I must admit that after the first time I took photos of our high school swim team in action, I had a little swagger in my step. Most of my photos looked good, and I felt I did a decent job documenting the event.
Of course, it helped 100 percent that it was an outdoor meet with good light. But how would I do shooting a swim meet indoors?
I got my answer recently when I tried my hand at stopping the swim action at our local natatorium. Armed with my Nikon D700 and Nikon f/1.4 85mm lens, I hopped up the steps of the facility, opened the door, and stood there in awe. A wide smile danced on my face.
I was looking at a big window. And beyond all that glass? A swimming pool! I would be able to shoot through the glass at the swimmers as they took off from the blocks and raced through their events. Without getting wet!
I was enthralled! I was enraptured!
And, of course, I was wrong. Because there were two pools at the Nat. And our team would be competing at the one farther from that wonderful window. Just my luck!
Since this was my second try at shooting swimming, I challenged myself to experiment and look for something different to focus on. The first meet was all about action. This time it was mostly about inaction.
I noticed that the swimmers sometimes seemed frozen in time as they waited to start their events.
It was almost like Rodin had chiseled them out of stone. Not exactly the Thinker, though. Maybe the Water Waiter?
Even the swimmers diving into the pool could be stopped in space. It seemed like artistic photography. I almost felt myself developing a French accent!
But then I walked over to take photos of my friend Sue’s daughter, Jessika. As I snapped away, she was anything but unanimated.
Animated because she didn’t want me to take her photo. Which, of course, only made me want to keep snapping away!
Until Jess finally decided that I wasn’t going to stop, so she might as well smile.
Don’t they say that a smile is a window on your face to show your heart is at home? I guess I got my window after all!