Train station tannoy: “The train now arriving at platforms 1,2,3,4 and 5… is coming in sideways.”
The old jokes remain the best.
The skills needed to be in the exact spot to capture an image like this come with years of experience and practice. Pretentious? No. Proud, yes. Prediction. Observation. Decisiveness. Speed. These are at the heart of event photography. Being ready and in the right place when the bridal bouquet is thrown and caught. When light hits the happy face of a spinning dancer. Kids chasing between tables. Or hiding under them, feet sticking out beneath a tablecloth. Sports, too. Catching that moment when a home run is hit. A cricket ball caught. A puck hits net. A soccer ball hits head. Catching such images doesn’t happen accidentally, nor does it happen overnight. We just make it look easy.
As someone that has worked both events and sports, and lots of them, I would argue that event photography is harder than sports. Sports don’t usually have crowds between you and the subject. Uncle Jim rarely walks across your shot with his phone. For event photography you have to move around. Be agile. Mobile. Observe. You have to be ready. More, you need to have eyes in the back of your head. Event photography is an immersive game. One that unfolds around you. You become a player in the game.
After a while, it’s second nature to use those skills in personal life. As the train approached, I saw what was about to happen. I jumped from the car and grabbed the camera in one movement. Having only seconds to ready myself and my camera I set my settings instinctively by touch as I moved, placing myself on that centre line just as the train hit it and that foot touched down. Bam. Nailed it. And a few others either side, for good luck and just because.
Of course, this was pure luck.
Luck, forged by experience, and years of dedication to my craft. Just like a golfer hitting a hole-in-one is just lucky. After years of practice, but hey. Just like golfers, photographers don’t get them all, of course. There would be no challenge if we did.
But sure. Luck. Let’s go with that. 😉share this with friends: