Back to the Feature Part V

August 23, 2013 

In a world...

...where the same things happen every year... man clings to overused and nonsensical movie clichés to try and illustrate his point...

When our story last left off, I had waded amid junior triathletes in the shallows of the mighty Columbia:

What I didn't mention in that post was the near-S.N.A.F.U. I created for myself by shooting those photos with Old Tapey, a janky wide-angle you may remember from the classic BtF woe-is-me tale, Busted:

The only reason I was willing to risk shooting from the water without any protection is because it was such a junky lens, literally held together with scotch tape so as not to obscure the focal distance indicator (I'm sure there's a fancier name for it). That far-from-weather-sealed quality almost boned me an hour later as I covered the fair parade on a warm and sunny August day. However, as the moisture that had seeped in and started fogging up my lens from the inside out.

It was thankfully only unsettling and visually damaging instead of unusable and physically damaged and I soon retired Old Tapey to its file cabinet of a coffin.

Last Saturday brought the same set of assignments, and when given the choice to either shoot the junior triathlon or the Dust Devils that night, it was no choice at all. This time, I brought a GoPro on a stick for photos from the water. Here's what my shadow looked like as I got myself in position:

During some tests the night before, I found the delay to be too long if I relied on using the handy GoPro app to trigger three-frame-per-second bursts, so I opted to set it to time-lapse mode at the fastest setting, two frames per second. That made for an excessive 349 frames to wade through, most of which were garbage. Here's the frame I turned in for publication:

I liked the hand wipe since the goggle-less swimmer kind of exemplified the little-kid-triathlon aspect of the race and it was one of the most up-close frames I had. It seems counterintuitive, but my shots from the GoPro were more distant than I expected:

Part of that was getting it out of the way a little early for fear of a swimmer's arm smacking on the monopod or camera, or possibly losing my grip and directly hitting somebody with it. The bonus was getting plenty of awkward photos of myself checking to make sure the time lapse had started:

Other than that, I had fun playing with pockets of light,


snap-happy parents,

shots from the dock,

and some run-of-the-mill snaps,

before heading back to cover yet another local parade mostly featuring the same people and groups I see every year or so:

And while my overall take from the two events is far better than my last try three years ago, there's plenty to improve upon. Having a better feeling for the GoPro's field of view or figuring out a better way to get the shot either through settings on the camera or through a different rig, should be able to yield stronger images.

I guess any crappy move cliché wouldn't be complete without leaving the door open for another sequel, huh?

Speaking of terrible segues...

Check out Jordan Matter's Dancers Among Us work featuring ballet dancers in ordinary situations. It's hard to pick a favorite from the series, and even harder to not select the opening image, but in the interest of not picking the first photo, I'll go with the juvenile humor of this frame.

Switch gears and stop by the L.A. Times for some powerful storytelling through photos by Barbara Davidson and words by Thomas Curwen about a trauma surgeon's work to save a young gunshot victim.

Richard Koci Hernandez talks a bit about shooting street photography with Google Glass over at Time's Lightbox.

PDN has a cool feature about how a Time cover about the American Dream came true.

A couple dad snaps of the royal couple with their new baby drew plenty of online photo derision.

A tweet by Kendrick Brinson set off some fierce backlash for Australia-based Aquaholic Photography, which also has the most abrasive homepage I’ve ever heard (complete with a little jingle you apparently can’t turn off). Their Facebook page was quickly inundated with negative feedback and since they’ll either take down the posts or page soon, here are a couple screen grabs for your enjoyment:

And if you don't click anything else I shared this week, enjoy a fun little stop motion by Ben Garvin showing off his magical beard.

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