Getting the photo required a bit of chutzpah on my part. If you look at the background, you an see the audience looking directly at you. I literally had to run "back stage" and shoot forward, the only way I was going to get close enough for the fill flash to have some impact on the exposure. If you look at the back of the man at camera left, you can see the shadows of the flash as it passed through the steel grate that separates me from my subjects. Luckily, I was able to squeeze my lens into the gaps between the supports. I felt a little funny stepping backstage as I did, but I don't think anybody minded. I beat two other photographers to the "sweet spot",and both had a "Why didn't I think of that?" look on their faces when the ceremony concluded.
The Epiphany: My Editor In Chief chose to go with Photo #2, and after some reflection, I saw the wisdom in his decision. My first photo of the bugler playing Taps brings to mind a memorial service, or a funeral. Hmmmm. MEMORIAL day. This is a better MEMORIAL Day photo. Photo #2 shows appreciation for VETERANS who are accepting thanks for their service to our country. Living veterans. Veterans Day should have a more celebratory feeling, and to that end, the more appropriate photo was printed.
|Ken Rockwell's Evaluation|
I've owned the lens for a number of years, and rely on it when I need to make a long-distance shot. Like most Sigmas, the zoom rotation follows the Canon standard, which is the opposite of what we Nikon shooters are used to. Due to its size and weight, I've taken to carrying it on a Black Rapid Sport Breath strap that has a broad shoulder pad for comfort, and a screw eye that attaches to the tripod bracket to take the strain off of the strap lugs on the camera body. This bulky lens is truly the "tail that wags the dog", and every effort should be taken to improve the ease of carry. One great thing about the lens is the image stabilization feature, since it would be nearly impossible to hand-hold the lens without it. And since I mount it on an APS crop body, it's really a 750mm lens, making it all the more mighty. It never fails to draw comments from the people I pass, and since it is almost 2 feet long when extended (with the lens hood), it should.
I try to learn something on every assignment, and this time, it was finding a better vantage point from which to shoot. I was very happy with the results that came from taking that chance.