Ski Race Photo FAQs
IMPORTANT: Once you submit your order, I can't cancel it. If I don't fulfill it, it will be cancelled by the website after about 30 days. You will then be credited the amount you paid. So be sure to get your order right (using the 3-pack price, for example, if you order three images) at the outset and email me before ordering if you have any questions. Better to ask than be stuck with something you don't want or less-than optimal pricing.
ALSO IMPORTANT: Finding race photos. They are uploaded in run order for each run. That usually means bib order for first run, but younger classes have their own rules, especially on two-race days. If you know your bib number, you can look for it in the galleries. If you don't know it, check start lists or Dashboard/LiveTiming for bib and run order. Plus, the Alyeska Ski Club website carries results (look under the "Results" dropdown) for each race and race class, and you can find a racer's bib number there. Very worst case: email me with the bib number and racer name and race date and race number (if there were two races that day) and if I have time, I'll try to find your race images after fulfilling all other orders.
VERY IMPORTANT: I am offering a new pre-season one-racer package; I will track the racer during the season and after the season ends I will send the purchaser five digital images taken of the racer over the season. It is more expensive because it is time-intensive. But some time-challenged people might prefer to pay more in exchange for saving effort. See the NEW!! page for more information. Must be purchased by January 10, so I can track the racer as the season progresses. Only 15 packages will be offered.
SIZE OF FILES/PRINTS: I've limited the default maximum sizes to prevent having to disappoint people who order an image in a very large size and I decide it can't be made that large while maintaining quality. But on a select basis, I can easily make much larger files for some images. If you have a favorite and really want it large, email me and we can see what is possible. The single image cost for a very high-res digital download is about $33 currently, and it would easily make a great 20x30 print and maybe larger. If conditions and focus are optimal, a given image could manage a very high quality 40x60. But not routinely. Email me if you are interested.
take photos of alpine ski racing? The sport is athletically aesthetic, and displays exciting moments, perseverance, skill, and something of the human condition and character in both play and adversity. To me, race photos are action portraits. The racing career of most racers is short; capturing this fleeting period of their lives is my way of celebrating and publicizing their efforts (in victory or distress) and, perhaps, memorializing those efforts for them. Finally, I admire their skills and efforts. Thanks, racers, for the fast, exciting racing. Always feel free to look at the images in the gallery; purchase is not necessary. Good luck racing.
If you have questions or comments, please email me either through Zenfolio or directly at [email protected] Juniors need to copy adults with any emails to me, to satisfy all club and USSS protocols.
are there more photos of some racers? Sometimes it is just good or bad luck, depending on whether I am changing a card or battery or lens or getting snow or rain off the lens. Sometimes my fingers get too cold to feel the shutter button. Other times it is because a sequence seems useful to show what a racer is doing. And often there are more shots of good or aggressive skiing and racing. I rarely miss a racer, but if I missed you, I'm sorry.
show bobbles? Sometimes there are photos of bobbles, wild moves, and even crashes. These are included partly to show historically what happened on race day and also to illustrate how difficult this sport is, even for highly trained athletes. A lot of casual observers and even parents don't realize how hard it can be and what dynamic forces tug at racers. These photos are meant not to embarrass the racers shown, but to show sympathetically what didn't go according to plan or desire.
kind of business is this? It isn't a business. I take race pictures as a volunteer. If there are any ski race photo sales, I donate the proceeds to Alyeska Ski Club's junior program. Since it isn't a business, please don't expect immediate service. I try to fulfill any orders promptly, but various things, including travel and other projects and other races, may delay fulfillment.
