What a weekend!!! 4 events in 1 weekend. I’ve never had a weekend as full as this. It was busy, hectic, exciting, and I had a blast. Not only was it full of excitement it was also quite the variety of genres. It started with a middle school talent show. Then onto youth basketball and indoor color guard. Finally it culminated with a youth cheerleading compentition. Yep, I racked up some miles this weekend.
Friday: The Talent Show (Central Jersey). Unfortunately I am not allowed to share the pics from the talent here. However, I really lucked out on this shoot. Last year I shot the same talent show with last minute notice and only had my 18-105mm f3.5-5.6 lens with me. The entire night I was shooting at f5.6. The lighting at the talent show was extremely poor that night so I had to jack up my ISO to 3200. The images were stisfactory at best. Last weekend my friend lit up the stage with some kick-ass lighting. Combine that with the fact that I was able to rent a 70-200mm f2.8 lens and I was now able to shoot at ISO1600. What a difference those two factors made!
Saturday: Youth Basketball (South Jersey). I had a youth basketball game in the mid-afternoon and then an indoor color guard competition in the evening. Oh yeah, they were 1.5 hours apart. So I had o down time between events. First up was basketball. I learned a few lessons from the last time I shot youth basketball. The biggest lesson I learned was not to shoot in Aperture priority mode when there is a lot of ambient light at the other end of the court. In doing so the camera will expose for all of the light in the scene which ends up leaving the player under-exposed. So this time I shot in Manual mode. This way I was locked in my shutter speed the entire game. I was able to shoot from under the basket which yielded better opportunities to get head on shots. Overall the shoot went well. Although I didn’t come away with incredible shots I still learned from the experience.
Saturday Night: Indoor Color Guard (Central Jersey). My wife works with an indoor color guard. For those of you that do not know what indoor color guard is, here is my definition. Men and women that dance, jump, and spin while manipulating flags, rifles, and sabers. It is intense, quick, and inspirational to watch. With that said, I was tasked with photographing their performance. The performance is one song. So I had to nail as many shots as I could within 3-4 minutes, no pressure No problem. Set the 70-200 to f2.8, ISO1600, shutter speed 1/350th and fire away! Unfortunately while working the 70-200 I am not able to get any wide shots. Next time I will work on a way to remote mount another body with a wide angle.
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!! Cheer Competition (Eastern PA). This was a blast. Mainly because of where I was able to shoot from. When the squad hit the floor for practice I walked up to the roped-off barrier and knelt down to start shooting. At that point the photographer from the host team approached me. I was thinking, ” oh boy here we go.” Instead he told me that if I wanted I could setup on the floor IN FRONT of the ropes so that I could get the best shots possible. I said, “really??” He told me again to go ahead. I couldn’t believe it. So I sat there the entire show and go the prime shots that I wanted. So I’m sending a big thank you to that guy.
This was by far the busiest photographing weekend I’ve ever had. I would do it again in a heartbeat! The variety of sports combined with the different atmospheres made for such an amazing experience. Weekends like this are what I live for as a photographer!