Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sorry Gold Rush Challenge Fans: My Photos Suck

My photos suck. There is no other way to put it. They are too blurry and too late. I never seem to be looking at the right angle to get the shot, even when I set my fancy SLR-type camera to sports mode, where the shutter snaps one after another so that, in theory, one can capture an athlete in full range of motion.

In the past, when photographing my daughter riding a trained dolphin, or my son cliff diving, or my hubby swinging a field-hockey stick while in full run, things worked out reasonably well. Nothing award winning, but passable. I haven't been so lucky while trying to show some of the awesome racing I have witnessed over this past week, first at the Attack of Danger Bay at Pender Harbour, BC, and then at Britannia Beach's Gold Rush Challenge.

I am utterly humbled

by the true sports photographer who has the eye, and angle, and shutter finger. I am best at shooting thi

gs like posed children, landscapes, flowers, buildings, and anything else that doesn't move. Documenting longboarding racers is about as far from still as one can get. Filming the space shuttle surely would be easier.

I would love to see what early photographer Eadweard Muybridge would do with my dilemma; how to truly capture these bodies in motion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge. He proved that a galloping horse does in fact remove all four feet from the ground, which was a hotly debated question at a time pre-moving pictures (that's pre-Youtube too).

What's the trick to capturing the drift, the grabbed rail, the stale-fish, or stylin' corner with hands in the air while taking the inside line? This is what I faced! Yet, I couldn't fiddle with my camera the whole time, not while shaking both fists in the air and whooping like a maniac as Wolf, my speedy son, went tearing around the corner. I was just so caught up in the moment, well-the photo says it all.

There is his shoulder in the lower left-hand corner, just leaving the frame. I later switched to video. The results, though improved, were not much better. And so I'll stick to the posed stills and writing and leave the real sports photography to the pros: those who can ride a longboard backwards while filming! It's true; I saw it with my own eyes. I even tried to capture that spectacle on camera, but no guarantees that it worked out.

And so I offer praise to all those high speed docu-gods. Keep the shutters snapping and the rest of us will be able to verify what we think we saw in the blur of leather and boards.

Some fine photo work can be seen on: http://www.unkle.ca/cgi-bin/list?type=gallery&id_category=

and John Cameron's photos of Wolf at Saltspring Slasher!!! http://www.johncameron.ca/

Fine work folks. Fine indeed;)

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