Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Best View Isn't Always From The Top...

I knew it would happen... and by 'it' I mean karma would not turn a deaf ear to my talk about the great changes in store for my recent MMA shoot. Oh no, she was listening alright, and she decided to pay me a visit.

Actually, the view is pretty good up here.
Everything started off great. I gave the new camera (Panasonic AG-HVX 200) a once-over and made sure I knew where the main controls were, loaded it up with a battery and P2 cards and started shooting. I got some basic shots of the fighters warming up in the locker rooms and some shots of the venue. After that, it was time to climb.
Yep, that's where I work...
However, before I could shimmy up the ladder, I came to a sad realization: I'm a big, fat weakling. Well, the real problem was that I couldn't climb the ladder one handed and carry the camera up. After a quick bit of thinking on my part, I remembered that I had a quick-release setup on my T2i strap(which I had upgraded with larger clips). Before you ask, yes there was a strap in the camera case for the HVX, but instead of taking 5 minutes or more to weave that strap onto the camera and who knows how long getting it undone later, I simply clipped on my strap in a matter of seconds.
Panasonic AG-HVX 200
Now for the fun parts. Unfortunately, based on working with another Panasonic camera, I thought the "time remaining" indicator for my P2 media was my battery life. So with the battery level still above half, I was expecting the time to roll over like normal. I was not expecting my camera to stop recording... in the middle of a fight. That made for a very fast climb down from the crow's nest to change out cards.

Speaking of batteries, they were my other pain that evening. After doing some research to double-check the expected battery life, I've come to the decision that my batteries were slightly past their prime or the HVX is a serious battery hog. Either way, I was barely able to get two 3+ hour batteries to last the entirety of a three hour event. So, following the bad karma theme of the evening, despite my efforts to charge one of the batteries during an intermission it still died with 10 seconds left in the second round of a fight. Luckily I was able to go back to my first battery and limp through the rest of the evening before it died again.

The rest of the evening went well. Shooting from the crow's nest was great and I didn't have a single drunk fan yell at me to get out of the way. There were a lot of good fights that I hope to share once they are available. I just felt bad that things had not gone entirely problem free.

So, what's next? Well, I won't be shooting MMA again until September, but there are plenty of weddings and event coverage already on the schedule between now and then. Not to mention jobs I book along the way, so stay tuned, it's looking like a busy summer.

Thanks for Reading!


  1. But I liked the idea of you getting punched in the face by a left hook gone wrong.

  2. I hear that way too often these day, lol.