23, Calbro Court, Tuam Rd, Galway

With the lack of frequent of posts, you’d think that I wasn’t up to much, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ll post more about it in my Newsletter shortly. Last week was Glor Tire though, 5 days of solid work shooting for this Gael Media production. Glor Tire translates as ‘Country Voice’ and is a singing contest with 9 contestants, 10 bands (including the cream of Irish country music), 3 judges and 2 presenters. Over the 5 days, 11 episodes were shot, so as you can imagine, it’s a bit intense. Here’s Johnny Brady from his set on the show.

20161110 Glor Tire S13 Thursday Xt10 3071 web

Shooting for the show is hectic. While there are lulls, they’re interspersed with high pressure shooting situations where time is absolutely against you. As the stills photographer, you’re completely squeezing all the required shots in around the production itself. I start with studio style portraits. This year I used the AD360 in the 120cm Octa as my white background. The key light was a 70X70cm softbox with a Neweer rebranded Godox V850. I could’ve used another V850 in the Octa, but the recycle time of the AD360 helped a lot. I held a Lastolite Silver/White Trigrip in my hand to fill in shadows using a modified clamshell setup. Each portrait was shot using a Fuji X-T2 and the 18-55mm lens. Using the dual card slot in the X-T2, I had Raw files going to Slot1, and Small Jpeg going to Slot 2. Slot 2 had an Eye-fi card, which was transmitting to Shutter Snitch on an iPad Mini 2 16Gb. This meant that each contest, judge and presenter could choose their favourite image immediately on set, bypassing the need for 15 selection galleries and back and forth with email.

GTS13BTS Cheers to Noel Vaughen for the BTS shot.

For the show, I ran with a double strap harness (just one I got on eBay). On the right was the X-T2, with the 50-140mm f2.8 Pro lens. On the left was the X-T10 with 18-55mm for the wider scene shots. Because of the nature of the show, I shot JPEG. I truly hope that one day, camera makers will offer a Lossy DNG option, to give JPEG sizes with White Balance and Highlight recovery. Generally, I shoot Raw for everything except super high volume stuff ilke this. I shot over 10,000 images, with a first pass bringing this down to 1000. The next pass will half that. 500 sounds like a lot, but with so much happening, it barely gives a flavour of the show, with a small bit of variety.

For the band nights, there’s 3 bands performing. There’s a contestant solo, and a duet with the band leader, as well as the band shots. Generally I shoot 4-5 songs, then import and do a first pass to get the basic edit done before the next band changes over. It makes better use of the down time, and helps reducing the mountain that edit would be otherwise.

This is my 7th year shooting for the series, and it’s always good fun, albeit a lot of work. For me, the Fuji setup I’m using here has made it the most comfortable series yet. The only way I feel I could improve it, would be to switch the wide setup to another X-T2, and perhaps the 16-55 lens (though the 18-55 performed flawlessly).

When the season begins broadcasting in January, I’ll do more posts with all the photos.

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