Last weekend I got to spend a lot of time with my camera. On Saturday Marc and a bunch of other motorcycle enthusiasts headed down to Cayuga to ride the track at Toronto Motorsports Park. I tagged along to take some pictures. The one to the right shows Marc's new cobbled together bike. It has been dubbed MOB, which may stand for Marc's Own Bike, or Made of Bits. No one could give me a definative answer on what the name means. I had some fun taking pictures and got to try out a few techniques. For the picture on the right I kneeled down at the side of the track, set the shutter to a slow speed and panned the camera to to keep the rider and the bike stationary while the background blurs in a fast action motion kind of way. I think my execution of the technique was generally ok, but the grey day and very green background left something to be desired from the result. I do like how the pavement makes it look like I took the picture riding beside the subject. I also took a bunch of pictures of bikes leaning into the corners of the turns. Ultimately the pictures are probably most intersting to people who know Marc, or who were participants in the track day themselves, but I still had a lot of fun taking them and learned a lot in the process.
On Sunday Kate and I went to Sarah and Will's. We try and see them as much as possible and Kate often berates me for not taking my camera so that I can take pictures of Xavier. I still sometimes feel uncomfortable about bringing my camera with me when I go places. This is mostly because I am concerned that wherever I am going with the camera people will feel uncomfortable about it, or that taking pictures will become the focus of the event. I am much more interested in candid pictures, so I of course don't want picture taking to be the focus. I want everyone to go about their normal business while I photograph it. Sunday however turned into quite the photo shoot. When I showed up I imediately started taking pictures of Xavier. He was kinda cranky and it was a struggle to get a smile out of him. After a while I gave up and put the camera away. That is when the food came out. The camera came out again shortly after. I think some of the best pictures from that day are of the feeding. After the little guy (maybe little is a stretch) finished eating and I had put my camera away once again, it was changing time (Note that the original gallery is not there anymore). Again Xavier started being all cute and I had to take my camera out. The result of the last session is on the right. The thing I like most about the pictures over all, is that they show a great range of emotion from Xavier. I think they capture his expresiveness. Of course I can't have a photographic weekend without learning something. On Saturday I learned that I can have fun taking pictures even if I am less than satisfied with the result. On Sunday I learned two things: don't put the camera away and give your subject time to relax. If you keep your camera with you, turn it off, put the lens cap on, but don't put it back in your bag you won't have far to go when that great shot comes along and you won't have to regret missing it. A relaxed subject is not worried about what you are doing with the camera and will provide you with the oportunity for the great candid shot.