I had only shot one track-and-field competition — and, since I was to focus only on the track events, I had never shot any field events — until I was assigned to make pictures of Jared Allison.
At the time that reporter John and I followed Jared during one of his pole-vaulting training sessions at an indoor facility, the high school senior had his eye on breaking the state record and capturing the gold at the state championships, which were about a month away.
I did my best in the indoor facility. The light situation was terrible. One end of the large, tall-ceilinged room was lit with blue-white fluorescents, the other end (where the landing pad was) was lit with dim orange lamps and finally, just beyond the landing pad, were windows that let in a good amount of sunlight. Not the ideal situation for decent white balance.
But I had fun. Pole-vaulting is such a fundamentally strange sport, as John alluded to in his profile of Jared, and I had never shot it before. So it was a challenge on multiple levels — lighting and exposure, the novelty of the sport — but it was fun.
Be sure to check out John’s full article, which includes more photos.
And as for the state championship? Jared didn’t get the gold or break the state record — but that’s okay.