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Featured Pro Photographer: Fred Vuich
Photographer Q & A
What's the most intriguing aspect of creating your 360° GigaPan images?
The GigaPan images are pretty straight forward. You go to your assignment set up and shoot. The 360 virtual reality shoots are a little trickier in that you have to find place to shoot where there is something interesting behind you. As a photographer this is something you normally would not have to think about.
How has this new form of panoramic photography changed your working style and workflow?
When you are shooting for SI, there is almost no computer time. You simply load the images into the Opus Software and it takes care of everything. Doing 360's and GigaPans, you are spending a lot of time stitching and photoshopping images to get them ready for publication.
Do identity and privacy issues ever come into play when you shoot and publish a GigaPan image?
The only time the issue has come up was at an NFL game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, New York. The Bills' media coordinator wanted to make sure that the coaches' play charts would not be able to be read in the GigaPan.
Do you have a dream location or event you've yet to shoot with GigaPan technology? If so, where or what is it?
For a 360 virtual reality I would like to shoot the Oval Office. I think the ultimate GigaPan would be in the Sistine Chapel. It would be wonderful to be able to zoom in on all of the paintings.
What hardware do you typically carry in your S&F Series set-up to cover a golf tournament?
In the utility bag I carry my sequence camera as well as the card wallet. On my right hip I have an S&F Lens Exchange Case where I carry my Nikon 16-35mm lens. Continuing around, the next pouch carries a water bottle and in the last pouch I carry my phone and chamois. My assistant carries other lenses, rain gear and a flash in a Lowepro backpack.
Describe the moment or event that inspired your decision to become a photographer.
It wasn't a single event or moment. I had an aunt who was a terrific amateur photographer who introduced me to photography. Next to being the center fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was my dream career. I am one of the lucky few who got to do exactly what he wanted to do in life.
What is your favorite photography tip to share with other photographers?
The best place to make a great photo is the place where you are. Don't worry about where you are assigned. Make pictures.
Favorite photography book and why?
Life Photographers: What They Saw. Rather than a book about f-stops and shutter speeds, this book gets into the minds of the photographers. They explain what they were experiencing and how they interacted with their subjects while covering some of the 20th century's most important events.
What's the best advice you ever received from a fellow photographer?
SI photographer Bob Martin told me to shoot everything horizontal. He said that if an image was strong enough for the cover they would crop into it and make it vertical. Sound advice.
What photography project or assignment has been most memorable for you and why?
At Golf Magazine we had a series called "18 Holes With". The "18 Holes With: Mickey Mantle" was the most memorable single assignment that I have ever done. While Mantle had a reputation for sometimes being difficult, he was great to deal with and he entertained us for the whole day with non-stop baseball stories.
If you could publish a book on any photographic subject, what would it be?
It would have to be a golf book. I am not sure I have enough material to publish a book on any other subject.
What do you like best about your Lowepro gear?
The first thing you notice about the products is how well they are built. When you begin to use the bags you understand how well they are designed. The rolling cases have pouches and zippered pockets exactly where you need them. When going through an airport, you never feel like you are dragging your roller bag. It rolls effortlessly behind you. I use the S&F system more than anything else in the Lowepro line. Being out on the golf course for long days, I appreciate how light and comfortable the system is. Being able to open and close the S&F pouches with one hand is very important while balancing a long lens on a monopod as well as cameras hanging off of both shoulders.
Take a look at Fred's rich and varied body of work on his web site. See an awesome GigiPan he took of the National Hockey League's fifth Winter Classic on SI.com. And check out the latest images from Golf Magazine, including a shot of recent U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson.
Fred Vuich's Lowepro gear includes:
See the 360-degree view of Fred's Virtual Reality image from the 2012 U.S. Open.
Fred Vuich:Web Site
When Tiger Woods won his fourth straight major at the 2001 Masters Tournament, Fred Vuich was there. In fact, Fred's shot of the mid-backswing on the 18th hole of the final round made the cover of Sports Illustrated with the word "Masterpiece" describing the event—and the image. The shot was so well received that the magazine received more than a dozen letters to the editor giving high praise to Fred's work.
A World Press Photo Gold Medalist and super-dedicated shooter, Fred's body of work spans sports, commercial and fine arts photography. He regularly contributes to Sports Illustrated where his images have graced numerous covers, and he's been a Golf Magazine photographer for more than 17 years. And his panoramic GigaPan imagery is taking sports photography to a whole new dimension.