November 22, 2019

BOA Grand Nationals

3 Days, 91 Bands, Thousands of Photos

This past week I had the opportunity to take photos of BOA Grand Nationals for FloMarching. It was no easy task having to shoot a total of 91 bands over two days but thankfully I wasn't alone as I had my close friend and roommate, Tony McCrackin, there to shoot with me. Our process ended up being pretty simple. To shoot that number of groups and have a quick turnaround time on editing we decided to take photos of every other band, trading off between editing and shooting. It was pretty much nonstop work from the time we arrived at Lucas Oil to the time we left. Our days went from around 7am to 11pm with a few 30 minute breaks thrown in but I think I can speak for both of us when I say we wouldn't trade it for the world. It's honestly pretty breathtaking what these kids are able to accomplish and getting to capture their final performances of the year was worth every long day of shooting.

The Gear

For pretty much all of my photos taken at Grand Nationals I used a Canon EOS R with a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS ii. For a few wider shots I switched over to the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens. Next year I'm hoping to be able to add a second camera body to my arsenal so that I can switch between a telephoto lens and wide-angle lens more easily but the setup I had this year was perfectly fine for pretty much every band. Having the EVF on the R is a huge help when shooting because I can see exactly what the image is going to look like before I take it. Shooting in a stadium like Lucas Oil also makes my job a lot easier since my settings can remain the same all day. I shot at a shutter speed of 1/640 at f2.8 with an ISO of 1000 for pretty much the entire week. The only time this really changed was when I was going for a drum major photo and shooting into the lights or when I switched to my wide-angle lens and went for a different f stop.