Hi and welcome to this edition of Workshop at the Ranch. This continuing Q&A Series is doing well as many of you are submitting your photographic, lighting, technical, business, and simply thought provoking questions each month. So far I have been able to keep up with personal replies to all of you who have emailed me a question, so keep them coming via the Contact category on my website and I’ll reply with my best effort to answer quickly. And maybe yours will get written up in the next WATR article. Let’s see what Qs arrived into the email bag this month.
Image #1…Air Hollie.
The NEW Nikon D4 Camera.
Answer:.… Hey Kevin, glad you enjoyed the “LIVE” Sports Action Photo Shoot class I gave at Photoshop World in Washington DC this March. This was a large undertaking not only for myself, but for the PSW/Kelby Media Group as well. I approached Scott Kelby with the idea of having a “LIVE” commercial sports action photo shoot on stage and teach the attendees about how to shoot action with large strobes and the Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5 system. Scott thought it was a great idea and so the wheels of progress began to turn and prepare a large enough class setting to accommodate my Elinchrom Ranger RX 1100 ws strobe system, a fog machine, and an Olympic Balance Beam for 2 Time World Champion Hollie Vise to perform on.
Having the NEW Nikon D4 camera for the shoot was a real bonus and the icing on the entire project. The NEW D4 file quality is absolutely beautiful. I’ve just begun using the D4 and find the files very clean at extremely High ISO settings, especially above ISO5000 where I frequently go. The edge detail in its 16.2 megapixel file is superb. Each sequin on Hollie’s leotard is crystal clear. I also see much more clean detail in the shadow areas. This confirms that the Dynamic Range of the D4 file is a noticeable improvement over the D3s. I also own and have been using the NEW Nikon D800 and plan on making some comparisons in the weeks to come. For now, I see no other camera that is better suited for sports action photography and high ISO venues. If you shoot sports events that require clean High ISO settings like ISO4000, 8000, or even 12,000, and demand a beautiful quality image with unmatched edge detail, then this is the camera for you Kevin.
Here is one of the images I made during the class featuring 2 time World Gymnastics Champion, Hollie Vise. NEW Nikon D4, ISO1000, 1/1000 at f5, Nikon 28-300mm zoom lens, WB 5500K, 4 Elinchrom Ranger RX 1100 ws packs with “S” Strobe heads, 2 with Chimera Medium Pro Soft Boxes each with a 40 degree grid to light the athlete and 2 with standard reflectors each with a 30 degree Honey Comb grid to light the fog (left back strobe with a Red Gel and the right back strobe with a Blue Gel, Rosco Fog Machine, Pocket Wizard FLEX TT5 Hyper-Sync wireless system to trigger the strobes at 1/1000 shutter sync speed, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
Many thanks to Kathy Siler at Kelby Media Group for making the arrangements for this class situation become a reality. Thanks also to Bob Mancino for providing us with an Olympic Balance Beam. No man is an Island and so it is for me, so, many thanks to Shawn Cullen of Sports Illustrated for once again being my assistant on this very complex shoot and for being an active instructor for our attendees regarding the strobe set-up. Thanks also to Brad Moore of Kelby Media Group for his assistance with all the camera-laptop-projector transmission technicalities so that the entire class could study each shot I made up on the big screen. And a very special thank you to Hollie Vise who performed with perfection and grace through clouds of fog and strobes flashing.
And!…Rumor has it that I will be giving this class again at Photoshop World in Las Vegas, September 5-7. Come join me for a great class of learning about sports action, shooting on strobes, and watching Hollie fly through the clouds again.
|Image #2 … Cactus Eve.
The difference between the NEW Nikon D800 and D800E cameras.
Question … Hi Dave. I’m a big fan of your website articles in Workshop at the Ranch. Plenty of info, tips and learning, especially for flash work and Lightpainting lessons. Awesome! I’m currently debating whether to by the NEW D800 or D800E. Figure you have one of these in your hands already so your insight would be a help. Thanks in advance. Randy from Oregon.
