- Posted August 10, 2012 by
Hardest sports photo assignment
The average day will see you carry 60 lbs of gear with 40 lbs of that being water. The rest is photo gear and granola bars. 18 hour days.
This is one of the most physically challenging sports,
underwater photos are easy, so too are cyclists or gymnasts in a gym with a tripod and a fill flash. Have done it all including the Ironman in Kona.
Anyone with a pro digital camera and a decent zoom lens can take great photos and submit them to any magazine as long as you have a short course on ISO, F stop and shutter speed for sports capture and have a great Canon or Nikon camera like the Canon 1D Mark Four or the Nikon F3 that can autofocus and capture at 1/8000 of a sec in bright day with a polarixzer at f 2.8 or F. 8. The gear is in reach of the masses. And the photos now abound by the billions.
But hike in to the edge of the volcano, spend 20 hours non stop on the edge of the death zone at the flow's edge with no backup and come out alive...then let's see what you have.
This is but one of some 3000 film shots I took one day. The lava on the beach will scald you to death if you are hit by it. The lava flow was 20 feet high and a quarter of a mile wide. There were no witnesses. These photos remain. This one excursion took 20 days to get these photos. No one cares, but I do.
The flow since 2006 has never really reached such proportions since this day and April 2002 in Mother's Day. However, I have no regrets. The last photo is of the giant rivers of lava descending to us on Mauna Kea and was the night we were cut off and almost died on the flow.
They were two lawyers from Washington DC and have become our best friends for life. We survived when we should have died. It was quite a moment for all of us and it was their honeymoon too. Welived and made it out of the great lava flow that night and have a great typhoon to thank for it. Luckily, I had ziploc bags packed for all my film, lenses and camera bodies. The tripod? It was burned along with our credit cards in my wife's backpack. The nice thing is we have 3 witnesses to corroborate this story. And their business cards.