Athens Olympic Aquatic Center at Athens Olympic Sports Complex or “fighting with light and space”
Later this May I came across a difficult challenge which I feel I have failed although I managed to salvage all the shots up to a satisfactory (for others) degree. I took some shots during an event in the Athens Olympic Aquatic Center at Athens Olympic Sports Complex that stretched my knowledge and steadiness more that I felt I could handle.
There was an aquatic exhibition performed by small children at the Aquatic center’s closed pool and they had told us we were going to sit in the stands above the pool and I imagined a distance of at least 10 meters away from the subjects. This tricked me into taking just the Sigma 70-300 macro APO Super II lens with me in conjunction with the Cullmann D 4500-C Flash in Auto E-TTL Mode at 0 EV, which could help with the near subjects. The weather was dull and overcast with no sun visible and we expected to rain that afternoon (but it didn’t). The light conditions inside the center were no good either. There was a green light coming from the tinted windows and combined with the tungsten lights of the center it made the colors to render weirdly in camera.
I took some test shots only to find out that they came out too dark although I had boosted my ISO to 1600 (which was the only reason I could salvage the photos later). I had the right type of lens since I was around 10 meters away from the subjects but I was too far to hold the camera as steady as I wanted, since I had to work at 70-150mm. Then it strikes me! I saw some people with cameras near the pool and I quickly ran down the stands to find an exit leading near the pool. I was lucky to find the exit right away and I took some test shots again. This time I was too close!!! The minimum focal length of 70mm was too restraining and suitable only for portrait photography at a distance of no closer than 3-5 meters.
I did what I could with the equipment I had and took some nice (but not so steady) shots. I had also had a hard time balancing the green white balance with the skin tones of the children, but seeing the other photographers' fainted shots I felt lucky to at least have more vivid and contrasted colors. I know that if I had not changed the Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens with Sigma 70-300 macro APO Super II I would have shot brighter and clearer pictures, since I found the way to the pool.
The dull weather outside the center drove the auto-focus of my camera crazy since I had mounted a dark and long lens, but the photos came out brighter and crispier (although I had a couple of them out of focus because of AF missing the subject). Next time I will know that my Canon EF-S 15-85mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens is not to be separated again from my camera!