Jamie Squire, on That Killer Daytona 500 Shot

Remember the amazing USA Today sports front from the the Daytona 500 we blogged last week? Hit the jump to read about exactly how Jamie Squire (along with Matthew Stockman) conceived and shot it.
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There was confusion in the comments on both the technical stuff, and on the seemingly similar photos made by fellow Getty shooter Matthew Stockman. This kind of thing happens way more than you'd imagine when teams of shooters cover big events.

But it is important to understand that what is important is producing the best overall coverage possible as a team, without hot-dogging and shot duplication.


Jamie Squire: How It Was Done

I was on the flagstand for the race and for the finish. Matthew Stockman and I set up the remote before the race. I chose the location. I climbed up the 20-ft ladder and positioned the camera. I came up with the exposure.

It was shot with at Shutter priority -1 stop. (1/30th to be exact.) The camera data shows the aperture at f9. The star effect was a happy accident.

It worked as planned: I deliberately set the slow shutter speed to catch the strobes and underexposed as I knew the flashes might make the subject too hot. The sheer number of strobes that were caught was luck.

There were several other frames that looked nice as well with various strobe patterns, but this was the best with the circular shape of the Gatorade.

The only part that didn't go as planned was that Newman was supposed to turn back toward his crew. I guess he forgot! And, a few of the guys ran off with all the Pocket Wizards I provided! Ha!

Matthew fired the camera from victory lane -- and it was his camera.

It was purely a collaborative effort. When this happens, there is always the controversy over whose shot it is.

One way to solve this is to list joint credit. The images from this camera could have been credited Jamie Squire/Matthew
Stockman. Matt and I have worked together for years. Every year we do the Kentucky Derby and set several cameras in the dirt. Then we divide up the cameras and whichever shots come out of those cameras is how we credit those photos, even though we did the work together for all the cameras.

In this case, there were several usable images. We each chose a couple we liked and put our names on those. So, the similar images on the Getty site did come from the same camera, but are credited differently.

My shot ran in USA Today. Matt's ran in NY Times. Either way, we were both pleased with the outcome.

Maybe that will satisfy everyone's curiosity. I don't think the debate over the credit should diminish the amount of foresight and chance that went into the result.

Also, I have another site aimed more at the professional market and less at the consumer side. Please check out www.jamiesquire.com. There is a Nascar gallery on there as well in case anyone was interested.

Thanks!
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(DH again)

The important thing to understand here is that both Jamie and Matt are professionals. Which mean that (A) they know enough to put themselves in position to catch a little luck and make a great shot. And (B) if collaboration is the best way to do it, that is how it is gonna happen.

Again, the overriding goal is to get the best coverage possible for their organization, which in this case happens to be Getty. Pictures come first, egos second. But that's not to say that they are not still peeing-in-their-pants happy when they first see a frame like this one pop up on the screen.

Best of luck with your new private equity bosses at Getty, guys. And thanks much to Jamie for the back story on an amazing shot.


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