is the image quality? I shoot RAW files with professional quality equipment; original files are about 25-35 MB. Ski racing is an outdoor sport, and low light, snow, or rain reduce image quality. Any image I post can usually be printed to at least 6x9, most can be printed 8x12, and many can be made much larger, including poster size. But not always, depending on shooting conditions. So if you really want a large print or file (8x12 or larger), email me first so I can confirm the quality is there. To save time, posted upload thumbnails are not fully edited, color corrected, or optimally cropped. The fully edited files make high quality images. I have uploaded some Big Samples. Note that what someone sees on screen depends in part on their monitor. My screens are calibrated, but most others are not. So a file that looks great on a calibrated screen may have a different luminance or color cast on an uncalibrated screen. If it looks good on my screen, a digital file will usually make a good print at your local photo lab, including Costco. And seeing the images on a tablet or desktop is always better than on a phone screen.
use are the photos? The posted photos can be viewed for free. Some viewers buy prints or digital files; I donate all sales proceeds to the Alyeska Ski Club junior program. The large watermark discourages screenshots that might deprive ASC of sales proceeds. Some purchasers have asked about submitting their purchased digital files to local newspapers, etc. They certainly may, so long as it is for editorial, non-commercial, non-political purposes and also so long as I am given photo credit (Photo by Bob Eastaugh). I would appreciate a copy of a page link upon publication so I can track use. And purchasers can also use purchased digital files for other purely personal uses such as applying for or supporting admission to athletic or educational programs or institutions, or seeking academic or athletic scholarships, or awards (RacePlace Catalogue covers). Feel free to ask me. I've been liberal in granting permission.
products are available for purchase? Two main types: prints (including "standouts" and metal prints) and digital files.
should someone order? Prints or digital files? It depends. If you have a secure computer system (backups, etc.), digital files give you more flexibility. Digital files are available in different sizes (resolutions) at different prices; depending on size, they can be enjoyed full-size or used to make big prints, emailed, or viewed on a smartphone. Prints might be preferred by those who want quality prints to hang (the lab I use is very good) or for scrapbooks and who don't want to print their own. You can use digital files to make good prints locally and cheaply, as at Costco (although some cheap printers won't match my screen). An advantage of prints is that in 25 years descendants can see them, even if no computer will be able to read our current digital files. A box of 4x6 prints may seem like a gold mine to future generations.
size print or file to order? It depends. If someone wants to display large prints, they should order 8x12 prints (or larger if available) or a 5 MP file to print their own. Someone who only wants an image for a smartphone should order the cheapest lowest-res image.
products are available? Posters? Larger or Black & White prints? I am allowing prints in four sizes (4x6, 6x9, 8x10, 8x12). I'm not really a fan of 8x10, because I shoot 2x3 aspect ratio, and cropping to 8x10 sometimes seems (to me) to "cramp" an action shot. But frames for 8x10 prints are easier to find, so I offer 8x10s. B&W is available on special order. (B&W conversions make striking prints. The Mpix lab uses special B&W paper.) I also offer two other printed products: (1) an 8x12 "standout," a borderless print mounted on thick foamcore to hang directly on a wall; they are not cheap, but may be cheaper than custom matting and framing, even with the recommended lustre finish to improve longevity; (2) a metal 8x12 print. Email me what else you might want; one-off orders are possible at special, but reasonable prices that also benefit ASC. Some files, especially those taken in good light, are very high quality and allow very large prints. The lab does posters, and so does Costco, and some files are good enough for big posters. Note about metal prints: order the "white" base metal print. An "aluminum" base doesn't work as well as white for ski race images. Please email me if you have any questions about metal.
about those licenses? "Buying" a digital file really means buying the right to use the file in a licensed and limited manner, because I retain all rights to all original digital files, including copyright. A personal use license allows full personal - but not for-profit or commercial - use for printing, copying, emailing, etc., but not for reselling or re-marketing. Licenses for smaller, cheaper files are more limited. Purchasers must indicate they agree to the terms of the licenses that apply. Here is the link to the four types of licenses: http://bobeastaughimagery.zenfolio.com/license Commercial or for-profit users must purchase a more-expensive commercial license.
happens to prints hung in bright light? They are likely to fade eventually, even though the lab uses high quality paper to make C-prints that supposedly last 100 years. Don't hang them where sun or bright outdoor light falls on them. Standouts and metal prints are also likely to fade if hung in strong daylight.
