Photo by Vince Becker
Frequently Asked Questions
All information and images on this site are Copyright © 2004-2007 Fried Elliott, all rights reserved. Use is granted under the following conditions:
SAILORS, CLASS, & HOST ORGANIZATIONS: The images are posted for your personal use and the benefit of the class and host organizations running the regattas. Individuals can download them to print on your printer or look at on your computer. Class authorities, host organizations, and event sponsors may use the images to promote the class and event without restriction provided a photo credit to "FRIED ELLIOTT/www.friedbits.com" is given when used.
I make every effort to shoot as close to the action as possible while always being sensitive to the concerns of the racers and race committee. Such access requires the cooperation of the class and race organizers, the PRO, and the participants themselves. I thank everyone for that privilege and your tolerance.
It also requires a dedicated launch and a very good driver. Shooting pictures of this nature is like racing in that it takes good teamwork. I can only record what I am in position to capture. Many thanks to all my fantastic drivers!
Much of what I've learned about photography I credit to Nikonians and the many helpful members one finds there.
I raced small one-designs for over 25 years both as crew and skipper. I try to create images that strongly resonate with those we all carry in our minds as racing sailors, what we see and remember from our on-the-water perspective as "players inside the game” we know and love.
I try to pre-visualize my images while being alert to the action as it unfolds given the conditions of the day. The nature of the subject, shooting conditions, and extreme magnification all combine to make for some challenging photography. In the course of a day, I will fire 400-1000 exposures. I am happy if 50-100 are acceptable for a web album and if three to five cause me to say, “Wow, I feel like I'm out there.”
In my albums you will not find pictures that might reflect poorly on the sport of sailing or the sailors themselves. You will not see flapping sails or sheets dragging carelessly in the water, a sailor losing control of sails, spars, or themselves, boats heeling to an excessive degree, or sailors struggling to right an overturned boat; all of which seem to be so popular with newspaper editors or publishers who know little about the sport. In a few instances, your boat may be a bit cleaner in spots and you yourself may have benefited from a few digital photo touch-up tricks routinely used for super models and rock stars. As Snoop would say, “It’s all good.”
My primary purpose is to create images that can be used to promote the class in press coverage, advertising, fleet building, and regatta participation. Also, I am an amateur photographer and selling prints to the participants is not my profession. For these reasons, I do not go out with the express intent of getting a snapshot of every boat. This can result in my having many shots of one boat and none of another and if I have missed you, I do apologize.
SUGGESTION TO SAILORS: Some of the best “racing” photographs you see published were not taken during races so when not racing, feel free to buzz the photo boat and I’ll try to get a good shot of you. If you want a portrait shot, heave to approx. 10 yards distant, sit closer together, look directly at the camera, and smile! If you want an “action” shot, let me know your intent then start approx. 50-60 yards away and sail by with a closest approach of about 10 yards. Good pictures show your faces (can you see my camera?) and your boat in good racing trim so plan your approach accordingly. Be sure to look at whatever you would be looking at when on that point of sail (probably NOT the camera!) and smile (or not) depending on your game face.
Album Viewing Instructions
Select an album from the list, which will send you to the first page of image thumbnails. At this point you can navigate to other pages of thumbnails or you can launch the automatic display of the images in the album. To do so, double-click the first thumbnail in the album and click on the start/stop slideshow button.
1. Turn down the room lights
2. Set your monitor's resolution to 1024x768 or higher
3. Set your monitor's color temperature to 6500K and gamma to 2.2 (Windows usually defaults to this; Macs may need to adjust their settings)
4. Adjust brightness and contrast so that you see all seven shades of gray betweeen the 1st (black) and 9th (white) samples in the test pattern below. The 2nd and 8th samples are very subtle.
Colors on your monitor may not reflect the colors I see while editing on my calibrated monitor. Unlike brightness and contrast, when it comes to color I cannot simply post a patch of red and advise you to "set your monitor so this is red"; however, I can give you some general guidance. When setting the color balance during editing I try to get the sails to appear crispy white (even though in real life they rarely are) and I err to the blue side (rather than red, green or yellow) because the sails, water, and sky just seem to look better on monitors this way. Also, the colors are a bit more saturated than you would see in the real setting, which gives them a little of that "punch" increasingly common in commercial photography. These two adjustments can cause some skin tones to appear more orange than normal. In some images, detail in the whites (like sails or topsides) may be lost because I adjust the exposure during post processing so that faces and other details are not entirely lost in shadow.
Obtaining High Resolution Negatives or Prints
The following options are available:
If you wish to receive a high resolution digital negative, please let me know what finished size you need and resolution, as well as any color management settings and file format. Digital negatives are $15 per file.
