June 8, 2008

Fixed, then suddenly not so fixed.

I recently sent my camera in for a tune-up and cleaning. It needed the sensor cleaned of dust and it just wasn't speaking to my lenses very accurately 100% of the time. Close just isn't good enough. I also sent in my workhorse lens, a Canon F2.8 L 70-200. It has done the majority of my work for about 7 years and through 3 cameras. The zoom dial was getting stiff. I got the camera and lens back in a timely fashion and took it to my next event, an FEI level 3-day Event and horse trials in Parker, CO. All seemed well until the middle of the second day, out on the cross country course. My camera did the unthinkable.... it just quit. I couldn't do anything to make it go again so I let my hired second shooter, Amy E Cody know I was leaving the course for the spare camera.

Amy is a treat to work with. She works hard, doesn't quit, isn't daunted by long hours (11 hours in one day on the cross country course alone) and does good solid work with very few misfires. She knows how to have fun with it too. We also team up to shoot a pair of hunter/jumper shows back to back, in her neck of the woods. The Grazing Fields Farms Head of the Bay Classics.

In the meantime I missed about six or seven riders while I got out the spare and checked to make sure it was healthy. It's expensive to have two of everything. Back-ups are required to do any kind of photography. Professional professionals will have backups. I went to this event with a back-up for the back-up even. A third camera that I borrow from my parents that accepts all my lenses for when there are no excuses for not getting the job done. Amy also brought a complete back-up camera and lens set. We didn't have a shortage of cameras but it's still a big thing when your lead camera dies suddenly, especially only 1500 clicks and less than a week after it's tune-up!

The unfortunate thing is that I had to send it back to the manufacturer and will likely not get it returned before my next large event, a jumping Grand Prix with some international level riders. For this event I will be working with another peer and friend, Lynne Glazer. Another talented and extremely dependable photographer and one of my best friends. I will take along said parents' back-up and Lynne will bring along her two full sets of equipment as well. We get along even better, technically, because we have the same brand and all parts are interchangeable between us.

Well, back to post processing and editing images from the last event! Amy and I shot over 6400 images in three days that I have to process. You can see them here: Oh, and I'm happy to report that the lens is as awesome and crisp as ever!