What makes a movie astounding? What makes a player great? The difference between Steven Spielberg and Michael Phelps is the obvious; Spielberg doesn't swim and Phelps doesn't make movies. Yet both leave a lasting impression on people around the world. Although I have yet to become a highly renounced producer and the Sacramento Republics are still a start-up football club, both of us were able to formulate ideas to win. I was practicing photography (for the first time) while they played an amazing winning game. One of the few pointers John told me was to shadow one of the photographers. I was lucky and followed the awesome photographer for the Sacramento Republics. He told me a few rules of photography but also showed me how to bend them. One, for example, was never shoot into the sun….unless it’s not 100% direct. The loop-hole is to shoot with the sun off to the side; a little to the left could reflect light off of a white jersey or a tad to the right may enlighten the goalie’s expression. I had to know my rules before I could bend them.
I continued my on-the-job training and first time using a still camera as the game played on. The first half I started with a nice-wide angle lens. With this guy I could get the rides in the background and the action in the center. I had ideas oozing out of my brain after a few perfect photos, until John decided I was a little pampered. He switched me for a sharp Nikon 180 2.8 telephoto lens. Unlike the wide-angle, I had to manually adjust the focus and aperture. I learned to drive manual in a car, now in a camera? Sheesh. I was able to quickly learn how to tinker with it. Then I shot wonderful pictures, absolute masterpieces of color composition and candid shoots of the players…when they stood still. Running along the sidelines with a monopod and a telephoto lens honed me to move my fingers quickly and sharpen my eyes. For someone who had no clue what an ISO, shutter speed, or aperture was (let alone the differences) I did a pretty swell job. Literally, by the end of the game my finger joints were nearly swollen. One golden quality I learned that maybe some others might not was the magic of manual manipulation. I could adjust the aperture manually and tweak the ISO so that the background was blurred but the player was sharp; demonstrating the dynamism of the blurred action behind him. Total athletic focus in still frame.
Whether it be philosophers, athletes, or even producers the one goal they all have in mind is achievement. If it’s in photography, writing blogs, or simply applying for courses in France, I strive for the same achievement. During the Sacramento Republic’s game I quickly learned the beginning of achievement by picking up a camera and letting my imagination unfold. Although I didn’t take photos worthy of Sports Illustrated publication, my goal was the inner drive of taking at least one sufficient photo out of 1,033. And I did! Thank you highly regarded positive figures for guiding me to the beginning path of achievement.
[Ariel studies French at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and will be an exchange student in Paris by the end of Summer. She chose to intern with Christensen Media in the mean time to better her skills in media production.]