Number Six: Run

Once upon a time I thought that owning a decent camera would open the floodgates to a world of glamour and riches.

And you know what? I was right, if you substitute “glamour” and “riches” with “getting lots of requests to do volunteer photography” and “getting lots of requests to do volunteer photography”. But here’s a secret: professional photographers may be in the game to make money, but first and foremost they love photography. Also, the prosthetic eye of the camera is the only way for them to have an authentic relationship with the world. Hah hah, we’re broken! But we will show up to shoot at your event.

For example: I volunteered at the 2018 CIBC Run for the Cure this year.

There were dogs in cute costumes.

There were people in pink. So much pink that I had trouble controlling the skin tones in some of my photos.

Darth Maul showed up for some reason. Obviously breast cancer is bad for his criminal empire on Dathomir, so he came to Earth to run for the cure. Or maybe he has a heart to go with his horns.

But the best part of the day came when I stationed myself at the finish line and caught people as they passed through a phalanx of high-fivers and well-wishers. Friends, partners, families and survivors all grinning and hugging as they slapped hands, a wheel of joy being spun and spun again.


Technical notes for the curious: I shot these images on my Fujifilm X-T3, using a mix of lenses. Crowd and group shots were taken with either the 35mm f2 or the 16mm f1.4. Photos of people at the finish line were all taken with my 56mm f1.2 lens, generally at apertures between f1.2 and 2.0. Most of these are jpegs shot in Fujifilm’s Classic Chrome profile and edited slightly in Lightroom, mostly to lift the shadows a bit (Classic Chrome crushes shadows a bit more than I like). This was my first outing with the X-T3 and I was really pleased with the autofocus and image quality. Keeping the camera in high performance mode with continuous focus and burst shooting delivers great results but sucks up batteries like tapioca balls through bubble tea. I probably got about 500-600 shots per battery, which is not bad for a mirrorless camera, but if you’re a DSLR user you’re in for a surprise.


I’m taking part in National Blog Posting Month, which means I’m posting on this blog every day throughout November. You can follow along and see who else is posting this month by following these hashtags on Twitter: #NetPositiveBlog and #NaBloPoMo.