Category Archives: Nikon 85mm lens

All Is Better in My Photographic Universe

The kid catches the football in 2009 (left) and 2005.

The kid catches the football in 2009 (left) and 2005.

As much as I miss my younger son living with us, there’s one thing that hurts my heart even more: Not snapping photos of him playing sports.

I’ve clicked the shutter on my many film and digital SLRs thousands of times, as I’ve documented the kid kicking a soccer ball, hitting and catching a baseball, scampering up and down a lacrosse field, throwing a disc, bowling, golfing, scoring baskets, and tossing and catching a football since he was five years old. Blessed with great hand-eye coordination and good speed, he’s been fun to watch.

Just because he’s away at Sam Houston State doesn’t mean that he’s stopped being active. This semester my son has played intramural flag football, basketball, and soccer (which he hadn’t competed in since he was about nine years old). And here I’ve sat 90 minutes away, torn between wanting to still be a part of that experience and realizing that it’s time to let him go (plus I doubt that the other parents are around, which only ups the potential embarrassment factor for him).

Purple was the color of his Knights’ youth football jersey!

Purple was the color of his Knights’ youth football jersey!

But when the kid told us that his team (called Beowulf, natch) was in the semifinals of the SHSU intramural flag football tournament last Tuesday, I decided that I was tired of literally sitting on the sidelines. So the Mister and I drove up to Huntsville to relive the kid’s athletic past and revel in its present.

He made the conversion catch, but, unfortunately, his momentum carried him out of bounds.

He made the conversion catch, but, unfortunately, he landed out of bounds.

I’m so glad that we did! It was fun meeting the guys who have been making a positive impact on his collegiate life, especially his friends Nick and Brandon. And, of course, it’s always good to reconnect with his roommate RJ, his friend since kindergarten.

I never tire of watching him catch a touchdown.

I never tire of watching him catch a touchdown.

Mostly, though, it was wonderful to see our son playing a sport he loves. Personally, I would’ve preferred better lighting conditions—an 8 p.m. time-change game on a dimly lit field caused me to use my Nikon 85mm f/1.4 lens, which I usually reserve for indoor sports.

Willie Joe congratulates the kid.

Willie Joe congratulates the kid.

But it felt good to be back watching my son from behind my Nikon D700, even with a plethora of crummy, high ISO pics.

Good times!

Good times for the kid and RJ!

Plus the chance to snap a post-victory pic of these two happy roommies? Priceless!

My heart feels a little bit better now.

The Photographer’s Psyche

What in the world?!?

What in the world?!?

It’s nice finally being a popular gal in high school . . . even if it is 42 years late. And even if it is a different school.

Of course, I realize that my likability status rises only when I’m toting Nikon equipment. But, hey, I’ll take what I can get!

When I sat down on the hard, wooden bleachers in my sons’ former high school gym last Friday night to shoot volleyball, I saw smiles on friends’ faces and cameras being put down. Then I started snapping away and chimping to check my results.

See the above photo? Those grins would’ve disappeared quickly if anyone else would’ve looked at my Nikon D700’s LCD. Yep, I did capture the ball, but where’s the action? What kind of pathetic excuse for a sports photographer am I?

Carly can dig it.

Carly can dig it.

At first I inwardly groaned and considered a quick exit. But then I remembered why I was at the gym that I had successfully avoided for two years (opting to only shoot the varsity at the better-lit Wheeler Fieldhouse): I wanted to capture good memories for Carly, who is a freshman.

Hannah-Grace spikes.

Hannah-Grace spikes.

As well as a couple other girls who I’ve watched grow up over the years.

Dani K slams the ball over the net.

Dani K slams the ball over the net.

Hard to believe that they’re in high school! Plus they’re so talented!!

The solution to my poor-shooting woes was obvious: I also needed to get my game face on and do a better job.

After the thrilling win, I put my camera down and just watched the junior varsity match, because I didn’t know any of the girls on the team.

Paige passes.

Paige passes.

But then it was time for the varsity to take center stage. I’ve been shooting our high school volleyball for about six years, and we’ve always had good teams.

Erica serves.

Erica serves.

We also have a great fan base that fills the gym and inspires the girls to aspire higher.

An in-your-face block by Erin, Madison, and Erica

Love this in-your-face block!

Which is a good message for action photographers with fragile psyches, too!