Trumped by a graphic designer.
I've been photographing my kid's Summer league swim team for the better part of ten years now and I like to think my photos are pretty good. Last Saturday was the last swim meet of the season and, to tell the truth, I was too burned out to lift up the camera and hit the project with gusto one more time. Had too much on my brain. So my wife, Belinda, (who is also a wonderful graphic designer) grabbed my Canon 7D and asked me how to use it. I was going to give her the long explanation but she just wanted know know if the focus would lock when she pushed the button half way down. Yes. I put the camera on "P" for professional, set the focus for center group, one shot and she was on her way.
When we did the final slide show on Sunday night, for all the parents, kids and coaches, this was the hit image of the evening. Now, looking at stats on Smugmug this is by far the bestseller from that day. And she did more. Many more. Like this one:
She captured the exuberance of the kids in every shot. Mine seemed so posed by comparison. The amazing thing is that she did about 250 images using just one lens. It was the only one I brought along (I figured we had more than enough images for a good slide show by that point in the season-----silly me).
It was the 60mm macros for Canon's smaller sensor cameras. Equivalent to about a 96mm lens on a traditional 35mm camera. No zoom. No wide. Definitely a "zoom with your feet" optic.
She shot everything in jpeg. Large/fine. And it was weird when I went to process the stuff. No exposure comp was really needed. After she really got into it she was able to really connect with the kids as well. I love this photograph because it's so close and so full of energy:
When I look at the photos it makes me wish I could start all over again and unlearn so much of the "safety" stuff I've subconsciously taken on over the years. But most of all I wish I could compose like she does and ignore the technical stuff like she does. One of my wry, female, creative director friends saw the images and pronounced (loudly and with a certain amount of serious intent....) that I should become Belinda's agent and assistant. I could do the techno stuff and Belinda could do the art. Been thinking about it ever since......
She's a very good graphic designer. Here's her old website: www.belindayarritu.com the new one is just waiting for me to write some copy........
I shouldn't be surprised that Belinda is a good photographer. She was shooting with an Olympus OM-1 before I ever picked up a camera. And if I remember correctly she only had one lens.....the 50mm 1.8. And she's worked with the best photographers in the business for the last twenty years. I guess having a point of view and the visual chops is the counterpoint to so much of what I get around to talking about here.
Anyway, I just wanted to share. Drop a comment her if you like her stuff. Sometimes she gets around to reading the blog.