Featured in the “Magic of Black and White Photography” 8/13/11
Featured in the “Black & White Photography Group” 8/17/11
Featured in “Superbly Visual”
Nikkormat Camera and 100 mm Nikon Lens
Another reject, I actually like this one because of the judges ! :)
Long Jump, Pan American Games Mexico City Mexico early 70’s
Looking at this I thought I’d add to the description, those out there that are old enough and I know a few :)
remember manual focus cameras. This kind of illustrates some thing I have believed for a while. I believe the high speed cameras of today, autofocus and longer lenses have changed the way sports especially are shot. Today most of the photos you see are shot at the lowest aperture 2.8 on most lenses and long focal lengths that not only let’s you get right on top of the subject and also shrinks DOF so that the subject is dramatic and separated from the background. Seems like that is what you see most. back in the day especially before Motor drive on film cameras you shot in an entirely different way.
You shot at higher apertures because manually focusing it was harder to get the subject in focus & sharp which gave you greater DOF. You also were farther away because of the shorter lenses and once again greater DOF and the frame wasn’t isolated to just the subject because you weren’t close enough and finally because you were manually advancing the film, you couldn’t aim and fire away at 10 frames a second with autofocus following the subject continuously and sort it out later.
The result in my opinion is that back in the day you had to put a lot more thought into each shot, consider what the impact of the various elements in the frame outside of the subject would fit and enhance the image, because you couldn’t just set the aperture at 2,8 and shoot away you had to consider what was going to be in focus and what wasn’t and finally many times you had to pre focus the camera in advance and hope the action came into the frame where you thought it would or be damn quick.
Now I love many of the tight dramatic shots that you see but I miss the shots that showed more of the venue or other participants not the central subject or the spectators or officials like the young guy above who is leaning forward almost looks like he is willing the athlete forward or jumping with her. I look at a lot of photos and some of the classic sports photos in the past had so much more to see than the extreme close up, out of focus backgrounds of today. Your eye could wonder and there was just so much more to see. You knew what and where. I recently went through a bunch of photos of the Tour and the close ups could have been any race anywhere in the world especially if you weren’t familiar with the riders but I was happy to see photos that put the tour in the context of the geography. In addition to that dramatic close up of a riders face,sweat pouring down, grimacing grinding to the top of the mountain, there were also photos that showed the steepness of the ascent, dramatic views of the country they were passing through and the crowds lining the roads. This reminds me that we can still shoot both ways and tell a little bit more of the stroy.