if an image lacks quality? I will suggest a substitute if a selected image is not as sharp as it should be (it might look good on a tablet or small screen, but not on a big screen on close examination). There are usually good alternatives, because I often shoot about twenty frames per racer per run. I am uploading on a deadline and the image you see as a thumbnail in a gallery might not be as sharp as the shots I took right before or after (but didn't upload originally). You have to make quick choices uploading when you are reviewing and rough-editing 2,000-to-7,000 shots a day. Don't be too surprised if I suggest a substitute. It is not a trick and I am not trying to get you to buy two images. I do it to maximize the quality of purchased images and maximize customer satisfaction.
about cropping? I consider cropping important and unless you have strong thoughts about it, I would like to have a free hand in event of any sale. I try to crop tight enough to show good detail while giving the racer "room to race." Anyone buying a digital file can later crop more tightly, but many race images are taken under difficult conditions and extreme cropping will emphasize any quality weaknesses. I sometimes crop or shoot very tightly because I like the personal view of athletes in close-up. The thumbnails in the galleries are usually not optimally edited or cropped; my post-race goal is to get thumbnails uploaded of images people might want to see, and not to upload sale-ready files. If a file as uploaded for display in a gallery shows a pretty small racer some gates away, it implies I think tighter cropping would give a lower quality file or print.
about canceling an order? Very important: it is hard or impossible to cancel or change an order once you place it; don't place an order until you are sure. Email me before ordering if you have questions.
about that ugly Zenfolio Infinity watermark? The big obtrusive watermark helps discourage screenshots that would deprive ASC of sales revenues. It is deleted from print and digital orders. And the low-res files and small prints are very cheap. My "Bob Eastaugh" watermark remains.
what if I find better or more quality frames of a racer? I am shooting about 20 frames for every frame I can possibly rough-edit and upload right after a race, and often I will later find equal or better images and will also find that very good merged sequences are possible of some racers. It is always a puzzle for me to decide whether a given customer really wants to hear that better, or more, choices are possible. Some dislike being told because they think I am trying to "upsell" them more frames. Often I will tell them so they can make a choice and substitute an image in their original order, without charge. That is what most people do. And a few people might prefer to be able to purchase even more photos of their racer. Please don't be offended if I offer you a choice. I figure informed customers are more likely to be satisfied customers.
3. How to buy
prints. Just click on the "buy" toggle on a gallery.
digital files. Just click on the "buy" toggle on a gallery.
how do I find images of me or my racer? Go to the gallery for a given race you or your racer entered. The images are displayed in order taken, which mean run order. So for Run 1 of Race 1, Bib 1 will be first (unless I've loaded a few display samples first) and then Bib 2 and so on, through Run 1, and then in run order for Run 2. There is usually a flip for the second run; the flip effect will depend on the class. It gets messier when there are two races per day, and thus four runs, and if there are race format differences (U12s and U14s racing different slalom courses, for example). Knowing the bib number helps. I have start lists usually, but I'm counting on you or your racer to find your desired images and list them so I can track them in my very large race catalogue. If you can't remember your bib number, look for gear and kit starting at the top: helmet color, suit, boots, skis. Some parents may not know kit and gear used on a given day; ask your racer. Bib numbers can be found historically by going to the USSA Dashboard and looking at LiveView race results for Alyeska on the race day. My price lists are based on you identifying the images you might want. It would greatly increase the cost to order if I had to find your images. Although the new pre-season race package could help people who are too short on time to find their pictures.
4. How much and how to pay?
digital files. The prices for purchasing the different digital file products are listed in the price lists for the race galleries. As of February 27, 2018 I added two new packages for digital downloads: a 5-pack high-res image package for five same race (not two same-day races, must be the same race) offering some savings because it is easier for me to find and process files from the same race; and a 10-pack high-res package also offering a saving for those who want a lot of images. The 10-pack is somewhat cheaper than three 3-packs and a single, and much cheaper than ten singles. I am uploading a lot of quality images and it may be hard to choose between them. These packages make it a little cheaper to order them all. (As of March 2018, there was some wrinkle interfering with 3-pack digital orders. That now seems to be ok.)
