I bought a scratch card on the 26th after 3 hours of basketball training. The mixture of adrenaline and the £100,000 top prize had enticed me; was this the moment I could finally use the 6-month free Amazon Prime trial to order 100 zoom lenses just because? Nope. Alas it wasn’t meant to be, but from that moment I vowed that the 26th of each month will be declared ‘scratch card day’. So, if my picture quality looks significantly improved on the 27th, you know I hit the motherload.
Anyway, this little anecdote does have significance in this week’s post. Everyone knows that #4 is no stranger to a camera lens, and I mean why should he be? My Nikon obviously adores him, and his face is perfectly acceptable, I suppose. But Wednesday brought a whole new challenge, a photoshoot outside of the confines of the sports hall… oh lord. This adventure was about to test my capabilities of creating greatness using the only equipment I own, my trusty Nikon d3400 and a 35mm lens. Absolutely. No. Zoom. Chim’s confidence in me was wishful to say the least because I had minus 10% hope in myself. You see, he’s had a past modelling for clothes companies and thought now, nearing the end of his degree, would be a good interval to try again. However, Chim’s previous headshots and portfolio snaps are INCREDIBLE, I mean outstanding photography shot by an artist who evidently had years of experience and a mass of equipment to hand. Vs the student that couldn’t turn on a mac computer at the start of university. It’s safe to say I was excited about the opportunity to practice but was dreading my teammate finding out that he wasted an hour of his life to get mediocre shots of what can only resemble a day out to a woodland path.
The latter part of that is actually quite true, we ventured down a wooded footpath near campus, striving for majestic scenery and a more rural setting to which Chim’s urban persona would be the perfect contrast. Now, before I continue, it’s important to understand that this was midday on the hottest day of the year so far. Before commencing the shoot, I’d Googled the ideal camera settings and realised that dawn and dusk are considered the ‘sweet spot’ for taking such pictures. Well, we could forget that, I’d already committed the almighty sin.
Finally, we situated ourselves at what I guessed would be a good spot on the path, a heavenly halo of light broke through the trees and the enchanting odour of stagnant pondwater intertwined with the humid air. I did a few test shots and then resigned to standing in the middle of the path grinning at Chim to tell me how to direct my own photoshoot. We figured out the best angle for light and I proceeded to do what I do best, wing the whole situation by trial and error. Where’s the fun if you’re not doing it wrong? That adrenaline that courses through my veins when getting the shot resurfaced and I was in my element by the end of it. Everything appeared okay on that little screen and I had hope now, but all would be revealed with the fatal uploading.
I fell deeper in love with photography that afternoon. That’s all you need to know. I’ll let you be the judge of the final pieces. Hindsight is a funny thing. When you remove yourself from a situation you can really appreciate what an absolute weirdo you must have seemed. Lying that dirt track in the middle of the woods with a camera and intense concentration as a 6ft3inch basketball player posed, shirt unbuttoned, basketball in hand and not a hoop in sight, it occurred to me, I really should charge an hourly rate.