Ericsson Golf Tournament

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.

Randy, Miles, Jane and Steve
Randy, Miles, Jane and Steve

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.

Sleeping fox
Sleeping fox

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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