|Susan, Grayson and Abby|
|View from Mass. Ave Bridge|
Photography at Fenway
Fenway doesn’t have a lot of restrictions on bringing fancy cameras into the park; “Cameras and video cameras are permitted but cannot be used to reproduce the game and must not interfere with other fans' enjoyment of the game.” No problem, I could bring my big DSLR and 100-400mm zoom, but I prefer to keep things light and inconspicuous. The perfect solution is “Susan’s” Canon SX50 HS. The same camera that Susan has steadfastly refused to touch!
Let me explain
I got the SX50HS for Susan to take along on our tour through Alaska in 2014. The camera is light, with a small sensor, but has a 24-1200mm fixed lens! With that focal length range, why would you need other lenses? Susan and I tend to choose different hikes on our tours. I generally stay with the photographers, making frequent stops for shots, while Susan moves more quickly with the non-photographers, who are often called the “natural history” groups. Since we are usually exploring different areas, I assumed Susan would want her own camera to capture the action, especially if she is the lucky one to be charged by the angry grizzly.
"Angry charging Grizzly" is one of those
situations for which a 1200mm lens would sound pretty good. But NO.
She continues to argue that I’m the photographer and she has no need to
touch that crazy cameray thing. Cameray? - My word not hers, but I suspect it will catch on. I’ve tried to sneak
the camera over to her side of the bed when she is sleeping, but all my strategies have failed.
|Hungry Grizzly, Pavlov Island Alaska|
|Peddy's Windup, 1200mm View Uncropped|
Sorry for that unfortunately long diversion, but I had to get it off my chest. The bottom line is that I have a nice little camera to bring to athletic events such as the Red Sox, or to third world countries where a big “fancy” camera could be a dangerous attraction. Obviously, the 1200mm focal length on the SX50 HS allows me to get closer to the action, but the camera also has a full range of controls, and although the small sensor can show problems with noise at high ISOs, it does result in a deep depth of field in macro images. And, perhaps most importantly, the camera shoots in RAW!
We got to the game early and had the fun of watching Children’s Day. The Red Sox players had a chance to frolic on the field with their kids. It is a healthy reminder that many of the players are only a little more than kids themselves and have their own new families.
Capturing action shots from far back in the stands can be a challenge. Obviously, a long lens can be helpful, but anticipating the key moments is difficult. Your arms can get numb continually holding the camera in front of your face waiting for the magic to happen. As much as I would love to capture the critical play, I don’t want to spend the whole game with a camera blocking my view of the live action. I usually shoot in just a few situations. Catching the swings is fairly easy. Of course, being along the right field line I could only catch the right-handlers. Capturing the quick and unpredictable action in the infield can be difficult, but with a man on first I can watch for a steal or a dive back to first to avoid a pick-off. If I am on the left field side I can look for action in the home dugout. A little scratching or spitting is always exciting. All of this needs to be limited within reason. There are professional sports photographers right on the sidelines who I can trusted to shoot the key plays. I just try to get a few images to document my attendance at the event and settle back to finish my popcorn. After all, I’m a landscape photographer and despite years of visiting Fenway I have yet to see a tree in the “park”.
Like many newer cameras, the SX50 can construct a panorama image from a series of shots, so I had to capture a disorientingly complete view of the park, but my favorite pictures are of the family while they were trying to steal my popcorn.
Despite the score, it was a great day trip and a good chance to play with my little carrying around camera. My only disappointment was that I failed once again to slip “Susan’s” camera into her pocket book.