Today, I was the official photographer for the second annual Ericsson Golf Tournament at Pakenham Golf Course. As with my trip to Florida for the Space Shuttle launch, I rented lens from Lens Rentals Canada.
This time, I rented the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM, as well as the Canon 100-400mm IS that I used in Florida. In reading on the web about how to shoot a golf tournament, it seems that you need to be far back from the participants, as the sight and sound of a big camera can throw off the golfers. So I wanted lots of reach.
I brought a monopod as well, as I wanted to be able to move around quickly and have stability for the long lens. I was given a golf cart for the day as well.
I was very nervous once I arrived, as I was not really sure how to start. I checked in, got the keys to my cart and drove off to the first tee. I had to work out how far back I should be – at first I don’t think I was terribly effective. I also found that the added hassle of the monopod was too much and I removed it – I never used it. It was too hard to carry a camera with a big lens and an attached monopod and get in and out of the golf cart.
It helped me settle down and start learning how to shoot when I approached groups of friends from work. That was a lot easier.
I tried both lens during the day, although switching was not a fast activity. I see why pros will use two camera bodies, each with a different lens. I used the 70-200 more. I liked the photos it took, but the downside (if you can call it that) was that I needed to be closer to the participants. I got to talk with everyone for a little while. I tried to only take photos after the swing and tried to find a flattering angle. No one wants to see a bad picture of themselves. A lot of people were concerned that I would be taking picture of their mistakes. So I had to reassure them that I only take good shots and no one can tell if they had a good game or not.
In addition to the tournament, the course had so much wildlife. There were birds (including vultures), squirrels and even a very cute fox. Everyone saw the fox, because it was all over the course during the day. Near the end of the day, it stopped to sleep in a sand trap. I parked the cart and very slowly and quietly walked up as close as I could to get a good picture. It was a beautiful little fox.
I’ll need to prepare a more professional photo web site to display the photos. I’ve set up a separate web site (Ottawa Photoworks) for covering events and perhaps even to get some professional events.
After the tournament, I went downtown to the Canadian War Museum where the 2009 World Press Photos exhibit was being shown. A local photographer, Harry Nowell, had organized a group of his friends, acquaintances and students (I had taken his Natural Light Portraits workshop) to meet to see the exhibit. A few of us went to a local pub afterwards to talk about photography before the house band started playing and we had to leave.
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