Admittedly, I’m a nervous, nay-saying photographer when it comes to envisioning potential problems, and my assignment to shoot stills & video of the WSU crew on the Little Arkansas river had the potential for failure written all over it.
First off, there’s not much light at 7:00 AM, and the crew team packs up by 7:45 to make their first classes at WSU. If I want to shoot them from a bridge or the river bank I need to be in position as they approach because those skinny little boats scoot along at about 30 miles an hour, or so it seems, then they’re gone; there’s usually just one chance.
But crew coach Calvin Cupp offered me the front seat of his motor boat so I scampered down the bank and wobbled precariously into position on the bow. It was perfect.
Because I drive to work along the Little Ark river, I have photographed the crew teams over the years during their morning practices. It always struck me as a graceful sport, and seemed even more so watching them at water level, perfectly synchronized, to see the oars skim across the water’s surface, then dig into the river in perfect unison.