins us again and we take an extensive look at remotes, including what can go wrong. Check out Mark’s photoblog and follow him on Twitter.

Training Ground
In case you missed the news, we’ve moved Training Ground to video. If you’d like to participate (and we think you should), enter your pictures in the Flickr thread and make sure to tag them BLFSTG201302.

You Win
Our January 2013 themed competition was “Show Us What You Learned From BLFS in 2012.”
The winner was Bashar Alshabi with this unique long jump picture:
Second place was a football picture you almost never see by Kenneth Armstrong, and third place was David Kivlichan with a tricky track & field panning picture.
The February 2013 themed competition is “Indoor Sports”. Goto our BLFS flickr group page for competition rules and to enter.
Don’t forget to vote in The Golden Bib competition to help us choose the best BLFS picture of 2012.

Not Quite Angry Matt
After hearing from a few young photographers that a certain well-known baseball-only photographer has blown off their questions, Matt details his own run-in with him, and challenges professionals everywhere to help, not hide from, young photographers.

This is a transcript of a special comment that ran in Episode 24.

We do this podcast to share the knowledge we’ve gained. Lots of people helped me get better as a sports photographer, and I feel a certain responsibility to do the same for people who are serious and put in the effort.

Over the last couple of months I’ve heard from a few of our listeners, independently, who have emailed an experienced baseball-only photographer with questions only to be blown off fairly rudely. Had this story not matched with my own experience, I probably wouldn’t have noticed, but this is actually exactly my experience with this guy.

Rewind about 5 years, I was preparing to shoot my first SF Giants game. My mentor, a photo editor and ex SI & newspaper photographer was running down all of the things to keep in mind, and then said “If you run into Brad Mangin, introduce yourself and tell him I’m helping you out and ask him about the specific rules at AT&T park.” Well, as fate would have it, I found myself in the third base well sitting next to Brad Mangin, so I introduced myself between innings. Mentioned my mentor and asked him what the deal was with getting from the third base well to the first base well. And the answer was…a five minute monologue on why I shouldn’t be allowed to shoot (He didn’t like the company I used to shoot for or spec shooting in general) and some jabs at my mentor and the company he used to work for. Never did get even the beginnings of an answer to my question. Welcome to the big leagues, meat.

I haven’t had any dealings with Mangin since. I don’t shoot much baseball, and he only shoots baseball, I think because he can sit in a chair the whole time. But I’ve heard about him trying to get another photographer kicked out of The Coliseum for drinking out of the dugout water fountain, and other questionable moves.

We have a lot of mutual friends, so I’ve mostly kept my mouth shut about all of this. But I don’t like seeing young photographers that we’re trying to help here being shit on. You have a professional responsibility to make sure that the craft of sports photography is passed down. When you play the social media game, yes, Brad Mangin, who longs for the days of film when far fewer people could shoot, is all over Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. But social media is a 2 way street. You can’t constantly pump your work out and then be rude or ignore to the people who consume it. At least not without getting called out for it.

Our goal here is to teach people how to think about and shoot sports pictures differently. No one is going to listen to our podcast and read our posts and be able to go out and shoot soccer exactly like Ryu or rodeo exactly like I do. Our vision, skills and experience will always differentiate us. If you’re a professional like Brad Mangin who thinks that you’re holding off the competition by blowing them off, I have 2 things to say to you:

1. You’re probably not as good as you think you are
2. There will always be someone coming up behind you, whether you’re willing to help them or not. So don’t be rude.

So, Brad, in the interest of equal time, if you think I have this all wrong, please come on our show and we’ll interview you.

Special thanks to…
Icon by Arvin Bautista

*Please Read Below*
Big Lens Fast Shutter is funded solely from the pockets of Ryu Voelkel and Matt Cohen. If you think the information we give you about sports photography is making you a better sports photographer and as a result a well balanced human being, please show us your appreciation by supporting us on Patreon and send some of your hard earned dollars/euros/Brixton pounds our way. People who donate will be mentioned on our next show unless you want to remain anonymous. Thank you for supporting us and may the force of sports photography be with you, always.

4 thoughts on “Podcast: EP24 – Remote Control

  1. Thanks for doing the segment on remotes. Would it be possible for you to link to recommended products that might work well as a remote “starter kit”? In the podcast magic arms, super clamps, and safety cable were mentioned, but there seem to be quite a few options available.

    Also, I’ve never used Pocketwizards, but when using them, do you just leave it transmitting the whole game or are you frequently turning it off and on depending on the game situation? For example, if you have a remote camera aimed at home plate and the transmitter is “on”, is it firing every time you fire your camera in-hand? If that’s the case you would end up with tons of, likely useless, photos of batters and such if it goes off every time you’re shooting something else with your in-hand camera. Then again I’m not sure how cumbersome it is to turn the transmitter off and on again as the game situation changes. So I was just curious how firing the remote camera works with the transmitter basically.

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