Being Your Best

The idea that our best isn’t good enough…how often do you hear that and how much sense does it really make?  Your best is always good enough, because it comes from you, and you are always good enough provided you are giving your best. You may not be able to deliver someone else’s idea of the best, but the good news is that’s not your burden. You only need to fulfill your own best potential, and as long as you remain true to that calling, and always do your best to fulfill your purpose, you don’t need to expect anything more from yourself. It’s easy to get tangled up with the idea of trying to be the best—the best parent, the best employee, the best child, or best friend. If we try to be the best, we run the risk of short-circuiting our originality because we are striving to fit into someone else’s vision of success. On another note, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve, but examining where this feeling comes from is important because wanting to be better than others is our ego coming into play. Letting go of the tendency to hold ourselves up to other people’s standards, and letting go of the belief that we need to compete and win, doesn’t mean we don’t believe in doing the best job we can. We always strive to do our best, because when we do we create a life free of regret, knowing we have performed to the best of our ability. This allows us to feel great personal satisfaction in all of our efforts, regardless of how others perceive the outcome.

This dramatic image was shot at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego, California. While we were not right onto of this horse and jockey, we did have the benefit of using a long telephoto lens, specifically the Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8. We added a 2x doubler and zoomed in even farther. This makes for a heavy and hard to handle combination, so we mounted the Nikon D7000 along with the zoom and doubler on a monopod and found our way close to the finish line (having cool looking gear often helps to convince Security folks that you have some importance). Shooting multiple frames per second and panning the action, or having the focus on the subject and moving the camera and lens to follow, allowed us to capture this action. Panning takes some practice, but is really helpful for any action scene, especially when it is running at 90 degrees to the camera. Having a monopod allows for quick swiveling to follow the action and it is compact as not to disturb others in the area. You might watch photographers at NFL games, they almost all have their massive lenses supported by monopods – they are inexpensive, portable and allow very reasonable stability, even for portrait sessions!

10 responses

  1. Very cool panning image! I like! Good post, too!

    June 19, 2012 at 7:22 am

  2. wow! Awesome shot, look at that horses eyes!

    June 19, 2012 at 9:37 am

  3. Fantastic shot Erik. I love how the horse is in focus but the jockey isn’t.

    June 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

  4. Good tips. I remember year, you said to smooze up to security. I finally tried it and for the last race iI got to be at the rail on the last turn.
    I can’t wait for this yr ,to expand on my experiences. I was surprised how fast its “over’. I ended up stayed all day just to try one more time.
    Will definitely be taking my monopod this time.
    Oh and as usual, good photo!

    June 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm

  5. love the movement and strain on the horse a cracker

    June 20, 2012 at 11:19 am

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