i’m a numb skull
I have a recurring nightmare that I am witnessing a tornado but my camera is either a mile away in my car, is in my hand but I don’t have a digital card or for some reason I can’t get it to work.
Last night during the Bears’ exciting win over Minnesota I experienced a real life version of that.
My nightmare scenario happened during the final play of the game.
In overtime, the Bears were at the Vikings’ 39 yard line. Jay Cutler dropped back and threw a long pass to Devin Aromashodu. The play came right at me. Like most games, I had three cameras with lenses of different focal lengths.
My split second decision was to stay with my long lens- 400 mm.
I realized that I had misjudged the timing of the play when Aromashodu got closer and closer to me and the ball still hadn’t arrived. When the pass finally got there, I hit the motor drive and got off six frames. They all were in focus but the last four were so tight that they didn’t include the wide receiver’s face.
I immediately grabbed my wide angle around my neck and while holding the 400mm in my left hand, I got up to shoot the reaction to the game-winning catch.
The problem was that my hand was so numb from the cold that I didn’t have enough strength to aim the camera while hitting the focusing button with my thumb and the shutter release with my index finger.
I first took two frames of the ground and then two out of focus shots of Aromashodu and Earl Bennett celebrating. Then I got off one frame that was composed properly and in focus.
After that my hand got even weaker and I couldn’t hold up the camera while focusing and shooting. It got so ridiculous that at one point, I tried to balance the camera on top of my head for support while shooting a picture.
In hindsight, I should have left the 400mm on the ground and used both hands to shoot the jubilation but I didn’t think of that until it was too late.
Anyways, I did get two usable frames, one of which gave the designer plenty of room to put in a headline, but in a perfect world, it could have been a whole lot better.
Oh, well. Now I have to wait until next football season to profit from this costly lesson.
©2009 Scott Strazzante/ Chicago Tribune