Thursday, August 17, 2006

David, Football & A Long Lens

My darling David is overjoyed.

His name has been drawn to attend "Stamps Camp" in Calgary this weekend. Stamps Camp is an opportunity for Calgary Stampeders (our CFL team) football fans to come out, meet their favorite players and possibly be signed as a "Stampeder" for a day and attend training with the team. 100 names have been drawn. The only qualification was to be over 18, in semi-reasonable shape, and to be a fan. On Saturday, they'll be split into 5 teams of 20 and will be put through drills and such. The winning team gets "signed" for a day, wins some prizes and free tickets, and the big news - they get to spend a training session with the actual team, the day before the big Labour Day game!!

David is thrilled. He's an experienced rugby player (so good that he played for the national team) but loves CFL football as well. I'm so happy for him (despite the fact that I don't understand the rules). He's hoping to actually throw the ball around with some of the big-name players. I have a feeling it will be a wonderful day of memories!

To memorialize the day, I've decided to do some photography. Since I don't own a long lens, I'm renting a telephoto zoom from The Camera Store, the best camera/gear store in Calgary. I'm getting a killer lens, a Sigma 120-300mm f2.8, which retails for over US $3000. This is a pro lens and will enable me to get some great action shots. I'll basically be able to get full-frame shots of David over 30 yards away. Since he will be out in the middle of a big field, I'll need this lens to get close.

(I hate to admit I'm almost more excited about the lens than I am about his football adventure).

I'm a little nervous about using this lens. First of all, I've never shot sports. Ever. Telephotos are finicky. They don't get as much light as regular lenses (it's a really long dark tube compared to a short dark tube), and for action photos, you need really fast shutter speeds (like 1/1200th sec or faster) to "freeze the action". Since you don't get much light, that means you need wide-open apertures and faster film to get the right exposures. Plus, it's a heavier lens (about 6 pounds!) than I'm used to, so I borrowed a nice monopod from one of my colleagues. That's important, because hand-shake gets magnified with a long lens, even at faster speeds. Plus, the monopod will be much better than my tri-pod for panning and moving. And I need to pick up some 400 or 800 ISO film, which is faster. And probably a new battery for my camera to drive the auto-focus on this big monster.

I'm also bringing our Canon digital point and shoot just in case I (a) drop the US $3000 lens (God forbid), (b) can't figure out how to get the shots I want or (c) want to make a little video of David doing the chicken dance.

If I have any luck, I'll post some of the results. And more importantly, I'll let you know if David is being signed to the big leagues...


  1. I'm happy for you and your camera lens, and I'm mostly happy for David..... if only it was the Eskimo's that he was training with..... lol

  2. Terri-
    I finished reading The Red Tent. You're right, it got a little strange but for the most part I really enjoyed it.
    Hope you had fun with playing with the lens- oh yeah, and I hope David had a fun time too!