I would imagine photographers are just like everyone else. They get into a routine and take things for granted and that’s a very bad thing. Anybody that knows me knows, that I shot Nikon Cameras from 1960 – 1984. In 1984 I signed a contract with the IOC as a pool photographer. I had to change from Nikon to Canon and from Kodak film to Fuji. Not the easiest thing in the world to do but it had to be done to fulfill my advertising obligations with Canon, Fuji, and the Olympic Committee.
Suffice to say, Nikon makes very fine cameras and lenses. I found Canon to be not only equal but in many aspects a better fit. Whether it was with sharpness, ergonomics, contrast, or speed. The most important thing is that Canon listens to both Professional photographers and amateurs. It’s like one big focus group. Their technical people are the best in the world. They’ve always been there for me when I had any questions and have always had the answers. Sometimes they’ve even had the answer before I had the question. Rudy Winston who works for Canon, is not only a great photographer but also knows the equipment inside and out. As far as I’m concerned he’s the go-to-guy on all aspects of the Canon System. You’d think after being a working photographer for so long that I wouldn’t need help. Wrong! Things change constantly in the digital age of photography.
Below is a series of photos I did the other day with the 5D Mark IV and one of my favorite lenses the 100-400mm zoom. It was late in the day with zero sunlight, lots of ice and difficult terrain. I hope the photos speak for themselves. Go out and make some photos. One camera, one lens, two batteries , and two cards. Keep it Simple Stupid! The saying always works.
You would think after several decades of making photographs there would be no surprises, but the greatest thing about photography is that there’s always a surprise. You can pre plan everything to the final millimeter, you can pick the perfect day for light, you can have the best athletes or models, but invariably something will come up and will bite you on the –whatever. This is a perfect example, of Murphy rearing his ugly head. We planned this shoot several months ago waiting for the right rain conditions so we could make great photographs on the upper portions of the Raymondskill Creek. Cue the cameras! Cue the kayakers, let’s go! But Murphy cued three logs that broke loose and were blocking the creek. Ya can’t kayak over a log, and you can’t kayak through a log, so we went to plan B. Plan B was a 44 foot drop. To put that into perspective, that s a 4 story building straight down. The problem with the shot is the extreme heavy mist. It was like putting a Tupperware cap over your lens. The front element of the lens was absolutely soaking wet all the time and as we all know, anything put in front of a lens will degrade the image. I was shooting with the Sigma 150-500 and I didn’t have the underwater version- OK that’s me trying to be funny again. One of the keys in photography is your ability to be flexible, when you don’t get what you want- you gotta get something. We hiked up one more mile to a tributary and were able to get a 30 foot drop shot with the 24-70 Sigma. ISO and exposure are approximately the same; the difference would be considerably less mist. Keep on shooting, it’s all good. Next time I see you- I’ll have a brand new set of wheels- half titanium and half ceramic.
I was contracted by the Canadian Olympic Association to photograph basketball, boxing, soccer, track and field, and kayaking. I fell in love with kayaking and proceeded to kayak for the next 20 years and moved to ocean kayaking. One of the things that I used kayaking for was eye-hand coordination and remote photography. Will try to dig out some of the film- Yes, Alice, there was film in those days! I’ll see if I can show you a few examples. But, in the interim, every once and a while I like to take the rust off and go photograph kayaking. Here are a few frames. Hope you enjoy them. Shutter speed ranged between a 500 and 1000, ISO 200. 80 to 200 mm lens. Pick a number- f4.5.