Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Learning to shoot gymnastics

My cousin invited me to attend a gymnastics event called the Pack 10 Showcase over the weekend at UCLA. Her daughter is a gymnast. I took my cameras and shot over a thousand photos. Most are not so good. My excuse… I had no feel for the events, nor could I anticipate the athletes movements. And in a lot of cases, I was distracted by the very movements I was trying to capture. Gymnastics live is breathtaking and beautiful. I found myself watching the event through the lens and forgetting to push the shutter.

Here are a few shots.



And my favorite…


I learned a few things too. Apparently UCLA is very good at gymnastics, and so is Oregon State. Also, female gymnasts are among the best trained athletes I’ve ever seen in person. And finally, gymnastics on TV is nothing like gymnastics live. I would pay to see an event like this again.

I also learned a lot about photography. Take the picture above. If I could have figured out how to blur the background the shot would be much better. Or, if I could have shot from the ground instead of from the stands down, the shot would not have the crowd, which would have helped. gymnastics-2Also, taking my light meter would have helped. Getting a reading was a real pain. I underexposed everything. Take the shot above for example. I had to fix it in post production. And the last thing – shooting at 7FPS is hard to do. Of the 1000 shots I took, 600 are useless. Photography is about timing. If you rely on the 7FPS to capture the image, you will miss it (except for the shots above of course).

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