If you are interested in having a higher quality print made, I can have the print produced at a professional photo lab here in Dallas and mailed to you at a nominal cost. Finished prints vary in size from 8"x10" to 30"x40". Prices are as follows and include postage:
8X10 $ 25 11X14 $ 40 16X20 $ 50 20X24 $ 60 20X30 $ 65 24X30 $ 70 24X36 $ 75 30X40 $ 100
The first step is to select a few images (make note of their file names) for printing. When you select your images, please consider:
- The images in the albums were cropped using the scale and proportion I felt best suited the raw digital negative. When I create your print, I will return to that negative and recrop to fit the dimensions of your framing and borders. This may alter the composition of the image. I recommend you choose a frame and mat that corresponds as much as possible to the proportions of the online image.
- If you look closely, you will notice some images are sharper than others. Images that are noticeably "soft" will not make good enlargements beyond perhaps 11x14. If you want a large print, I recommend you give preference to images that are crisp and show good detail.
- The D2X produces a digital negative of over 12 megapixels. However, some of the images are cropped so tightly that what you see may only be 20% of the total pixels. While this is still more than sufficient to create a terrific online photo, it may be insufficient to produce a large print. There is no way for you to know this by looking at the online photo so be aware I may reply that the image you have chosen for a 20x30 enlargement may not be capable of scaling to that size.
In conjunction to selecting your images, I recommend you visit your local picture framing store. Here you should give some thought to:
- The type and size of frame you would like to use
- Use of a mat (and if so, what does that leave for the image size interior to the mat) or no mat
- If the print should have borders (and if so, how much on top, bottom, left, right) or no borders (full bleed)
- If you would like the print to have titling on the bottom (sometimes referred to as "poster style").
Next, send me an email (fried @ friedbits.com) and let me know your thoughts. I'll take a look at the digital negatives for the images you've selected and reply with my assessment concerning the quality of the print we can expect. At that point you can decide what you would like to do and we'll take the next steps. Allow three to four weeks for the entire process.
Equipment & SW Used
I use a Nikon D2X digital SLR and a number of Nikkor lenses. On the water I primarily use a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR telephoto and a Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR zoom telephoto (sometimes with a Nikon TC-17E tele-converter); all of which gives me a 35mm equivalent telephoto range of 105-780mm. Digital cropping may also result in as much as an additional 60% image magnification. Onshore I use a variety of Nikkor lenses from 10.5mm to 85mm.
Complete list of photography equipment:
- Bodies & Memory
- Nikon D2X Digital SLR
- Nikon D100 Digital SLR
- SanDisk Extreme III 8GB CompactFlash (x2)
- SanDisk Extreme III 4GB CompactFlash (x4)
- Nikkor 70-200mm AF-S VR 1:2.8G ED
- Nikkor 70-180 AF Micro 1:4.5-5.6D ED
- Nikkor 28-70mm AF-S 1:2.8D ED
- Nikkor 12-24mm AF-S 1:4G DX ED
- Nikkor 300mm AF-S VR 1:2.8G ED
- Nikkor 85mm AF 1:1.4D
- Nikkor 50mm AF 1:1.4D
- Nikkor 10.5mm AF Fisheye 1:2.8G DX ED
- Nikon Teleconverter TC-17EII 1.7X
- Nikon DR-4 Right-Angle Viewer
- Bushnell Yardage Pro Range Finder
- Nikon: L37c; 5T
- B+W filters: UV, 81A, KSM C-Pol
- Singh-Ray filters: 2-SS, 2-HS, 3-HS gradient ND; Benson 3-stop reverse ND; Vari-ND; Gold-n-Blue
- Canon 500D supplementary close-up lens
- Kirk Stack Caps
- Flash & Lighting
- Nikon SB-800 i-TTL Speedlight
- Nikon SC-17 Flashcords
- RRS 87-B Flash Bracket & MPR-CL Focusing Rail
- Better Beamer Flash Extender
- Lowel Pro Lites (x2) and accessories
- Tripods & Brackets
- Gitzo 1325MK2 Tripod
- Markins M10 Ballhead
- RRS L-Brackets for D2X and D100
- RRS LCF-10B Replacement Foot for 70-200mm VR
- Novoflex MiniPod
- Wimberly Sidekick
- Kinesis Gear Belt System and X-Harness
- Lowepro Road Runner AW Rolling Camera Backpack
- Tenba PD-17C ProDigital 2.0 Shoulder Bag
- AquaTech SS-300 Raincover with D2X and D100 Eyepiece Adapters
- Gepe Card Safe Extreme Watertight Case
Post processing I use Bibble, Photoshop CS2, EXIFUtil, JAlbum, and DreamWeaver MX. Slideshows are created using PicturesToEXE (P2E) and Audacity.
Correspondence: Fried Elliott
PO Box 191365
Dallas, TX 75219
2525 Turtle Creek Blvd #430
Dallas, TX 75219
email: fried @ friedbits.com