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I've been a member of FM for almost 6 years and a frequent patron of the Sports Corner for much of that time. I cut my teeth as a sports shooter here and have many shooters here to thank for the help, instruction and inspiration they have provided. The Sports Corner ebbs and flows in terms of the kinds of posts that have characterized its pages over the time I've been here. The following is based on my own personal experience as a shooter (I've been through most of the early stages listed here) as well as my observation of the kinds of posts that typically show up here. Part tongue-in-cheek, part reality as I see it. The great thing about this though is that if a shooter is willing to hang in there, play by the rules and learn from others, there's a lot of progress to be had from this process.
The Evolution of the Sports Shooter in the FM Sports Corner
Stage 1. I was there--Content of photo is largely undeciperhable except perhaps to serve as evidence (but not proof) that the shooter was at a specific event on a specific day.
Stage 2. I was there and I took this photo--From the shooter’s perspective, the photo captures something that happened while at the specific event on the specific day. Exactly what that ‘something’ is most definitely requires explanation, which usually is not provided.
Stage 3. I was there and I took this pretty good photo--A pretty good shot from the seats at the venue, meaning it was better than 1 and 2 above, but it still probably wasn’t worth bringing the gear for.
Stage 4. I was on/near the field and I got this shot--This one shows that the shooter had the kind of access necessary to grab a good shot. Unfortunatley, the good shot wasn’t quite grabbed.
Stage 5. I was credentialed to shoot this event--Like #1 above, these shots are evidence of the shooter’s credentialed presence at the event. Not much more than that.
Stage 6. I was credentialed to shoot this event and I think I did a pretty good job--These shots tend toward ‘stock’ photos, the kind of shots the seasoned sports shooter can get scads of without even really paying attention to the action on the field. They’re good shots and not necessarily simple to grab, but once you’ve gotten them, and with the help of the more seasoned shooters, you realize they’re a dime a dozen and not very special other than as markers of your arrival as a competent credentialed shooter.
Stage 7. I was credentialed to shoot and I almost got some great shots--These shots by a credentialed shooter go beyond the dime-a-dozen variety at the particular sport, but they fall short of being great because of some glaring problem with the shots (poor exposure, important part of key subjects’ bodies cut off, OOF, etc). These are the equivalent of ‘intermediary species’ in the chain of evidence supporting the theory of evolution. They show that this shooter is on his/her way to being very good at the job s/he is doing, thinking beyond the cookie-cutter photos, but is not quite there yet.
Stage 8. C&C welcome, but not required--These are shots from a shooter who clearly knows what s/he is doing. Not all the shots are great, but they’re all good, and a few are likely to be very good, serving as inspiration to other shooters of this particular sport.
Stage 9. I shot a new sport for the first time--Here we have a seasoned shooter who likely has reached the 8th stage in at least one sport but is shooting something new. This is likely to bring this shooter back to the sixth level for this new sport. Only difference between reaching stage 6 at this point rather than for the first time is that this seasoned shooter probably will jump to stage 8 with this new sport without having to pass through stage 7.
Edited on Oct 12, 2010 at 12:23 AM · View previous versions