Its apparent to me now that new years resolutions clearly exist just to be broken. Stuck between running low on genuine ideas and reaching a place where I was just too busy to keep up on a blog; it's been two months since my last confession. With the onset of Covid-19 widespread throughout the globe, I am at home, I am out of work, and well, here we are once again.
Seawolves Vs. Utah; RAW vs JPEG
Lets talk a little about my last Seawolves game for the 2020 season. The lighting where I shoot as I have mentioned once or twice, or maybe it's every other word out of my mouth; is just not the most ideal. We make lemonade however, it's an obstacle I’ve been dealing with now for over three years, with and without the Seawolves. At any rate, a photographer friend of mine gave me a suggestion that I honestly believe will change the course of my future and quite frankly I feel a little ridiculous having never considered this myself.
With my acquisition of a Nikon D5 - for the first time I’m shooting with a sports camera that’s far smarter than I could ever be. The software on the camera enables the best ever noise reduction, the best exposure correction, the best auto contrast and the best level adjustments. The drawback? Going to have to shoot JPEG for the camera to do this on its own. While all that is great, I did notice that my photos were a lot flatter than shooting RAW (a very large format that's a collection of lovely pixels just itching to be altered).
I do suggest that in times of low light you give this method a shot; I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
I spent the Seawolves v Utah game shooting JPEG, my heart was in my throat that no, you can't just shoot a night game at Starfire JPEG that's ridiculous. With well over 30 pounds of gear, three cameras, a big old backpack and a laptop, I shot that game with only the lowest of expectations with my photos and my camera. It turns out that as long as your exposure is sort of correct the d5 software is so good that it can out do Lightroom. However, in spite of a last minute defeat of the Seawolves it ended up being photo-palooza for their team photographer. Thats me.
In just under ten minutes of extra time, the final kick had been taken by Utah and as I took my first steps onto the field a wave of silence washed over me, almost as if I had stepped through a thick bubble absorbing the sound of the team and the crowd around me. The defeat was positively palpable. At the end of the day, regardless of the result, I always give my hugs and high fives and congratulations on a game well played and hard-fought.
Coronavirus and a New Beginning
When it finally hit that the season was cancelled, I got a text message from my boss at the front office asking me if ‘I’ve ever had a photo used for a pandemic response announcement.’ When it hit me that the great photo-palooza of 2020 was my last experience with the Seawolves for the year, “gutted” doesn’t even really begin to describe how I felt. Springtime with the Seawolves is like my JAM, it's my THING, I spent the latter half of 2019 just looking forward to this exact time of year.
What happened instead, and quite possibly partially to blame for a lack of blog posts, (besides my in-general lackadaisical attitude towards things I don’t REALLY have to do) was a bit of a downward spiral which resulted in my staring at my hands for three weeks contemplating all the things I probably should do but, why? Between sports cancellations, wedding cancellations, and an understandable unease about being too close to one another, my business may ultimately over for the rest of 2020 and I have so much time on my hands. However, this time I tasked myself with using my camera as a means of reassurance.
Just a handful of stuff I've done around the house:
The silver lining here is without a doubt that a world that has opened up to me creatively. Sports will now, and forever be my most favorite thing to shoot. But for the first time, I didn’t have events to go to, and for the first time I had to create my own art. Not only that but in order to push through mentally I had to create work that I am proud of, or at least proud of for attempting. Purposeless photography has always been a challenge for me, we need that reason to get out of bed, we need that reason to put forth effort to do things, but right now photography without real purpose is the only photography that I have; so it's been a world of self portraits, cats, flowers, food, I even took my first chance at a solid effort in my first ever landscape photo. After years of proclaiming that I really don’t have a taste for taking landscape photos, I actually really enjoyed it and am positively itching to take more of them.
In this very, very odd time, my husband, my circus of animals, and my camera have helped me push through; and although there is a very long 2020 ahead, I am spending all the time I can being as creative as possible. Cheers to the new frontiers we can find in our own backyards.
So as soon as the Governor of Washington state says I can, I am booking for the rest of 2020! Get in before the shopping rush!