Some new challenges

Some new challenges

My apologies for the gap in posts to this blog. I have been unusually busy, with a story to complete (handed in now), another magazine contribution, some consulting work and a major new challenge. That’s what I will be focussing on for the next few posts. Here’s a recent photograph to show that this post has a photography theme.

I’ve been chosen as the photographer for the Gymsports New Zealand National Artistic Gymnastics Championships in early October. While I’d done lots of sports photography, I had only covered one gymnastic event before. (You can see the results of my efforts here and here). So I wanted to get in some training. The local Gymsports Nelson have been fantastic: allowing me to join their training sessions, photograph their gymnasts, and politing telling me when I’m standing in someone’s way.

But gymnastics presents its own difficulties for a photographer, especially the lighting in some of the gyms. Even in Nelson’s Trafalgar Centre, where the lighting levels are relatively high,  I found that my camera and lens were being pushed beyond what I would consider safe limits for good quality images.

So I have upgraded my camera, to a Nikon D700. That’s a full-frame model which does extremely well in low light conditions.  More on that in some later posts.  But first I had to learn to drive it.  So here are some practice shots, taken with my 300mm f:4 AF-S lens:


(I like that previous shot: it was blowing a gale and this guy was obviously regretting sitting with his back to the wind.)

Finally, a crop of a long-distance shot with a 1.4x teleconverter:


I am very pleased indeed with the D700.

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