Year Two (99) – Working with an assistant

Working with an assistant is great fun, not only do you have company on the shoot, some one to watch your back whilst you are creating images you also get to have your photo taken in action and you get to exchange ideas.

Our equipment:

  • Canon 5D mark iii
  • 28-300mm  canon lens
  • Canon 7D mark ii
  • Sigma 150-500mm lens

We swapped lens and cameras during the evening to get the shots and looks that we were going for… and I would have said prior to editing the Canon lens was better, but the Sigma got us closer to where we needed to be, especially on the crop camera.. It highlighted the importance significantly of having both cameras set up the same, and having them time synced.


Me – Taken on Canon 5D mark ii, 28-300mm lens taken by my assistant – ISO800, F3.5, 1/800 sec


My Assistant – Taken on Canon 7D Mark iii, 28-300mm lens taken by me – ISO 3200, 1/250sec, F5.6

It is interesting how we both used the same lens to capture these images, how much the light changed bu shooting angle, and the time – they were captured half an hour apart, and how different our body positions are …  but how both of us are focused on our subjects!


Canon 7D mark ii, 28-300mm lens, at 28mm – F4, 1/640sec, Iso800

I like the story from this image – the Coastguard in the foreground has a white helmet and it the sector manager, looking onto the scene, in the middle of the image is the Coastguard heading off to the casualty and behind them in the background are the RNLI – different helmets again, and looking into the scene.

Joint Excercise with Lymington Coastguard, Lymington RNLI and th

Canon 5d Mark iii, 150-500mm lens, 247mm focal length, ISO12800, F5.6, 1/400sec

To get a sharp image without camera shake it is essential that the shutter speed is more than the focal length – in this case it meant pushing up the ISO as the lens was on the widest aperture…  I don’t think the high ISO takes anything away from the image, and here you can see the Coastguard on the right working with the fire service on the left, out in the mud – an example of multi agency work.I was lucky enough to be invited along to attend a training between HC Coastguard, the Fire Service and the RNLI and to capture them in action practicing their mud rescue training…  the challenge however was getting close enough to the action without getting in the way, working with low light, fast shutter speeds and cameras at full zoom.

Joint Excercise with Lymington Coastguard, Lymington RNLI and th

Canon 7D Mark ii, 28 -300mm lens at 300mm – ISO1600, 1/100sec, F6.3

The 7D is not so great at low light but with the image stabliser turned on in the lens, this was a risky shot that told a story… The RNLI lifeboat could not get close enough to the action, so some of the crew had walked ashore and had found a place to watch the rescue… their boat was traveling up and down the river behind and I looked across just in time to capture them together. The blue helmets in the RNLI boat are coastguard – so once again show multiagency work.

My final selection consisted of:

  • 12 photos on the Canon 5D mark iii with the 150-500mm lens
  • 6 photos on the Canon 5D Mark iii with the 28-300mm lens
  • 7 photos on the Canon 7D Mark ii with the 150-500mm lens
  • 26 photos on the Canon 7D Mark ii with the 28-300mm lens

The break down is interesting… more images were keepers on the higher quality glass lens and these are significantly sharper, but the hidden factor is of course – by sharing cameras and lens with my assistant, I am not sure who took which images…

You can view the full gallery here. Coastguard Multi agency Photos