Windy City Fencing SYC 2015, Day 2 | The light strikes back

150124 WCFSYC D2 163It has been four weeks since the Windy City Fencing SYC.  Since then, I had been culling and editing the large volume of photographs I made, one day at a time.  I had finished Day 1 a week after the shoot, which I wrote about over a fortnight ago.  I proceeded to work on Day 2 and Day 3, finishing the latter only just last week.  During all of this, I have been balancing my eyes with my other passion, street photography, and in the midst of it all, I procured a new tool to my photography arsenal that may very well become a game changer to my work, giving me a new way to see.  More on that another time, however.

As I mentioned in my debriefing immediately after the SYC weekend, I started off the second day of my assignment on four hours of sleep, a dire need of caffeine, and some frustration over the dim and harsh lighting of the venue the day before.  Things took a turn for the better when I walked into the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt that morning, though.  Either through happenstance or through someone overhearing my whinging, the lighting significantly improved by a whole stop almost, nearly twice as bright.  That still did not prevent me from having to resort to ISO 6400 at times, but less so.

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With the improved lighting, I dived headlong into the work at hand.  It was clear that the large coffee I had during the morning train ride was not working at all.  It was only after a generous offering of espresso from my friends Zoya and Calvin, who were there coaching their own students, that I finally acquired my second wind.  The day continued more or less routinely as far as fencing tournaments go: intense action on all four corners of the venue sprinkled with intermittent downtime, Clif Bars for sustenance, trying not to get trampled or battered by iPhone-wielding parents during the medals ceremonies, socialising with friends and acquaintances, and of course, capturing those decisive moments that last only for a fraction of a second.

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After nearly twelve hours at the venue, I left with my energy drained, my stomach empty, my eyes strained, but with CF and SD cards filled with thousands of RAW image files.  And I did it all over again the following day.