This week I participated in a Canoe competition the way I usually do: sitting in a speedboat and taking pictures. I love canoeing and I’ve been doing it for the last seven years, but for me it is just a hobby, I don’t race, but my friends do and I occasionally go and photograph them and also the other kayak and canoe racers.
This time I was lucky and they told me about the race well in advance and I could borrow a telephoto lens, a Canon 70-200 F4L from my Spanish teacher. It was the first time I used an L-series lens, and it feels good. It is so much better build than the ‘normal’ lenses I use, though it missed focus a couple of times… maybe it needs some calibrating.
The race it self was great for me, but not so good for the participants, the sun was shining and it was very nice and warm, but a strong wind was blowing, making it very hard to line up for the start line and to steer the boats. For me it was great, the nice breeze made small waves gave more contrast to the water in the pictures and also made standing in the sun much more comfortable.
My teammates weren’t so happy about the conditions or about the results of the race, though Gergő got third place in his category, which I think is great. I stayed in the speedboat for a bit longer, because I wanted a couple of shots of the kayak racers too, but unlike last year I had to go home because I’ve done a party photo gig the night before, slept three hours then went to the race and I had to go home to sort the images and send them.
Shooting was pretty straightforward: I set my camera to aperture priority, F4, high-speed burst mode and asked the driver of the speedboat to drive around the course while I photographed all the kayaks and canoes racing past me. I would have been so glad to stay a bit more, but I had to leave…