Monday, February 16, 2009

Saturday was clear, but oh, so cold. I looked out across the ice and did not feel like walking half way across the lake to where I would take pictures. I could see people slipping and sliding while they worked to set up the Radar Run starting line. Ever since that fall I took a few years ago, I am petrified of falling.
I pulled my hoodie over my head and tied my hat over that. I find people are not quick to help those who are not young, skinny, and pretty but I finally took the courage to ask one of the guys to take me out on his ATV. He asked someone else to do and after trouble with the machine, that one asked a third.
The spot chosen was on sheer wind polished ice. There wasn't any way I could move around without falling. I was offered the use of the machine. He said he didn't need it and after showing me the controls, went on his way. Oooh, my first time driving an ATV with a quad track. Very cool!
I positioned the machine so I could get a good view of the racers. The wind was fierce and coming straight at me. One of the cones blew down the track and debris would periodically come whipping across the ice. I wondered how long I could stay out there when one of the guys came driving up in a SUV.
"Would you rather sit in here?" I was hesitant because of visibility, but with that wind, I'd be a fool to say no. Of course I took him up on his offer. I moved the ATV and he backed in. We swapped vehicles. I let the engine run a few minutes to get warm and put the window down far enough that I could stick the camera out.
There was some time before contestants came to the line. I wished I'd brought my flute. I had a radio and could hear others calling to each other. Was I the only one alone? That realization made me feel like an outsider.
Finally, though, they were ready. "This one wants a picture," would be called down to me but I ended up taking photos of everyone. After an hour, someone came out for the photo card and I began using the other camera. Later he brought me a burger and fries and I wolfed those down hardly tasting them. The warmth felt good.
I sat by myself for three hours snapping picture after picture of the same people making multiple runs. There were times when the wind would blow chips of ice through the open window. The SUV would shake. I was very glad that I was not standing outside. Finally the second photographer came to take over and she opted to stand on the other side of the track and did not want to sit in the vehicle. I called it quits and drove off the lake.
The pictures were downloaded onto a laptop and a slide show set up. I was leery as I like to crop and edit the pictures to get the best of the scenes, but we also wanted to show people with hopes they'd want to purchase copies. I left when that was set up and headed home.
Yesterday I downloaded the pictures on my computer. Oh no! How horrible! And to think this was set up as a slide show for people to see? I am soooo embarrassed! I began the tedious task of cropping. Yes, this made the photos much better, but I am still not happy. I have to consider, though, that there are crowds at these kinds of events and it's near impossible to get pictures without something in the background. Still, I should have known better.
The worst is knowing that people saw bad photography. This isn't anything like I normally do. I can blame the cold and the wind. If I had felt safe to move around on the ice, I could have chosen a better spot. Still, these are no excuses. I knew which side of the track I had wanted to be on and they had said I could move, but I stayed at the first spot. I let the cold, ice, and wind disrupt my focus and now I pay for it. Yes, I am embarrassed and ashamed... but I'll get over it.
I can only hope that I can recoup some of my integrity with the edited photos posted to the LSSC website.

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