Answer.… Hi Randy. Great question, and yes, I do have a NEW Nikon D800 in my hands. First off, let me say that I love it and will be purchasing a second D800 soon. At $3,000 its 36.3 Mega Pixels of quality and clean High ISO seem untouchable. Why by two?… so I can set up two different camera positions for my Lightpaintings. My purchase of the NEW D800 is for my Lightpaintings, Speedlight projects, and Strobe work where frame rate per second (fps) is not critical.
I do very little post processing in Photoshop, Nikon Capture, or any other programs. This is a main reason for buying the D800 rather than the D800E. In general the D800 includes an active anti-aliasing filter that automatically addresses any moiré issues. Simply said, the D800E does not have this filtration and thus leaves the photographer to manually address any moiré issues in the post processing phase. My photojournalism background doesn’t emphasize the use of Photoshop applications so tackling an issue like correcting the moiré effect is a bit more than I care to deal with. You may ask, “what about the additional edge sharpness/clarity that the D800E offers because of the absence of the anti-aliasing filter?” Well, this is true, and I know that Nikon and 3rd party filters programs will be available in the future to handle moiré…but, I’m currently more than satisfied with 36.3 mega pixels of quality and less time on the computer doing post processing. A choice that Nikon interestingly leaves up to each photographer. If you shoot landscapes and nature, the moiré effect is less likely to be an issue and thus a D800E might be your preferred choice. However, I will also be shooting athletes and portraits where the moiré effect tends to occur in the uniform, jersey, and clothing, so the D800 with its anti-aliasing filter is perhaps the best choice for me.
So far I am very pleased with the image quality I am seeing in each Nikon D800 file. I have many more images to make under a variety of conditions before I write a complete review of the NEW Nikon D800, but I can tell you Randy that you will not be disappointed no matter which D800 version you purchase. It is extraordinary! For me, the second big reason for buying this camera for my strobe, Speedlight, and Lightpainting work is its clean High ISO capabilities. The D3x produced a terrific file, but had too much noise above ISO800. Much of my Hyper-Sync strobe work and Speedlight High Speed Sync work is shot at ISO settings above ISO1000. The NEW Nikon D800 is very clean at ISO2000 and higher. I’ll be doing more tests and comparisons in the weeks to come, but I am greatly impressed with all this mighty might of mega pixels can do.
This Lightpainting made in the Saguaro National Park west of Tucson, Arizona was my first Lightpainting using the NEW Nikon D800 camera. The clarity of the cactus needles and clean noiseless sky are “impressive, most impressive” (to quote Darth Vader from The Empire Strikes Back.) Nikon D800, ISO1000, 30 seconds at f6.3, Nikon 24-70mm lens, WB 3030K, Brinkmann Max Million II hand held spot light with a Yellow Filter, Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod and head with Kirk “L” Bracket, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
Again, terrific question Randy. Thanks for asking it. Adios. Dave Hope this helps you make a decision as to which NEW Nikon to buy the D800 or D800E. Glad you asked this question Randy. Adios. Dave
Image #3… Velo Sprinter.
Photographer’s image rights with editorial and commercial/advertising clients.
Question: Hello Dave, I was hoping you might be able to provide a little insight into the contract standards for the type of events you shoot. I’m working with a client that has the opinion that they will own the images exclusively. That ties my hands quite a bit as far as being able to use the images for blogging, portfolio, web presence, etc… Is there a standard for this type of photography venue? I understand why they would want to protect their image, it just seems odd to me to give up all my rights. Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Dave, and continued success to you, great work! Best regards, Kelly.
Answer … Hi Kelly. Great question and a topic that every photographer should learn about. First off, let me state that I am not a lawyer or legal counsel in these matters, and that my following answer is from my personal business experience. A contract is whatever the client and photographer agrees to. I am of the mind that photographer’s should want to retain all their rights, both editorial and commercial/advertising, and thus possibly make a resale of the image at a future date. Rights that are editorial rights require no model release. However, if the photographer wants to use or resell the image for a Commercial or Advertising use, then the photographer must obtain such permission, a signature and probably compensation to the subject prior to the image usage.
