Sports Days Bringing Back Memories

Posted in clicking 365 project

Sports Days Bringing Back Memories

We had cravings for fresh produce from the morning market.  En route we noticed a more than usual sighting of Worcester motor cars, one and one made two and we realised it was the annual Inter-School winter sports day at the Hermanus High school.  Worcester Gymnasium was in town

For 22 odd years we all got up early on Saturday mornings to attend the weekly sports days at various schools.   Fabulous days of running up and down the sidelines cheering our children on, fathers encouraging, training, referreeing and threatening, other parents, children and their own sons and daughters.  Mothers of course are the greatest fans and we’d whoop and scream and do an almost ostrich mating dance along the courts and fields as we cheered.

I could smell the delicious pancakes as we entered the gates, what could be better than a foamalite cup of instant Ricoffy and a cinnamon pancake wrapped in wax paper?  I even spotted a friend whose children are also grown up in the queue and asked what she was doing there, she said they just had a yen to experience this all again.

Nothing has changed, the Referee was biased and unfair, the linesman took a chance and everybody was on the home teams’ side.    “Children have changed” one of the coaches grumbled as he came stomping past us. Of course they have, he’s also changed I noticed, he’s a little greyer  and portlier and he’s also doing the older persons shuffle, not as sprightly I wanted to chirp but didn’t fortunately.  

The result of the U19 1st Team is the highlight of the day and will always determine which school is victorious.  We enjoyed the hour or so we spent next to the field reliving past years.  The sportsmen and women did their respective schools proud.  Well done.

I’ve never done sports photography, we didn’t do that when my children were young, I think we’d have done a video instead and I smiled when I saw the schools videographer running up and down with that huge Panasonic relic on his shoulder.  Some things never change! 

My respect and admiration for sports photographers has just risen by leaps and bounds; how do they shoot with those huge lenses with the added handicap of having to use a monopod to stabilise their lenses.   I doubt that one photograph I took will even make it into the school’s annual magazine or FaceBook page!  So my photographs aren’t a documentary at all they’re Fine Art, with blurred movement showing speed and agility.

Things I learned yesterday:

  1. Know the sport you want to photograph so that you can anticipate what’s going to happen.
  2. Have a good, fast telephoto lens ( I didn’t and should’ve had my 200mm lens even my 400mm would’ve worked, but too heavy for me to shoot from the hand.)
  3. Use a very fast shutter speed
  4. I always shoot in Manual so it was neither the time nor place to learn all about Tv. (shooting in shutting speed mode)
  5. Set your ISO to 500 or more if the light is bad or the shutter is slow
  6. Make sure you’re focussed and the AF Drive is set on AI Servo
  7. Have extra Data cards
  8. Battery must be charged and have extras
  9. Shoot in maximum bursts.
  10. Scott Kelby I agree sports photography is a messy business.

“In order to be a stellar sports photographer, you need skill, determination and a quick eye for the right moment. (Having access to at least four camera bodies helps too!)”Damian Strohmeyer and Peter Read Miller

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