Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winterguard Competition

Throughout high school and college I participated in winterguard - if you don't know what it is, picture a colorguard from a marching band, but indoors with more dance, grace, and performed to a recording, not a marching band. Search youtube for some examples if you're really curious...or if the photos below pique your interest!

I haven't been actively involved with a winterguard in about 10 years (I helped to coach a high school group while living in Richmond), and I've been to one competition held locally, about 5 years ago, but nothing since then. Two weekends ago I attended a competition held locally; it was wonderful to introduce my daughter to the experience (she loved every second of it!) as well as to see the current iteration of the winterguard I helped to found at UVA 15 years ago!

Photographing these guards was not an easy task. No flash photography is allowed, and the kids are performing under gym lights with a lot of yellow reflectance from the bleachers. I needed to use my 50mm prime lens to be able to let in sufficient light to prevent every photo from being under exposed, which meant I couldn't do any zooming. On top of that, the performers are constantly moving, so I needed a sufficiently fast shutter speed to capture the motion (otherwise everything is a big blur). So I took many, MANY photos in order to cull it down to these favorites.

 Every now and again I was able to capture the tosses - it's great to get a shot like this, despite it showing how the rifles are not all being thrown at exactly the same speed!

 These next two are special to me - they are from the unit captiVAtion, which is from UVA! We started winterguard there 15 years ago, as I said, and this is the new version (the original one we started, Etcetera, apparently still exists but doesn't compete; this group is culled from the colorguard associated with the new marching band, so they have better funding than we ever did!). They did a great performance, and I was very proud to see winterguard still flourshing there.

This group was my daughter's favorite - they were dressed as beauty pageant contestants (or princesses, as she kept saying). They were full of energy and delivered such performance! Thoroughly enjoyable to watch, and I loved these pink "rifles".
When this group came out, I switched to my 18-55mm lens so that I could get a shot of the entire group. The colors were fantastic, and the performance was a lot of fun. Sadly, it shows how inadequate this lens was in this setting, so I immediately switched back to the better lens.