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Monday, October 9, 2017

Shooting Roller Coasters at Sea World | #BTS Behind the Scenes

Why to Always be Prepared for the Unexpected

Final Hero Image of the all new Mako rollercoaster at Sea World Orlando

    SeaWorld Orlando has always been a very special place for me. I can remember going to the park as little kid back in the, dare I say 90’s and having the time of my life.

    Now the park brings me back at an almost monthly basis with my wife to feed dolphins, ride roller coasters, and watch our all time favorite/largest performer, Tilikum, at one of the numerous “Shamu” shows through the year.
Park guests aboard the new Mako RollerCoaster at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, United States
    I was beyond excited when given the opportunity to shoot a few campaigns within the park! For the first shoot I had to capture a single image of the new roller coaster, Mako, with full attendance on board! I would be shooting in the morning before the park opened and only get 3 passes to get the money shot!

    "Let me also mention the fact I would have to be sure that 24 people would have to look perfect while hitting a bank at 70+ miles per hour."

Park guests aboard the new Mako RollerCoaster at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, United States

    After an initial scouting day and being shown the limited area we could shoot in, I decided on the one and only location that had the look they were going for. For overall image quality I decided to use the PhaseOne to get the best overall look for shooting backlit in the morning with a little added fill light from 3 Elinchrom Rangers. 
    Because of the amount of people that had to look perfect and I would only be taking one frame, I planned on using my Induro 3 series tripod to at least keep the angles the same for post editing reasons. 
    I also wanted to have a backup angle that would also be set up on burst mode that I brought along the Nikon D800 with Induro 2 series tripod. This way I could shoot with the PhaseOne and remotely trigger the Nikon to get two separate images.
Nikon D800 and PhaseOne IQ250 remote camera setups

Find the Elinchrome Rangers

    On the arrival morning the secondary client surprised me with a shot list that had three different locations on it. I was uncomfortable with the fact that I would only get one chance for everyone to look perfect at each location on the roller coaster.
    Luckily I did the “just in case” packing job and had a few extra Nikon cameras and Induro tripods that were originally going to be used for the Elinchrom Rangers set up.
    My assistant and I ended up setting up 2 other remote camera that were on the same receiver channel as the back up Nikon D800. I would be shooting through the Phaseone view finder as I was manually triggering a remote that would be triggering all the other cameras on set.
"This way the client would get all 3 angles covered, and I would be getting 3 chances to get the hammer shot from every angle."
A map of our camera positions and overall set up for this shoot

    An added benefit of the cameras being securely mounted in place on the Induro tripods, is the ability to easily edit the images and pick out and replace a few of the people in every shot to get the perfect image for the client (being able to swap out someone’s face covered in hair).
    This was a lifesaver for me with the turn around time, as I also had to fully change out the sky in every shot because it was unexpectedly cloudy and over cast that morning.
Original image without post-production

Final image with sky added in post-production

"This was a perfect reminder of the importance of always being prepared for the unexpected, even on a well-planned shoot. Bringing the few extra back ups ended up making the shoot smoother, professional looking for the main client, and possibly saving the shoot."
    As an added bonus after the shoot I was able to shoot a few images of the "performers from Sea Worlds "Clyde and Seamore's Sea Lion High"  This was the highlight of my entire day!  We got 15 minutes with the models and sea lion to capture a few additional images for summer time advertising.  With how well the sea lions are trained we were able to knock the images out in no time and get a few extra minutes to hang with the sea lions and get a few selfies!
Hero Image form Sea World's Clyde and Seamore Sea Lion High shoot.
Behind the scenes of the clyde and seamer sea lion high shoot.


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