My daughter recently danced in her dance company’s version of Peter Pan. It’s the first time these amazingly talented kids have been on stage since January 2020 pre-pandemic. It goes without saying that they put their all into it and delivered a fabulous show.
It’s also the first dress rehearsal I’ve photographed since before Covid. Shooting in ever-changing light with subjects who are constantly moving is a challenge I haven’t yet mastered. I always feel I get lucky more often than not, being in the right place at the right moment, and also shooting RAW which allows me to fix a LOT of mistakes I make in camera.
I’m an old dog, and occasionally I can be taught new tricks. At a recent shoot, my client wanted me to capture her twirling with a beautiful scarf she had brought along. Beforehand, knowing that my usual auto focus (and occasionally manual focus) mode wouldn’t cut it, I started playing with AI Servo in back button mode. The photos from that shoot turned out mostly great so I tried it with my daughter’s dress rehearsal. While I can’t say every photo turned out, I was pleased that a higher percentage of these tricky photos to capture were successful. What can I say…. I learn stuff when I need to learn it and not a minute sooner.
I’m not sure why it takes me so long to try new-to-me techniques, but I know my process (in life and in photography) is to try new things on an as-needed basis. I admire those who knuckle down and fill their brains with skills before even picking up their camera, and maybe with a few more successes under my belt, I’ll try that too.
Are you an as-needed learner or do you figure everything out before you start?