Well, I now sit here ready to begin a new process in the profession I chose as my career called photojournalism. I began my journey to this point nine years ago, after I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. I have worked at four newspapers in this short amount of time, and I have undergone many of these new endeavors. Learning to blog will be one more experience that I can add to my ever growing list of experiences that I have been able to learn from and enjoy just because of the career choice I made (it seems) forever ago. This is my first attempt at blogging, so forgive me until I hone in my blogging skills, and most of all wish me luck……….Here goes.
THE STEEL LASSO
For my first entry I am writing a ‘How was that photo taken’ post for a photos I took on the opening of the Steel Lasso roller coaster.
I was given an assignment to photograph the official opening of the Steel Lasso roller coaster at Frontier City. The directions were simple go get a photo that can carry page one. Easier said than done, but don’t tell anyone I said that.
I was given the assignment a few hours ahead of time, so I tried to put some thought into what I might do before I got there. Since there are a number of limitation to getting a ‘GOOD’ photo when taking pictures of a roller coaster, one being that it is hard for me to shoot those behind me while riding the thing, and it is not a guarantee that you will get a good photo by standing on the ground watching others enjoy the thrill ride as they zoom past you overhead.
Mickey and Amber Reed, from left, enjoy the front seat thrill ride on the new Steel Lasso roller Coaster at Frontier City on Thursday, July 24, 2008, in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Steel Lasso is the Oklahoma’s first suspended roller coaster. Staff Photo by Chris Landsberger
So, I hit my head on the wall a few times, paced the hallways and finally settled on an idea. I then grabbed my photo assignment, cameras and a few other photography gadgets, and off I went to Frontier City.
Now for my idea, I decided to mount a remote camera to the front of the roller coaster that would allow me to shoot back towards the thrill seekers getting their first ride on the new coaster. A remote camera is an unmanned camera so to speak that is securely mounted on a Magic Arm and controlled by radio remotes called Pocket Wizards. This allows the camera to go for the ride, and I get to keep my feet safely on the ground while shooting the pictures.
Here is a look at what items I used.
Canon Mark lln with 15mm fisheye lens mounted to a magic arm.
Pocket Wizard radio remotes.
The most important item of all Gaffers Tape. Always a life saver.
The process is pretty easy after you get some practice mounting a remote camera. I will detail the steps as follows.
1. Clamp magic arm to sturdy beam on the front of the roller coaster.
2. Mount a 15mm fisheye lens on my Canon Mark lln camera.
3. Mount camera to magic arm, and position camera to shoot the front two seats of the roller coaster.
4. Prefocus lens on the seats, use gaffers tape to prevent focus from moving.
5. Secure magic arm and camera with safety cables.
6. Use a Canon remote cord to connect Pocket Wizard radio remote to camera.
7. Use gaffers tape and rubber bands to secure radio remote to the roller coaster.
8. Test fire radio remotes to make sure the camera does take a picture when you need it to.
9. Double/tripple/quadruple check to make sure everything is tight and secure and that nothing can fall off the roller coaster in any fashion what so ever.
10. Send the camera on a test ride (without passengers), fire some test shot with the handheld radio remote and wait for the roller coaster to get back to the control booth.
11. Now you can make sure that it took pictures, then double/tripple/quadruple check everything one more time to make sure it is securely in place.
12. Load up the passengers and let the fun begin.
Robert King and Joshua Scott, from left, go for a thrill ride as they enjoy the new Steel Lasso roller coaster at Frontier City on Thursday, July 24, 2008, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Staff Photo by Chris Landsberger
Nikki Birdsall uses her cell phone to take a picture of her brother Andrew as he holds on for dear life while they take a ride on the new Steel Lasso roller coaster at Frontier City on Thursday, July 24, 2008, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Staff Photo by Chris Landsberger.
That is the quick run down on how the photo was taken, I had a great time and was able to work with some great people at Frontier City that allowed me to get some very fun photos. In the end as with most assignment I had a lot of fun and was happy with the photos I took, I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed the process of capturing them.
- Chris Landsberger