Welcome to a new series of posts where I look back on my photography to see how my skills have developed, talk about what I’ve learned as indicated by the photographs I have captured, and also talk about any stories behind the photos if they are notable in some way. I will post the good and the bad and I welcome discussion in the comments!
Before we begin, I must state that my quest has been to get as high of quality photos as possible without any editing. None of the photos I have posted will be cropped, touched up or manipulated in any way, you are seeing what came straight off of my SD cards.
I begin with my first day on tour with the Blue Devils in 2011. I had messed around with my camera at home for the months leading up to tour, but this was the first time getting out and taking pictures of some real action. For the first few weeks of tour I only had the kit lens (Nikkor 18-55mm) that came with my D3100 and didn’t have a full handle on focusing and reframing quickly and efficiently. I also may not have done much with my ISO settings, and I might have experimented with shutter settings but my gut tells me that the blurry photo of the guard is a result of relying on some amount of automatic settings. Eventually I would use a slow shutter on purpose to sometimes great effect. In this case however, not so much. Overall from this first night of photography, I didn’t get the greatest results, but there were a couple of shots that turned out presentable.
The next day I discovered three things. 1) Sunlight is your friend for action photography. Obviously more light means a faster shutter and crisper photos. You can see that I still struggled with focus, however. The guard dance warm up would mark the beginning of my quest to capture the performers in midair during jumps of any kind. 2) Subject in shade is the enemy of sunlight. If my camera had HDR capabilities this wouldn’t be as much of an issue in some instances and editing might make these photos more presentable. 3) During show warm up I took my first couple of portraits of the season which I feel has become one of my strengths, especially once I got a hold of a 50mm f/1.8 later in the season. But we’ll get to that.
Overall it looks like a bit of a rough start, but it definitely could have been worse. Actually, it probably was worse, since I think I deleted all of the photos that didn’t make the cut for facebook and mediabox. After the first few days I started to save everything, so we will be able to look at the worst of the worst pretty soon!
Thanks for having a look and join me next time for Part 2!