Photographing Something Different
Photographing something different. Something that isn’t my usual stuff. This is a bit of a followup to the last article I posted. Doing something different with my photography to keep things interesting; to help keep me motivated and to help me keep enjoying being a photographer.
The Las Vegas International Horse Show
A cool thing about living in Las Vegas, it’s an international destination for stuff like this. My friend, Garrett is really a cowboy at heart, this is right up his alley. He asked if I wanted to go with him and another photographer, H.M. to the Jumping World Cup event. It sounded interesting, so I said yes.
Photographing Something Different… and Walking In Clueless
Sometimes it’s great to do some preliminary research if you’re going to be photographing something that you would otherwise have no idea what might be involved.
How would the light be? How much access would I have? How close could I get to the horses? Would I need a long lens? (hopefully not, don’t really have one)
So How Did I Prepare…
In this instance, I decided to walk in blind. Since I really didn’t have a clue about how the light would be, I decided not to shoot film and just shoot digital. I took my Leica M262 with a 35mm lens. 35mm is such a versatile focal length that I thought that might work best. But since I’m more of a 50mm kind of guy, I took my 50 just in case.
So We Got There
Garrett, H.M. and myself arrived at the SouthPoint Hotel/Casino and made our way to the event. The show was in an arena. The light wasn’t great, but it was adequate. Garrett and H.M. were both shooting D850s with long glass, so they made their way to the best location for that setup. Meanwhile, with my 35mm and 50mm arsenal, I made my way down to a location where I could get as close as I could to at least one of the jumps.
I cranked up the ISO, cranked up my shutter speed and opened up the aperture, wide open f2.0 and the jumping began. It was fun. Now, anyone who is familiar with the M262 will know that it is, by no means, a low light monster. I rarely like to take it higher than 1600, but on this event I bravely (cringingly) pushed it up to 3200.
So, I’m using manual focus for a sporting event, pushing the camera to 3200… I’m not really expecting a lot of great imagery. But it was fun and I enjoyed watching these beautiful animals doing amazing stuff.
One of the things that really impressed me was the audience. They were quiet and paid attention to every jump. And clapped and hooted when each rider and horse completed the course.
So I Got Home
I got home and loaded the images into Lightroom. Yep, the images were a little soft and grainy (noisy) from the ISO. But you know what… I liked that. The shots looked less digital… more like film, shot in similar circumstances. I liked that they didn’t have that pristine clean sharpness that sometimes bothers me about digital.
It was fun. It was something different. I normally wouldn’t think about attending an event like this. Very glad I did.