Despite all the traffic jams this weekend, I was really looking forward to covering the University of Okoboji Homecoming events. Fact of the matter is, it's just really fun. There's something refreshing about the state pier in the morning when it serves as the starting point for several of the high-profile athletic competitions. The early morning doesn't have the mid-day's scorching sun or even the same sounds. But it's full of excitement nonetheless.
The triathlon was mainly my focus. It give the photographers the best bang for their buck frankly. We can get swimming and biking shots all in one place. And, although I took shots of the event last year, I was more excited this year because I was more prepared.
I'd been thinking of the best angles to shoot from for weeks. Plus my camera and I have become better friends over the past year. I'm more confident in what she and I can do (it seems appropriate for cameras, like maritime vessels, to always be referred to in the feminine). I would say I'm a lot closer to being the expert f-stop user my mother was with the Nikon 35mm of my childhood. But all that knowledge isn't useful unless it's put to action.
So I put on a pair of swimming trunks.
You read that correctly. My major downfall last year was the fact that I was unprepared to enter the waters of West Okoboji and shoot toward shore as the swimmers left the beach. There's splashes. There's waves. There's some great early morning shadows. But there will be no faces unless I'm out there shin-deep (well, we've had a lot of rain, maybe waist deep) in the waters with the hundreds of people.
That seems to be a pretty good metaphor for the paper's role in the community. We can know about any number of things about grammar, spacing and all the other technical aspects of this fine piece of newsprint you're holding (or the fine digital screen you're reading it on, nothing wrong with that). However, if we aren't out there among the hundreds of thousands of people in our community, it does no good. It's all potential energy and no kinetics.
And trust me, in the summer there's plenty of kinetics to be had, so cinch up your swimming trunks. But, like my photography professor warned us, be sure that camera strap is around your neck the whole time.
By the end of the year, I'm sure I'll have a metaphor for wearing waders while out on the ice during Winter Games.