Gallery - Auckland Airsoft

I recently got the chance to spend the day with the Auckland Airsoft Inc club. This was out at their H2 field situated at the headland of the Kaipara Peninsula. The great advantage of this field is that it is not only a little remote but it is nicely self contained so that no one can get lost and within the area is a reasonably diverse mix of forest, clearings & open field that let the engagement distances shift. I managed to tag along as a photographer for the day with the end results being featured below.

This was an induction event so not only was the turnout particularly high but we had a wide mix of equipment, skills and dress. Some came fully turned out in military style camoflague gear others more in casual dress. Including one, who while he seemed to have a lot of fun, was dressed in light grey (almost white) clothing and probably drew a healthy percentage of fire. It being induction the regulars went to one area to begin festivities for the day while the new-bloods had a few warm up games to familiarise themselves with both the rules of safety as well as the rules of play. The two groups then merged for one quick game of assault/fall-back before breaking for lunch. Full capture the flag gaming then became the order after lunch till eventual ceasation of play as twilight just began to start.

Dressed in a high-visibility vest, like the people officating at the event, I was wondering how well I'd be able to avoid fire. This worked pretty well with no deliberate aimed fire coming my way. Of course in trying to photograph the more dynamic shots this meant I tended to be either in front of people firing at each other (so duck!) or behind someone who was taking fire so I didn't escape entirely unscathed. My tally was four hits and given the heavy firefights I was witnessing I consider that a remarkably low count.

Perhaps the hardest part of the whole day was trying to find both decent compositions (with the participants constantly on the move) and good contrast to let you see the people clearly. Camoflague being explicitly designed to prevent that later aspect just added to the difficulty the mottled lighting was causing. Spot metering just tended to cause either blowouts or deep shadows. In the end I found evaluative metering with it pulled back a stop tended to work best and let me concentrate more on framing and apeture choice.

The level of gear and clothing varied quite a bit, here matching camoflague and kit like radios marked the serious players.

One quick meeting before the games commence. Here we split into two groups, the old hands went off for an immediate game. The inductees to a separate area for the safety briefing and warm up training games.

While the new inductees were getting the safety instructions a fantail was busy enjoying the insects we had stirred up.

Constantly moving just getting this bird in frame was something of a mission. Also being quickly laid out were the parameters of the mission, the safety rules to be followed and it was game on!

A quick conference to discuss tactics.

This is medicing, one person designated the medic counts down for thirty seconds to restore someone who has been shot back to active duty. Of course the enemy team always like to shoot medics to prevent this from happening...

This shows how well the camoflague patterns can work. Up against the tree he was very hard to see.

The enemy is somewhere ahead...
This game had two teams one assaulting and the other defending and falling back.

This was one of the best shots of the day.
I think what makes it for me is the flash of teeth on the blacked out face.

Just slightly close range for these kinds of guns but when ya gotta have a mexican stand-off ya just gotta have a stand-off...

The next Rambo, pehaps?

These events are run pretty regularly and you can spend a day outside getting a, very small, taste for what soldiers have to endure. Even just floating around with the camera for the day was pleasant and I can imagine the fun of participating is much higher. If this interests you more details on joining can be found with the groups facebook page.

Philip R. Banks
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