Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sports Ain't Easy!

On November 6th 2015, we all attended a volleyball game at the Convocation Center of Northern Illinois University (where I teach). There was a game: home vs. U of Toledo (OH). Our reason was that my wife (also a professor) was going to get an award at the half-time ceremony.  Not one of us had attended a game, even though we had played volleyball in our lives, so we went and I discovered that shooting sports is twice as hard... no, three times harder than I thought.

First, when one has no choice in seating, there's the problem of location.  Then, when exactly should one shoot?  Ball in the air, ball in the hands of a player, being hit, on the floor?  And, finally (to get technical... it had to happen), when and how does one focus?  On the darn ball?  On the players?

Fortunately, I let the camera make two choices: exposure and white balance (although, in the end, I decided that in the future I'll check with Live View first about the white balance).  The problem I ended up having was composition.  See for yourself...

 Where is the ball?

Isn't that a desk in the lower left corner?  When did that happen?

Half volleyball in the air...

Well... I guess there's only so much one can do with an AF 24-120 that has been cropped to show only a frame the size of an APS sensor.  But then, not everything was that bad.  At least I took some moderately decent photographs... See below.

 This is a fait accompli and the point was scored.

 And the ball in the air, right in the middle...

I really liked the two pairs of hands up in the air... and far, far away from the volleyball!

So, I learned to be happy with my results... and that I'm not in any way, a sports photographer.  How can one show the excitement of the game in one or two shots?  I guess sports shooters already know how to get their images... and, if it's not them, their editors know what to pick.  In any event, we enjoyed the evening so much we're planning on returning...

And I'll be there, with my camera and lens.  

Coming soon... Snow!!  We had lots last weekend, but I wasn't going to step out and shoot icicles like I've done in the past.  No... I have something nicer... but it's still in the card.  So long!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fairs and festivals

The midwest (where I live) is rich in local festivals and fairs, so, considering this fact, here are some illustrations of the one that takes place in my town, DeKalb, Illinois.

It's called the Cornfest.

Photobomb attempt.  In the end, she knew I was photographing her not by accident.

Two men running a food stand were making a small fortune thanks to their idea of posting their dishes in front of their window... and that was real food, not plastic imitations. See them on the right edge of the frame.

I always have liked this sign, and it looked even more cheerful against the background of the beautiful dusk sky. 

People checking out the Cornfest, walking about, hanging out... 

One ride I'd like to do: the Freak-Out.  Looks interesting... 

I will return with more photographs from other festivals, and, if I can, with the result of more experiments and other hints I may find in the vast Menu files of this camera.  Granted, it may be a few generations behind, but that doesn't mean it has to disappear.  Lots of people are still using their D700 bodies through their paces, so... let's keep it going!