I own all my images, and thus secure all editorial and commercial and advertising rights for future stock sales, provided I have secured the subjects permission as previously stated. These images are commonly known as “Stock Images” to be sold in the future, commonly known as a “Stock Image Sale.” I can sell my images to editorial publications without obtaining any model releases from the subjects in the images. For any commercial or advertising use I would need to have a signed release (Model Release) from the subject. Usually when a client contacts me to use an existing stock image for commercial or advertising use they already have the subject’s permission and are usually paying the subject for that right. I just supply the image for whatever usage fee the client and I agree to,…a “stock image sale.” But, I also do shoots where I have the subject sign a Model Release for future Commercial and Advertising stock image sales. I pay them a fee and guarantee them should the image be published in a major commercial or advertising usage that I will negotiate an additional fee for them.
When a photographer is hired to photograph, they automatically own all rights. I believe this is stated in the photography copyright law of 1979. Photographer’s only sign their rights away if they enter into a contract that states such language, especially when the contract states “Work For Hire” which, means they are giving up all their rights to the images in exchange for the money agreed upon for the job.
Many clients want to own all the rights from “now until the universe ends” (and I have seen this exact wording in contracts before). It has been my experience that they really only need what is sometimes called “shared rights.” This is where the client owns rights to use the images in all capacities that they need for their project, and the photographer still owns all his/her rights to do what he/she wants regarding future use and resale of the images. Keep in mind that the photographer would need to have the subject sign a Model Release allowing commercial and advertising usage of the image in future stock image sales.
When a client says they want all rights, I simply ask what exactly do they need all rights for? Often times their requirements for image usage are far less than the term “All rights” really suggests. I usually come back with, “Can we have a shared rights agreement?” …or, a contract that might simply restrict me from selling the images to a competitor of the client. Example: When I worked for Newsweek as a contracted freelance photographer, I could not sell to Time magazine or US News and World Report, who are direct competitors, for a contracted duration of 1 month after the publication date. Clients just want to make sure they have some exclusivity and those competitors don’t use the same or similar image.
“Win-Win” situations are tough to find in the business world today, but when the client and photographer work in harmony then everyone can win. And if it is a commercial or advertising use that I have a Model Released subject, then the subject also wins, as they will be compensated again. As mentioned, editorial use does not require a Model Release or paying the subject…if it did, there would be no pictures of people in newspapers or magazines. But I make sure subjects who sign model releases for me are compensated, first for their time/performance, and second, when the image is sold as a commercial or advertising stock image sale.
Within this answer, I am speaking in very general terms…please do not quote me, I am not an attorney, but I do have 30 plus years of experience that is my source to answering your question as best I can. Here is a link to an example contract and terms as the ASMP describes a contractual relationship between Photographer and Client… http://ikuannastudios.com/photography_terms_and_conditions.pdf As you can see in Paragraph #2, the distinction is very clear that this is NOT a Work For Hire situation as I described earlier.
This image of Velodrome Cycling Sprint competition is an example of a sports event where I photographed athletes who had previously signed off on Model Releases prior to competition. Nikon D3s, ISO2000, 1/2500 at f11, Nikon 14-24mm lens, WB 6400K, 4 Nikon SB-900 Speedlights mounted on a FourSquare bracket that is supported on a Gitzo Monopod held by my assistant, RadioPopper PX wireless transmitter and receiver system to trigger the Speedlights in High Speed Sync mode, SU-800 Commander on the D3s hotshoe, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
Without signed Model Releases I can only distribute the images for editorial use. These athletes have signed a model Release stating I have permission to distribute the image for commercial or advertising use. Each athlete was compensated once they signed the model release. Should the image be purchased for use in a major commercial advertising campaign I would negotiate additional compensation for the athletes. It’s the way I like to work with athletes and it gives the athlete and myself a chance to garnish additional compensation after the photo shoot….Win-Win.
Great question and I hope this explanation is helpful to you Kelly. Hopefully this is an answer that many of you can benefit from. Adios. Dave
Wow…that last Q&A was a long one…but a great one. I hope you all have enjoyed the answers to all this month’s questions and all the Q&As I have been posting in the recent WATR articles. Remember, just contact me with your own question via the Contact category on my website and I’ll reply with an answer to you as soon as I can. Any question is a good one so don’t hold back, let me know what question you have on any topic.
See you next time here on Workshop at the Ranch. Adios. Dave