Yes, I Really do and Still do!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been using gulls for practice. For as long as I can remember, I’ve highly recommending to you to photograph gulls. I received another email yesterday from Mike (yes you!) asking, “Do you really still shoot gulls for practice?” Damn straight I do! Do I think I’ve mastered panning? Ya, some days I do. But I sure do know those days my panning is not on and I know if because I’ve not been practicing. How often do I practice? At least once a week. Yeap, once a week! This is practice, I’m not actually shooting for keepers, but to keep sharp!
Here’s a couple of shots from last weeks practice. No, these aren’t gallery pieces, these are simply keeping the muscle memory stretched and ready for when shooting is for real. In this case, I was practicing long lens panning, with the D4 on the 800f5.6 AFS on the Gitzo 3540XLS. This particular practice was much more difficult than normal. That’s because I was shooting with my good friend Bob. Bob had his new 600VR2 out for the first time (he literally just got it from B&W). He was learning that throwing around that big glass just isn’t as easy as he thought. He was have problems and like all photographers, it must be the gear. That’s until I stepped up to his camera and blasted away a series without issue. And that just comes from lots and lots and lots of practice. So, even if you’re not really shooting, pick up that camera everyday if you can and practice handholding and panning. Because yes, I really do and still do!