Philadelphia, PA — For those that have never heard of it, the RED BULL FLUGTAG event is flying contest held at various locales throughout the world. The word FLUGTAG means “FLYING DAY” in German and basically, that is what the day is about. Teams submit ideas to Red Bull for “aircraft” that they then fly off of a long ass pier. The longest “flight” ever was 208 feet. Most flights are less than 40 feet as the crafts are built for comedy, parody and satire more than they are built for flight.
The first FLUGTAG was in 1991. The first FLUGTAG in Philadelphia was this year, 2010 and I got to cover it for WPHL. Me and 85,000 of my closest friends poured into Camden’s Wiggins Park on what turned out to be a beautiful day. (It was a little windy that at times delayed the flights.)
I shot three galleries from the amazing press area that Red Bull set aside for the media. Oh—before I even start—got to give a big “ATTA GUY” to the fine folks at Red Bull! In addition to the sweet ring side seats, they also gave ample informational press materials (that I will all but ignore for this blog) and a REALLY SWEET VISOR!!! I wore it half the day til I saw what a toolbag I look like in a visor, but it was STILL a great gesture by Red Bull! Lots of events don’t give out anything to members of the press…
So anyway, I shot three galleries. They were–“From the Hangar” (pre-flight pics), “Taking Flight”(photos of the “flights”) and “Flugtag Faces in the crowd” (Some of the more interesting people I saw in the crowd.) You can follow those links, or check out the BEST OF FLUGTAG below that is a mix of all three. The crowd was an interesting mix. A few Camdeners, lots of college aged kids, even families and some older folk; truly something for everyone.
Since I spend a lot of cash to get Canon lenses with as an F as possible, I often find myself shooting with a shallow depth of field on many shoots. This event? I kind of changed it up and extended my DOF. I did this in the hangar area especially. It was so packed and so much going on, I thought maybe it would be cool to keep more in focus than I usually do. I also had a ton of light and had lots of choices. I did some shallow DOF with the Victor building that I liked though. (Faces Gallery). I set up for the “flight” part of the day with the 60 to 80 feet markers with the city skyline directly behind. I envisioned these “crafts” soaring against the Philly Skyline– BIG MISTAKE as none of them even made it to 50 feet! Oh well… I would have loved a really wide angle for how condensed the hangar was, but since Red Bull was flying everywhere, maybe it was better to be at a distance!
There is also a really interesting side story to the Phillies inspired entries. At the last minute, MLB, not the Phillies, declined the usage of their logos for the event. Hence the, eventual winning, Phillies hat had an “ILL” in place of the logo and the Phanatic entry was adorn in black with a bag (think Unknown Comic) over his head. Turns out MLB takes that, “without the express written consent of Major League Baseball” clause in their logo usage very seriously.