Friday, July 18, 2008

Three days of golf and the Golden Banana...

The last three days have been great I spent them on driving around the golf course in a golf cart covering golf. Now, I know there are plenty of people out there who would think this would be far from a primo assignment, but it was nothing but fun the last three days.
When I'm shooting golf I'm looking for three things: 1) Reaction 2) Pretty backgrounds and 3) Sand.
The first one, reaction, is easy to explain. When shooting sports there are two shot action and reaction. Reaction often is the best way to tell the story. This shot happened about two minutes after I found this kid. The funny thing about it, is the reporter who wrote the story told me the next day one of the other kids in the tournament was penalized a stroke for taking both hands off his club other then to put it in his bag. I had no idea that was a rule! Daniel (the reporter) walked up to me the next day with the sports front (we ran the photo about 2.5 cols wide and about 12 inches deep) and said kind of chuckling "I bet XXXX golfer was thrilled when he saw this of Dickerson flipping his club since XXXX golfer was penalized a stroke for doing something similar."
The second one usually takes some time and a knowledge of the course helps too. Since you never know when or even if you'll get a good reaction keeping an eye out for a visually appealing shot is always a good idea. While I do still shoot the safe shot of the golfer watching their drive, I try as hard as I can NOT to run it as the centerpiece image on the page. Also, we put together online slideshows everyday, so not only did I not want 20 pictures of kids putting or watching their drives, it also gave me reason to justify why I just spent 4-6 hours shooting one assignment.
The third... sand... I guess it reminds me of the beach. When golfers play bad or hit bad shots that usually makes for good photos. I doubt there is one golfer in the world that enjoys hitting the ball in the sand... on the other hand, I don't think there is one photog in the world that is NOT pulling for the golfer to go in the sand everytime! And if the kid sticks his tounge out while he's hitting... well, I guess that's just a bonus!
Shooting on the backswing is almost NEVER a good idea. Tiger Woods' caddy would throw your camera in a lake if he catches you doing it. However, if you're standing 50 yards back and the cart path you are shooting from happens to be next to a street and there happens to be a diesel pickup truck (these are NOT uncommon even in the nicest of Country Club neighborhoods in West Texas) driving by at the exact moment the player is in his backswing I feel its pretty safe to bang off a couple frames during his backswing because chances are and noise being made by my shutter clicks are being totally drowned out by that big Ford's Powerstroke engine!
I guess this may have fallen under the pretty backgrounds, but God light (as my old photo editor at my internship, Woody Marshall, used to call it) is something that deserves a category of its own, and doesn't make it's way to see me all that often. so it's nice when a kid is spotlighted between the trees with nice light.
And, last but not least, the Golden Banana... need I say more?

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