I finished with the US Open about 10 days ago, and have been as busy since the tournament as I was during.
My primary feeling after the US Open is: I hate digital photography. I dislike the time needed for processing files, having to stop working to dump cards, needing to continually recharge batteries, dealing with WindowsME crashes, navigating bugs in Nikon's capture software. To top if all off, the hard drive I'd dumped all those cards to crashed on Sunday. I still don't know how that scenario will resolve.
More specifically, I hate the Nikon D1x camera. The shutter lag is unacceptable; it's so bad that I spent two weeks of shooting tennis trying to anticipate the action rather than to react to it. I like working with the F5 film camera much better.
The US Open gave me the opportunity to speak with a few photographers who work with Nikon's new digital camera, the D2x. I didn't hear one negative word about it. That's the camera I'd like to work with, but it retails for around $5,000. I'd have to sell all three of my film cameras along with several lenses to be able to pay for that.
Still, changing to digital is on the horizon. It's difficult to be a photographer in today's market if you're shooting only film.
I'm away from my home office for the next week, on assignment in Florida.
I'm at the US Open, in the photographers' room, chilling out and checking email. Maria Sharapova just beat Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-1, and I'm awaiting the start of the Venus vs. Serena Williams match.
I've been shooting the US Open almost all digital, using Nikon's D1x camera. I'm not too fond of this camera, but it's what I could get my hands on for the tournament. This is the first sports event I've photographed almost entirely with a digital set-up. (I did shoot two rolls of film yesterday, because the D1x's battery died with 30 minutes of light left on court during Andre Agassi's match; I "resorted" to using my favorite camera, the F5.)
The digital transition is going slowly, and it's rather tedious to be going through the phases of change during my busiest two shooting weeks of the year. I've dealt with laptop issues, card-reader issues, flash-card issues, power issues, and so on. I miss just dropping my film off and doing a quick edit the next day.
But I do like the instant feedback. I know immediately if my exposure or timing need adjustment. And I love being able to adapt to quickly changing light (i.e., the sun gets obscured by clouds, etc.) without having to change film.
Venus and Serena are now on court, so I'm off. I'm heading "upstairs" (into the stadium seats) to shoot the first set, then I'll come down to court-level to shoot the second.
Should be a good shoot -- the late-afternoon light is beautiful today.