Wow, what a day. It started early, it ended late, and man did it kick my ass.

I started with location portraiture. I wasn’t phenomenally impressed only because we’re using gear that’s leagues away from where I am. I wanted to see if I have 2 550’s how can I create location portraiture. When Matt Brown (who was leading the session) was a beginner, how did he take portraits? I learned a lot, however. I feel like just being there started a lot of juices flowing about things. I think though, I need to invest a bit more in a flash and sync chord, or some kind of strobe device. It’s time. Part of what really helped was being the “tape” boy. I held a gel over one of the grids, and it let me hear a lot of what people were thinking/muttering/proposing. It allowed me to understand what folks thought and think about what I would do differently.

Then we moved on to studio lighting. I think I excelled a bit more in this environment as I got over the fact that the equipment was beyond me, and took the opportunity to make good pictures. I got commended by Michael Goulding for “not following the leader.” That meant a lot to me, but it was crazy having so many people and such little time. I think it’s easy for people to feel safe in following others. I’m more afraid to follow the pack because it makes me feel like a conformest. I just can’t do that. It isn’t the GPS way. Then, the games began…

Let me quickly make a rude comment about west coast, Big West basketball. What a joke! The pace of the women’s game was terrible. I think that the first half ended in 45 minutes. The teams were in the bonus by the 12th minute, but the refs missed it, and they went until the 7 minute mark before realizing that they were in the double-bonus. Wow! And I thought ACC refs were bad. I didn’t get into the zone at all at the games. I got one good picture from women’s basketball, one good picture from men’s basketball, and then a gorgeous frame from water polo.

The story on water polo is an interesting one. We thought we were going to get an outdoor pool at sunset. Instead, we got an outdoor pool after sunset under lights that make Cary High School seem great. So, what did I do? I went Monet on the place. The pictures weren’t anything that anyone could ever use, but I really liked it. During this weekend, that’s all that matters to me.

Then we got back just in time to rush like crazy to submit our pictures. The pictures from horse racing were amazing. I can’t wait to go tomorrow. I’m really excited. We’re going to wake up at 4:00am to get there at 5:00am with the sun rise. There were some very average pictures, some bad ones, and some generally great ones. I feel like I’m stuck in the middle to the bottom third, but I’m working on it.

Until tomorrow…