Airsoft photography

January 22, 2015  •  1 Comment

Some years ago now, our son went off for the afternoon and came back with a bag full of little white pellets and some very impressive bruises. He’d been playing Airsoft. According to Wikipedia, "Airsoft is a game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms called Airsoft guns".

It wasn’t long before he went again

and again

and again.

Equipment acquisition fever took hold and soon his room filled with camouflage clothing, guns and pellets, or BBs as they are called by the cognoscenti. Equally soon, most of the house and garden acquired a thin layer of BBs, giving it a rather odd Christmassy air.

It was only a matter of time before I was asked to photograph a day of Airsoft. Partly because my son wanted some photos of him and his friends and partly because he hadn’t learned to drive by then. I think the risk of personal injury isn’t that high compared with photographing polo or skill at arms, so I went along. Since that time I’ve been asked along to photograph his university team and his competitive team, and the odd stag do too.

In terms of the photography, I like to keep thinks reasonably simple. I use my 7 year old Canon EOS 5D either with a Sigma 50/1.4 or a 24-105 and with that I'll use an old Canon EOS 40D, usually with an EOS 85/1.8. My son made some 5 mm polycarbonate discs of 77 mm diameter. I've attached those to some very cheap 77 mm filter rings I bought on ebay. Optically they're not great, but they provide an element of protection. Shooting in the open where the likelihood of getting shot should be less, I'll use a 5D Mk2. The iso-value is usually wound round the end stop, airsoft venues are either woodland or buildings, so the light is seldom good. Better cameras are OK if no one is firing.

Personal protective equipment is very important, I'll wear my old laboratory spectacles and a face mask.  I tried a military flack jacket with a blue MEDIA patch, but allegedly I was indistinguishable from the other players and I'd get shot on a regular basis. So, I've moved to a hi viz jacket and the kind of workman's trousers that take knee pads. Boots and gloves and a hi viz beany finish the outfit. The gloves are photographers gloves that you can use with only the last joint of finger and thumb exposed. But just because I wear a hi viz doesn't mean I'm safe. And I've had some of that gear stolen too.

Here is a selection of images I’ve taken at Xsite at High Wycobe.

Hit

 

If you look closely here, you can see the BB pellet moving in from around his right elbow and bouncing off his face mask.


DPM

 

For those who are interested, those trousers are still available on ebay.

Other than the gun, which has an extended magazine and those trousers, you can see that there's not much sign of gear acquisition syndrome going on here. That was all about to change.


Airsoft at Xsite Lane End

 

New uniform, new gloves, new badges, new rifle, new pistol and holster, and a big mask.


Airsoft at Xsite Lane End

 

The mask didn't last long in use, it wasn't that comfortable and it was soon replaced by a lightweight wire grill and goggles. But at that time he was still wearing my boots


Airsoft at Xsite Lane End

Another venue we've been to a couple of times is The Mall in Reading. After C&A went out of business, the shopping centre shut down and eventually became an Airsoft venue. Photography there is hard work, the light is very low, the action could be anywhere and the chances are that you'll get shot any number of times trying to get there. There's every chance you'll get shot on a regular basis and that has been my experience there.

Airsoft
Airsoft
Clock
IMG_2901IMG_2901Airsoft at the Mall in Reading
IMG_5915IMG_5915Airsoft at the Mall in Reading
IMG_8510IMG_8510A day at the Mall in Reading on 7th December


For licencing enquiries, contact peter Meade Photography using this link: -

http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html

IMG_2913IMG_2913Airsoft at the Mall in Reading

Southampton University Airsoft Team went on to use the last image for their brochure.

Another site I've visited a couple of times is IronSight Airsoft outside Andover. My son was invited to join the House of Wolves Airsoft Team and IronSight is their home venue.

IMG_0947IMG_0947Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_0848IMG_0848Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_0842IMG_0842Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_0989IMG_0989Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_1023IMG_1023Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_8435IMG_8435Airsoft at IronSight Airsoft on Remembrance Sunday 2014.

For licencing enquiries contact Peter Meade using this link
http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html
IMG_9765IMG_9765Post Christmas airsoft fun.

For licensing enquiries, contact Peter using this link: -

http://www.petermeadephotography.com/contact.html

This year started with something different. A day out with some WW2 re-enactors, the Screaming Eagles for one of their training days. With them was a German re-enactment group, so the training was done in the presence of someone who would shoot back. The day also included some Airsoft action too. The more eagle eyed will notice that in many photos the players are not using period weapons, this is because period Airsoft designs are very much more expensive than the more up to date versions. Some of the uniforms are also not 1940s and this is because some of the re-enactors also do Viet Nam. As an aside, I also took some photos with a vintage 35mm camera and hope to do a "compare and contrast" gallery at some point in the near future.

IMG_0459IMG_0459The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_0478IMG_0478The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_0620IMG_0620The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_0430IMG_0430The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_0681IMG_0681The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_2961IMG_2961The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
IMG_0794IMG_0794The Screaming Eagles LHG along with a German re-enactment group having a training day outside Farnham
Screaming Eagles LHG practice day

 


Comments

1.essay writer(non-registered)
Great informative site. I'm really impressed after reading this blog post. I really appreciate the time and effort you spend to share this with us! I do hope to read more updates from you.
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