Important note: the 5-pack is only available for the same race/same event/same day. Race means GS or SL or SG. That is because I only have to look at one gallery. After March 27, re-ordering will be necessary for attempts to order 5 of different races at 5-pack prices.
prints. You pay Zenfolio the amount specified by the "buy" feature on the race gallery for the four different available print sizes and for the standout and metal prints, thus paying lab, shipping, and Zenfolio service fees, and the "profit" that I pass on to ASC.
Special Western Region U16 prices. For a very limited time (until April 4, 2018) there were special, lower prices for any WR U16 photo sales. That price list offered significant savings because I was trying to encourage quick and efficient ordering, editing, and order fulfillment. That special offer expired April 4 and the prices essentially reverted to the usual prices for all galleries.
Special FIS-U/Seawolf 2019 Invitational Prices. On the theory college racers aren't loaded with disposal income, I created a special, lower price list for orders from the galleries depicting this series. Eventually the prices will revert to my usual race price list.
5. Who gets the “profits?” The product prices reflect low market value. They are somewhat lower than market to encourage sales. ASC receives all net sales proceeds. (Zenfolio charges a handling fee and the print lab charges for printing and shipping. ASC received about $4,200 from my photo sales in 2017 and about $3,000 in 2018. But less, more recently.)
6. Why are prices so high? Given quality, time and effort in standing on the hill, editing and uploading after the race, and re-editing and uploading files for purchased images, the prices aren't high and the smallest digital files and prints are very cheap. This is not a viable commercial business and I wouldn't take the photographs and sell images if the junior program weren't getting a fair amount in net proceeds and if I didn't have the additional purpose of memorializing the racers' efforts.
are race photos viewable? The first batch is viewable about four hours after a race ends, but it can take three or four days to finish editing a day's images and uploading that day after a multi-day race series. I am shooting between 2500 and 7000 images per day. The first priority is getting images to the newspapers. I normally send two photos, and sometimes three, to the ADN, with descriptive captions. I sometimes also send images to the Empire or News-Miner if there are Juneau or Fairbanks racers and to SkiRacing.
will an order be processed/approved/received? Normally I process files and approve an order within a few days after it is placed. But delays of some weeks will result if I'm traveling or orders are placed after the ski season or if the series isn't over and I am still on deadline with the ADN and am still rough-editing and uploading photos from the series.
will I get my prints? The lab is very fast, but its cheapest shipping method is very slow (perhaps 14-21 days to Alaska). Unless you are very patient, specify faster shipping.
are long fulfillment delays incompatible with good business practice? I will try to avoid any delays, but this isn't a business, good or bad; it is a service I voluntarily provide for racers and the non-profit junior program. Purchasers will eventually get quality images they couldn't easily have obtained otherwise. Please be patient.
8. How long can someone wait before ordering race photos? It depends on things partly out of my control. I haven't deleted any race files yet and have no immediate plans to do so. But because I have about 200,000 race images taking up about 8 TB of space, I have begun putting older files into deep storage. That will affect ordering and even if ordering is possible, it might require a different price list. Plus, here is the out-of-my-control part: The ability of viewers to find images they want and my ability to match an order with my files depends on the continued existence of my Zenfolio website, Zenfolio itself, and the files stored there. If a glitch erases my Zenfolio files, or if Zenfolio shuts down, it would effectively prevent ordering and there is no way I can move the galleries to another site. And if anything ever happens to my original files, I couldn't fulfill orders (except maybe for low-res phone size or 4x6 prints). I backup files carefully, but a system meltdown and corrupt files would end any sales. Finally, no one except me would ever be interested in fulfilling orders; if anything happens to me, that will probably end ordering. So, how long can someone delay before ordering? It all depends. As they say in ski racing: if you want to race, don't miss your start.