Saturday, January 29, 2011

Making The Most Of What You Have

The title of this blog entry refers to trying to create something useful when conditions are against you. In this case I'm talking about the poor lighting inside New York's Madison Square Garden (it's poor for MY purposes - making pictures.) After having trouble getting decent pictures from the recent pro rodeo event there, I was hoping for better conditions for the 104th running of the Milrose Games. Sadly, no such luck. So - as with this shot - my panning skills (moving the camera at the same speed as the moving object) were called upon in order to get at least a portion of the picture in focus while much of the rest of the photo is blurry - due to lack of light.

The top picture is from the evening's very last event, the prestigious Wanamaker Mile. The second place finisher - Bernard Lagat (purple singlet) - was the favorite since he'd won the race 8 times, but he was topped by Deresse Mekonnen.

The middle photo features another second place finisher - pole vaulter Jenn Suhr. I shot about 50 pole vaulting shots and this one was the sharpest and one of the few where I can see her face. In sports photography, if you can't see the face of the competitor you've failed to convey the emotion of the effort. Her position is perfect: the arms are spread just right and her torso and legs are extended showing the strain of trying to vault over 15 feet.

The third picture shows the emotion I like to convey: triumph! Sara Hall is clearly pleased to be winning the women's 1500 meter run. Again, I moved my camera on a horizontal plane as she ran and I hoped my speed matched hers resulting in a clear photo for the most part. And while her left hand and left lower leg are blurry - her face, with that winning smile, is in perfect focus.

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