We arrived a little early for a change and managed to get better seats than we usually do. The demo is held in the same facility where the kids have their gymnastics and dance classes, so the attendees are all crowded into one area on folding chairs. If you’re behind a couple of tall people, forget about seeing anything directly in front of you.
Bill, being more giraffe than human (okay, not really) doesn’t have this problem – he can see over most people. He had the dvd camera. I’d brought my camera, too, with the 50mm lens. As I mentioned in some previous post, the kit lens that came with the camera – an 18-55mm lens that allows wider angle shots – is no longer working reliably, so I left that at home.
While we waited for the show to start, Alex fidgeted. He and I switched seats a couple of times as Alex’s view was blocked by the adult woman who kept trading seats with one of her daughters. At some point, and I don’t even remember what prompted it, I asked Alex if he wanted to take the pictures of Julia this time. He brightened up a bit and I handed him my camera. I gave him a brief reminder of how it worked, set it on the “sports” setting so he could get a bunch of shots off just by holding the shutter button down, and had him take a few practice shots.
To be fair, our view was kind of obscured by the balance beam and the parallel bars. So Alex did the best he could during the opening portion of the show. Once that portion was over (when all the kids have been introduced and race across the mat doing forward rolls and cartwheels and handsprings – depending on their level of experience), they broke up into smaller groups by class and moved from one piece of equipment to the next. At that point parents were allowed to move onto the mat to see better and take unobscured pictures and video of their children.
Alex took most of the pictures. I sat in the audience and let him go out onto the mat and do whatever he wanted. It was hard not to try to offer constant suggestions and advice about the angle of the shot or the timing…but I kept my mouth shut. I’m so glad I did, too.
I’ve gone through all the pictures he took (there were many. Many.) and am sharing, below, the ones I like the best. Alex had handed the camera off to me a couple of times – when Julia was on the balance beam and later, the uneven bars – but I didn’t include those, except for the very first picture in this post, when Julia was in the car. I also was tempted to crop these or enhance the color or whatever…but I didn’t.
A couple more notes and then I’ll shut up. The auto-focus setting was on. Alex took pictures of other kids sometimes, and not just of his sister.
I’ll stop now.
Here is Alex’s work:
And that’s the show.