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I like Paul's mantra... If I can do it, don't shoot it.
However, when it comes right down to it, there is so little that I can actually do, I might need a stricter ruling.
For example, I don't think I can just stand there and keep my balance with my feet apart and arms outstretched (cops didn't think so either on the side of the road the other night) like the gymnast in your favorite photo #10 is doing. But I can guarantee you she will not think that is a "pose". The camera just caught her in between things, in a transitory position in between movements.
On the other hand, image #8 is also somewhat transitory, yet it is more of what the gymnast will like. Unlike #10, the moment in #8 is harder to catch, because it happens quick and is in step with other movements. The transitory movement in#8 is more of a peak moment (or almost peak... her lifted foot might have been higher in either a sheep or arabesque type position at actual peak) She is in releve also (heel on the floor is raised with a high strong arch) which adds to the moment.
But must importantly, her face, head, arms and hands in #8 are making an artistic STATEMENT (the sport is called artistic gymnastics!)... and that is a good thing for the picture. That statement is appreciated better and longer in a still photograph than it ever can be in real life, because in real life it is fleeting, but in a still photography, it can linger for longer than any human being can reasonably hold it for.
Contrast the use of these same communicative elements of the human body in #8... with that found in image #10, where they are merely making a PREPARATORY transisiton, similar to the ballet preparation for a piroutte, a soutenu, or a chaines turn. The legs are staged in third position, the arms caught midair as they are balancing and winding to build momentum for her next move. This isn't a pose, it is a preparation. It is not a statment, nor is it the type of gymnast she sees herself as in her mind's eye.
I'm making a strong point about this, because it is fundemental in shooting the older kids (collegiate). They aren't cute level 4 anymore. They don't need pictures of themselves just standing there looking fat. Without any clear movement, without the "statement", without death defying pyrotechnic acrobatics, or without graceful to the point of ethereal lyricism in their poses to distract them, all they see of themselves is self consciously distorted thunder thighs, and they don't like that. Catch them doing something more than standing there.
I couldn't even stand there, so Pauls mantra isn't quite enough of a control for me!
You crank out damn good exposures and focus in that supposedly poor light, so I have no comments as far as the "photography" is concerned.
And the gymnsast in Image #6 would be proud of the action shot you took of her in a one arm grip change on bars. Great timing. Great face. Great pointed toes, feet together at 12 oclock noon. Now that's a textbook gymnastics shot right there!
(ps... for the archived record, I was just kidding about the cops. I don't drink. Just wanted to add a little drama to the point )