A week ago I worked my first afternoon/night shift (alone) at the Bellingham Herald. Just before I started my shift I got a text from Russ, the photo editor, saying that a plane was going to land or has landed on I-5. Holy crap, that's big--I think. I jumped on the freeway, not knowing if it would be backed up or not. However, traffic was moving along just fine and I saw a police car driving on the freeway going the speedlimit, lights not flashing, sirens not blaring. So I wonder what an odd coincidence it was. I followed the cop off at the freeway and s/he lead me to right to the plane. It was sitting in an Arco gas station parking lot and I was the first media person on scene (hooray me!), closely followed by Caleb. The small single-engine airplane landed on the freeway after developing engine troubles and could not make it to the airport, only a few miles away. Luckily no one was hurt. It was such an oddity seeing so many officials, and people gawking at the sight yet it never felt strange to me. (Thanks internet, you've almost completely desensitized me.) Check out Caleb's story and my one glorious photo here. Later that day I had my first (maybe second) chance to shoot with a 400mm lens (with the option of using a 1.4x converter) at a high school football game. All I can say about the lens is that it is big. It is heavy. And it is a bit unwieldy at first. I was only at the game for 45 minutes and it was my first time being at a football game with the purpose of photographing it. I never played football, and I don't watch it on it. Battling both learning curves, I can happily say I came away with some successful action shots. Then on Tuesday, I got to use the bazooka of a lens again at a high school soccer game. (woot, woot! soccer is my domain). Needless to say it went better--so I think. It also changed the way I approached photographing soccer for the obvious reason of reach. Now that I've got a taste of what it's like using pro gear it's hard going back to my 7D with a consumer level lens. Check out my football pictures here and soccer pictures here.
Lastly on a completely random note: golfers should play with a roaring crowds and none of this silence nonsense.