As a first step in my preparation, I signed up for some photography classes through Howard County Parks and Rec. They were inexpensive and short - exactly what I wanted for my first time. The first of these classes started last weekend: Sports Photography. Yes, I'm aware that sports photography is a bit off target. But I was more interested in getting accustomed to photography classes than in the alignment of curriculum with my business.
Sunday's class was fine. And by fine I mean fine for all of the soccer moms and dads who bought a badass camera to take photos of their kids but don't know yet how to use it. (We had to introduce ourselves, and I was the only non-sports-parent there.) The lecturer is a very nice young lady who is developing her presentation skills. So the lecture part wasn't too helpful. The real value was the second half of the class. The instructor had arranged for the class to take photos of a wrestling match being held in the same building. We spent about 45 minutes shooting the action. It was dim, with odd colored lighting, and the referee seemed to be most comfortable with his rear end in front of our lenses. It was an excellent challenge and I enjoyed it (well, I would have been just fine without the referee part).
I reviewed my photos of the wrestling match as soon as I got home, and was marginally pleased. Most in the class used a 50mm lens, but I shot with a 200mm focal length. I couldn't care less about the wrestling scene; I was more interested in capturing the faces of these sweaty kids as they grimaced and struggled and sometimes cried. The photos were there, but the light made it nearly impossible. I did my best, and like some of the images I caught, even if they are horribly noisy and underexposed.
Our homework is to go shoot any type of sporting event and turn in our best photo for review and comment in the next class this weekend. I am determined to find something outdoors, despite the cold, as gyms tend to have the worst light ever. Except for maybe reception halls. And churches.
Maybe I need to rethink the outdoor thing...