River Road Rally isn’t necessarily Hiking, I’ll give you that. Still, over the last two days there was certainly a lot of walking involved- but there was a catch!
As I spoke about recently, I asked to borrow one my Adopted Father’s Cameras, and it certainly served its purpose well; I loved the Camera so much that I asked if I could buy it off him shortly afterwards. He said no, of course (I’ve never known my Adopted Father to part with any of his cameras). He did, however, make me a pretty good deal in the end: Instead of selling me the camera, he asked me to work for him on an as-needed basis in exchange for keeping the camera as long as I wanted it (unless he needed it).
Specifically, he asked me to help him out with Event Photography for an upcoming Biker Rally. I said yes, of course… But I had my reserves- and a lot of anxiety- about it for a long time. The biggest reserves focused around the event itself.
Firstly, it would be my very first event ever; not only was it my first event, there was also a lot hinging on me- including making my Adopted Father’s company look good… And while I am certainly a Hobby Photographer, I am not a professional by any means. I didn’t know if I would be skillful enough to pull it off, especially when I was informed that I’d be using the Nikon D3000 for the event.
Secondly, I have also never actually been to a Bike Rally or interacted with a whole lot of Bikers… In fact, my knowledge of “all things Biker” pretty much starts and ends with an amalgamation of Sons of Anarchy (I know, I know) and 12 to 14 year old me working Community Outreach for B.A.C.A. something like 10 years ago. I had absolutely no idea what I was honestly getting myself into.
Spoiler Alert: I was pleasantly surprised.
Thankfully my Adopted Father dropped off the D3000 several weeks in advance. That took care of a portion of the problem since it gave me plenty of time to get to know the Camera that I would be using- and learn how to use a DSLR in the first place, as I’dd never actually used one before. Additionally, he and my Husband armed me with some knowledge and rules prior to the Rally.
I count my first major Event as a success. That isn’t to say the weekend went off without a hitch, however; while the problems were few and far between, there were still some issues that I had… Like how despite the fact that I was given the Nikon D3000 in advance I still had trouble with the settings. This was mostly in terms of shooting moving subjects, but it had a significant impact on the overall body of my work; I didn’t get quite the number of quality images that I was hoping to and most of them came out… Very orange. On the second day I also managed to lose all of my RAW files- a big “uh oh” in terms of post processing ease and quality. It also took a lot of time and effort- and I got a wicked sunburn in the process.
Note to self: Make sure to remember
to bring your Sunscreen next time!
Despite the mishaps, though, I am happy that I did it for a number of reasons. The least of those reasons is that I now get to borrow a Camera for as long as I want it- and who can honestly be disappointed with that? But better is the fact that I had a lot of fun at my first Rally; I got to witness a beautiful wedding, saw a lot of really nice Bikes, met a lot of truly great people, and saw a pretty neat band perform. On top of it, even though the final picture count is lower than I’d like, what quality shots I did get were pretty amazing– at least by my own standards for my first event.
More important to me personally, though, is that I also came away from it with a much better understanding of just exactly why my Husband loves these powerful little machines (the Bikes, not the Cameras) so damned much. And that’s worth more to me than anything.