Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Snapshots at Packer Training Camp

by Christina VanGinkel

I gave my new camera, a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5, with its 12 optic zoom, a real workout this past weekend. My husband, youngest son, and I went to see the Green Bay Packers football training camp. Open to the public, the public is what was there. The fence surrounding the training field was so lined with people we wondered if we would even be able to see anything, let alone get any pictures. After parking our truck across the street in the parking lot of the stadium itself, we headed across the street to the crowded fence. One thing to keep in mind is football fans are friendly by nature and the people crowding the fence were more than willing to let those situated in the back up close, especially kids. I managed to snap a few photos, but then handed my son my camera, having had him leave his at home, and told him to snap away.

So easy is the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z5 to take pictures with, he soon had several photos of the players in practice, including their star player, Brett Favre. With the optic zoom, he was able to zoom in on the action, and he ended up with several photographs that look as if he was standing right on the field next to the players. Keep in mind my son is a huge fan of football in general, and I am sure he was more busy watching the practice than he was making sure he was getting anything suitable in the viewfinder. Still, he came away from the fence with some shots that were not only good, but also good enough to blow up and frame for his bedroom walls.

From the practice field outdoors, we next headed inside the Lambeau Field Atrium where we participated in a paid tour of the recently renovated stadium and atrium. The tour took us up into a private skybox, where we again snapped some photos. From the skybox, we went down into the depths of the stadium, right through the tunnel where the Green Bay Packers themselves come out of to enter the field. Again, snapping photos. From outside, to in a room with a glass wall and bright lights, to an underground area that housed the tunnel, all with different lighting conditions, and we snapped photographs in all of these. All with the automatic setting, I might add, as we are still not adapting at setting our own.

We ended up with a good assortment of photographs. A few would have been improved if we had used the flash, but even those looked good enough to print when we took advantage of our computer's photo enhancing software and applied some fill light. The 12 optic zoom, as I mentioned before, provided the perfect range for giving the allusion that we were closer to the action than we were. Along with all the opportunities, we had for taking photos, we were provided with more than enough photographs to record what a memorable weekend it was!

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