Wednesday, June 26, 2013
It's been a while since I've shot any gymnastics. The local schools haven't had any local meets here and it's been a few years since I've been assigned to shoot practice. So, it was kind of cool to get to shoot a pair of local kids being selected for the Texas team at the national high school meet. So, after spending a few minutes scraping the rust off I got to it.
The nice thing about shooting some of the secondary sports is they are usually so happy to have you there shooting pictures and covering them that they'll give you pretty much free run of things to shoot from wherever is good to shoot from. Having shot a lot of gymnastics in college, I've always enjoyed shooting the sport anyway. The nice thing about practice is you can shoot from the spots you'd never be allowed at during competition. Plus, if you miss something they usually do it 2-3 times. That always helps, especially when it's been a couple years since I've shot the sport. If there was a complaint it was the way the gym is set up there are windows all along the top of the building near the roof causing some really ugly back lighting that crews everything up, so I was only really able to shoot from one side. that and awful lighting in the gym didn't help either. But, crank up my ISO and stay on the right side of thing alleviated that.
Monday, June 24, 2013
After what seemed like a brief nap after four total hours of rain delays the day before it was time for day two of state track and this was supposed to be the long day. In the past Class 5A was all by themselves for the Saturday night meet in Austin. This year though after splitting Class 1A into two divisions they added the 3A meet with the 5A. The problem with this is it used to be that we usually only had one or two races to shoot on Saturday night and I was usually done fairly early on Saturday to make up foe the 12-15 hour day before. Not this year.
We had to get there early on Saturday for the field events, plus the 1A Div. I and 2A running events in the afternoon session. Once again it was an afternoon of a lot of shooting and not much time to edit. At least this time I had more time to edit photos and I had all my 1A and 2A photos sent before the 3A/5A session started. It also gave me time to edit a lot of the slideshow photos from earlier, giving me less work to do on the other end.
The bulk of the really good athletes for us are in Class 1A and 2A. So many of the races I was shooting in the evening session weren't going to change a whole lot of what needed to make the newspaper. Also, there weren't near as many people to cover. I even had a few breaks with as much as 30 minutes between the races I needed to shoot. I made sure to take full advantage of this running to the tent to edit and send photos when needed. Saturday seemed to go by a lot smoother. Maybe because of the weather delays the night before screwing things up. Either way, I ended up having more photos, mostly because of more athletes and more events, but things seemed to go a heck of a lot smoother.
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Like a lot of the UIL events this year things got changed around this year for state track too. Class 1A got split into two different divisions. Division I was doing some of their field events on the first day but the running events were being run on Saturday. Division II, which was had a ton of teams that we cover was all being run on Friday, all the field events as well as the running in the evening session. This not only made for a really long day, but also, very little time to sit down and edit photos between events. Since I had someone in almost every one of the Div. II events. To add to that there was a 2 hour delay in the morning to open things because of a thunderstorm.
The delay put all of the field events on a rolling schedule which meant I didn't have any time to run to the tent to edit. So, I spent most of my dinner break editing photos instead of eating (not that it would hurt me to miss a meal or 6). By the time the running events started I was still a little behind with no photos sent. Part of this is I didn't want something put on the page in case I got something I liked better or it fit with the story being written. In the back of my head I was thinking to myself that a rain delay wouldn't be the worst thing to happen. However, I didn't want the two hour rain delay that we eventually got.
The second rain delay really threw things off. The one good thing that did come out of it was I was able to get pretty caught up with a lot of the photos I already had. Plus I was able to send a bunch of photos with the possibility of getting more. After the rain delay I would shoot a few events and if I wasn't trying to edit in camera I was running up and editing between the 1A events I was shooting (the Class 4A meet was going on too and we have no 4A schools that we cover), or I was shooting an event from the top of the stands in the tent as my photos were moving or downloading a card. It wasn't the ideal situation and made for a damn long day, but it had to be done. It's a good thing I enjoy shooting track... and it's happening again, so I got to go back to the hotel for a nap before starting over again.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
The Western Heritage Parade is one of the biggest parades in Abilene every year. It's also the closest I get to shooting the actual Western Heritage Classic, since it happens every year on the same weekend as the state track meet in Austin. So, the parade usually ends up going to me. That's ok, it gives me the chance to try and figure out a new way to shoot it, fix the mistakes I may have made from shooting it in the past, or make better on a way that I had shot the parade in the past. Shooting the same events year after year can be kind of a double edged sword sometimes. On one had you go in with an idea of how you want to shoot an event. However, the other side of it is trying to find a new or better way to do it than in the past. It helps sometimes when you see a little kid dancing along with the dancing team in the street before the parade starts.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
The Oliver Jackson twilight meet used to be a pretty big track meet. It used to bring in quite a few good track programs all trying to get their athletes some good times in some of the last meets before nationals. So, there were usually some really good races and event with everyone going all out to make a last attempt to qualify for the national meets. Just a few years ago there used to be full races and prelims in the afternoon, before some really good finals races in the evening. Now, though, some of the races hardly fill half the lanes on the track.
I had to shoot one of the ACU hammer throwers for a feature we were doing about him. Then just a few standalone shots for the next day's newspaper. The good thing about this meet is with so few people there I can shoot from just about anywhere on the track without catching a whole lot of guff about being in folks' ways or bothering anyone else. I also used it as a last-minute warmup for myself before heading to Austin for the state high school meet. So, despite a lack of participants in the meet I ended up getting a few nice images as well as a good warmup for the upcoming weekend.
Monday, June 10, 2013
The second day of state golf was a lot like the first one. I was running around my a chicken with its head cut off. Spending only a couple of holes with each of the local golfers then moving on to the next ones as well as throwing in running around Austin to multiple courses. Eventually ending up back where I started. The one nice thing about such a long day was the awful, cold windy weather that started out in the morning turned out to be a really great day for golf as everyone was finishing up their rounds.