I’m always up for new photographic experiences, so when I spotted that Panasonic were running a workshop afternoon at the Lee Valley White Water Centre today I booked my place immediately. Despite living just a forty minute drive from Lee Valley I’ve never been before, but on the evidence of today I’ll be returning. Our subjects for today’s shoot were the Team GB canoeing team as they trained for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
We had the luxury of being able to get right up to the water’s edge and the opportunity to try a range of Panasonic cameras and lenses too. I’d taken my own camera along, but tried the Panasonic/Leica 50-200mm lens out of curiosity. This model wasn’t available when I bought my long lenses but I realise now it could replace two of them with it so I may keep my eyes peeled for a good second hand copy sometime.
After a sunny morning, the weather turned on us this afternoon, with rain and heavy cloud. While this made light levels very low, it had the benefit of giving less contrast between the athletes and the white water, so it wasn’t all bad. This was my first time photographing canoeing, and a steep learning curve too. While trying to capture the fast-moving action, I also had to try and keep the athletes and both ends of their paddles in the frame. I wasn’t always successful, but I enjoyed trying and I captured some great expressions of effort on their faces. As my fingers quickly lost both circulation and sensation, I also gained a whole new level of admiration for those athletes who paddled without gloves – canoeing certainly isn’t a sport for those with bad circulation!
12 November 2019