14 hours, 150+ teams, 4900+ shots, this was the first competition I had the chance to shoot from beginning to end.
Lots of lessons learned. Some things done right, others where I need to improve.
Basics like actually printing the performance schedule I remembered. I didn’t forget any gear. I got a good seat.
I shot in RAW. It’s been a debateable item for sports photographers: RAW vs. high quality JPEG. The argument for JPEGs is that they need to be published more quickly, and that less is done in post for sports photography when timeliness is critical.
I get the argument, but in the end, my upload speed is what it is. Adobe Lightroom converts from RAW to JPEG on the fly so it really makes no difference from that perspective.
The other argument, that for a Nikon D90 the shots per second shooting in RAW goes down is likely true, but I’m not sure it was a make or break issue.
I am certain that I hit the low light limits of the D90. The combination of 1/500 and ISO 1600 even with a really fast lens worked but left little room for fixing things in post.
My biggest oopses were in not being diligent in writing down the shot numbers, and quite simply not having the right capacity cards. RAW eats space alive, and caused me to change cards on the fly too much.
I’m still learning how to best work the Lightroom / Smugmug combination in post. Lots of choices. How to categorize, how to rename, how to keyword.
My biggest issue is upload speeds. I know that I can post thumbnails and put up large size originals for those who order, but downloads are real-time.
My final challenge is emailing all of the teams. I should have gotten my list together before the competition.
I’m not a pro, but my shots are better than some so called pros. I’m having fun. Shot after shot. More fun than the last.