Canon invited us along to a professional services day; part of photographing with professional Canon gear is that we get the occasional invite to join them on a day out to try out new equipment and photograph events we wouldn’t normally get to do. It’s also a no pressure environment to photograph and chat with other photographers and this time around we headed to Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre in Nottingham, to photograph canoeists travelling down the impressive artificial rapids there.
After two excellent talks by Canon Explorers Eddie Keogh & Samo Vidic it was time to head out to the shooting area but not before selecting the equipment to shoot with from Canon’s vast artillery that they had brought along. I grabbed myself a Canon 1Dx mk2 as I’d previously tried a Canon mk4 before release at Canon HQ in London, not too long ago and thought a 1Dx and its 14fps would be great fun (I wasn’t wrong) to try out. I also mated a 16-35 f4 mk2 lens to my 5D mk3 body to grab some clean wide angle shots.
At the shooting area, it wasn’t long before the Canoeists headed down and the clattering of Canon bodies fired up around me from the other photographers. I joined in the choir, pushing the 1Dx right up to 14fps to capture the fast water and fleeting moments from the guys navigating themselves down the rapids. The 14fps of the 1Dx was really quite something, it shot effortlessly to the point I had to hold back from filling up my poor memory cards with hundreds of RAW files. At one point, as a girl navigated down the rapids, I kept my finger on the shutter button in an attempt to show the camera who’s boss and choke the buffer, but no such luck; it laughed at me as it chewed through my memory card before spitting it out and demanding I put another one in.
With the mk3 on my right side with the 16-35 f4 attached, I brought it up to my eye to photograph the guys and girls coming through under a bridge, to capture the speed of the water and them being caught up and controlling themselves through the turbulence. The 5D mk3, formidable as it is, after the 1Dx – felt very slow in comparison. You can certainly see why any self respecting sports photographer would take a 1Dx II over anything else, that camera is a beast.
After an hour or so of photographing and the light having completely disappeared, everyone headed back to the meeting room for a quick chat and a coffee before heading home. Thanks has to go out for the superb support from Canon, they are always excellent and it really gives me the confidence as a professional Canon photographer knowing that every Canon member there knows the cameras inside and out. Their knowledge and expertise never ceases to impress, and it’s always a pleasure to spend a few hours drinking their coffee and eating sandwiches too.
As some of the canoeists are below the age of 18, and while it’s not a legal requirement for us to refrain from posting their photos, one or two are pro level and I haven’t the time to contact them out of respect to publish the photos here. The below shots have been selected accordingly.