1. #1
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    Default Fireground Photography

    My department has recently appointed me as department photographer due to some medical issues. Does anybody have any advice on how to get great fireground photos? These photos will be used for our website and for future training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whitesox4life View Post
    My department has recently appointed me as department photographer due to some medical issues. Does anybody have any advice on how to get great fireground photos? These photos will be used for our website and for future training.
    Go to http://firepics.net

    It cost $1 or $2 a year to register payable through Paypal. There are several topics including apparatus photos, fire ground photos, how to forums, etc. You will be able to find all of what your looking for there.

    Good luck.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Start with a good quality camera. You will want to invest in a digital SLR. Then, get some lenses. If you get a Nikon, you can experiment with even the oldest lenses, they will just be manual focus. This will allow you to see what you want to spend your money on. You can even try talking to some of your local newspaper guys, they should be helpful to get you started. And last, tak a ton of pictures, you will learn what you like and what you camera can do through experience. You can even take a class at a local school or college.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
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    shoot me an email.. bharer75@gmail.com

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    The very few pics I have taken showed a white star blur where the car is supposed to be... dang flash of the camera reflecting off of the license plate.

    Post us some sweet pictures when you get the hang of it

    Be safe, R2

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    Turn off the flash. Nothing will kill a good fire ground picture like the flash catching the reflective stripping and lettering on turnout gear and apparatus. Learn the proper appature (sp?) settings for night and day shots. Perhaps investing in a mono pod to help stop the camera from shaking. Obviously the closer you can get to the action the better your chances of catching really good shots. Get faces. Especially in a volunteer department, everyone wants to see pictures of them selves. (In most paid departments around here getting you're picture taken on scene will often result in you buying the shift dinner, or at least ice cream) On calls where there's not much going on get some good apparatus shots, again play with your fstop and appature settings to figure out what works best with strobes and scene lights. A general rule of thumb is to always get trucks from an angle. Unless there is something specific about a straight on shot that catches your eye. Invest in a decent photo editing program to blur out license plates and faces of people who may not want their faces plastered all over your department's web site. Additionally setting up a video camera wouldn't hurt either, especially since you're probably the only person on scene who is going to have time to do this. Video is an invaluable resource when training and going over incidents. They can also liven up that end of the year banquet video that always ends up on youtube ;-). Most good fire ground shots will require you messing with the camera settings so don't get discouraged if it takes a few tries to get the results you're looking for.
    I live to train so you can train to live.

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    take a lot of pictures and do it as often as possible. You need to get a feel for it. Also snap multiple pictures at different settings. You should end up with at least one good picture of what you wanted.

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    Good luck with your new appointment. Now on to something more serious... The White Sox rule!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Does it bother anyone else having all these people taking pictures and filming at every scene? I can go along with a Dept appointed photographer but it seems like everybody and their brother is filming at every MVA and fire I go to. I have seen people more interested in getting "the shot" than helping the victims. Scratch your butt and its all over youtube!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAPPYY View Post
    Does it bother anyone else having all these people taking pictures and filming at every scene? I can go along with a Dept appointed photographer but it seems like everybody and their brother is filming at every MVA and fire I go to. I have seen people more interested in getting "the shot" than helping the victims. Scratch your butt and its all over youtube!
    Not from an investigators standpoint. Most of the time, the buffs are just as proficient in their work as the press photographers, but see the big picture. No "freedom of the press" nonsense. I have had any number of them provide photos that have important investigative data in them. I can't think of one time where one of the legitimate buffs have refused to cooperate. Does it cost me money sometimes? Sure. But it is most of the time worth it.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAPPYY View Post
    Does it bother anyone else having all these people taking pictures and filming at every scene? I can go along with a Dept appointed photographer but it seems like everybody and their brother is filming at every MVA and fire I go to. I have seen people more interested in getting "the shot" than helping the victims. Scratch your butt and its all over youtube!
    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Not from an investigators standpoint. Most of the time, the buffs are just as proficient in their work as the press photographers, but see the big picture. No "freedom of the press" nonsense. I have had any number of them provide photos that have important investigative data in them. I can't think of one time where one of the legitimate buffs have refused to cooperate. Does it cost me money sometimes? Sure. But it is most of the time worth it.
    CAPPYY- not all of us buffs are evil. Going along with what George said, after an incident, I used to study my photos very carefully. If I saw anything that I thought may have been even remotely interesting to investigators, they had copies the next business day (many times I spent money out of my own pocket for postage as I often rode with companies in cities a good hike from my home.) Yes I have been to jobs where it appeared that there were more buffs than firefighters (Camden, NJ Mischief Night 1992 comes to mind) but dont let them give us ALL a bad name. (Oh and by the way, if I shoot an incident when I was riding with a company, that company automatically got 8x10's.....There is more than one FDNY, Newark NJ and Philadelphia Firehouse with my photos hanging in their kitchens or day rooms.)

    Quote Originally Posted by NorthendTruckin View Post
    Turn off the flash. Nothing will kill a good fire ground picture like the flash catching the reflective stripping and lettering on turnout gear and apparatus.
    I disagree with this statement- Nightime fireground shots are one of themost dynamic, constantly changing situations when concerning light and photography. A flash is almost always required for every shot, with maybe the exception of a well-lit scene (using apparatus scene lighting) or perhaps "dramatic" shots like smoke or silhouette shots. If your flash is making chrome or scotchlite reflect too much, try an adjustable flash with a dispersing filter, along with a filter for your lenses (I cant remember the polarity of the filters I used right now, if I think of it later I will post.)

    For the OP- many fire service training organizations offer classes on fireground photography- take one! Or find a local community college and take some basic photography courses. Good fireground photography demands a basic knowledge of light and the mechanics of a camera. If you have any questions, shoot me a PM!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    I disagree with this statement- Nightime fireground shots are one of themost dynamic, constantly changing situations when concerning light and photography. A flash is almost always required for every shot, with maybe the exception of a well-lit scene (using apparatus scene lighting) or perhaps "dramatic" shots like smoke or silhouette shots. If your flash is making chrome or scotchlite reflect too much, try an adjustable flash with a dispersing filter, along with a filter for your lenses (I cant remember the polarity of the filters I used right now, if I think of it later I will post.)
    Even a couple of layers of tissue paper held by an elastic band over the flash will work. (Carry extra).

    If you spent money on a good camera, spend money on a good flash. I have a Sunpak that has a bounce head as well as a power adjustment (3/4, 1/2, etc). W/o a flash, your images are boring as crap.

    You want to see great photos? For those fires at sunrise or sunset, not in darkm but not complete sunlight, use the flash to "fill-in" the image. Unbelievable, sharp image.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    My advice would be to visit www.eastcoast911.com

    Contact the guy that runs that site. He shows up at alot of fires in Philly and surrounding communities and has taken alot of remarkable shots. I met a few of them on firegrounds and they always seem more than willing to talk about what and how they do what they do.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

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