Tuesday, July 1, 2008

HB-34 to the Rescue

I have been reflecting lately on the tendency of amateur photographers to assist each other to get a better shot. Sometimes that comes in the form of advice on composition or the correct camera settings, and other times that means lending a piece of gear. I've been helped a lot over the past year, particularly by the likes of Mick McKiernan without whom most of my photos would still be funny colors (white balance? what's that?) in part because I'm color blind and in part because I was ignorant. Fortunately, ignorance is curable. On the day of the Marquette Waterfront Festival in Madison, WI, I was there mainly to see the musical acts, but there are inevitable people shots as well.

So all of that brings me to this:

Helpful Hand

I was watching a demonstration and noted this fellow angling for a good shot. I wasn't close enough to hear his conversation, but soon his friend dropped down to try to shade his lens. Seemingly not a photographer herself, she wasn't doing much good to shade his lens from the glare he must have been getting. Having just what he needed, I walked over and handed him my HB-34 from my telephoto lens. He was grateful, and for the next five minutes or so, busily snapped away, then returned my lens hood. I don't know him, and have not seen the resulting photos. We never really even spoke except for, "Here, try this." and "Thanks!". While he was shooting away, I took a few myself, though I was sitting next to him and had a 55-200 mm telephoto (which on my Nikon D40 behaves as an 80-300 mm) so I was mighty close to the action for what I was packing. My shot from that moment is:

Capoeira Play
Capoeira Play

Not a bad shot, considering, and it captures some of the drama of capoeira play. I wonder, though, what his shots turned out like. If anybody connects us, and he's posted them somewhere, I'll link to them. In the meantime, I'll continue to savor the connection that occurs when we each try to help the other guy be a little better, a little more successful in his endeavors. I know that's what I'm thinking about when I see these two photos.

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