2019 – Queens Cup water skiing Tournament photos by Cary McDonald

2019 was a year of large personal changes and I have been working to grow from the experience, and not dwell on the negative. A part of the growth I wanted for myself was to challenge myself to travel and have new photo adventures. Going on the road and photographing ski tournaments was one of the challenges that I wanted to try to see how I liked it, if at all. Getting out of my comfort zone and really try to have some fun.

Going on the road was interesting. Taking sports or action photos is usually pretty easy, but taking all of the group photos was a challenge since the stage was not set up in a very photographer friendly place. It has also been a while since taking photos of such a large group. At least the group was easy on the eyes compared to some of the sport team photos I’ve taken in the past.

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Going to the Queen’s Cup at Little Mountain Lakes near Charlotte, N.C. was a wonderful experience. The event is designed to parallel the men’s Nautique Big Dawg World Tour and to give women the opportunity to take center stage at an elite event. Little Mountain Lake is also the site of numerous national and world records.  Over the past few years, Female skiers 30 and older from throughout the United States as well as Europe, Australia and Canada have competed in the Queen’s Cups. The event is open to any level, from first tournament to skiers in their 70s.   

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Going on the road and taking photos was tough, but not as tough as I expected. Not considering the cost of the travel, room and food it was hard to get in a groove at first. Hauling all of my gear for the trip was a also big challenge. Being at a new location, being out of state, and getting there after a few skiers had already gone through their first run caught me off guard just a tad. I like to arrive early, get set up, and scope out the place, but just could not get going fast enough that morning after being in the hotel after driving up the night before. May need to take a travel day for photo road trips.

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Was this my best work regarding ski photos… no, unfortunately, not at all. I think I could have been more creative and moved around more. The location was beautiful and the weather was great, but the light and angles were very different than I was used to at Trophy Lakes, my local lake for taking ski photos in Charleston. Half the course was in deep shade and the other in bright sun for the first part of the day… and then just mostly bright sun. However, being in the mountains to take ski pics was awesome! It was a new place and I also didn’t really want to get in the water that trip. It took me a while to get comfortable and get an Idea where I wanted to stand and set up the camera.

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What a treat for Giannina Bonnemann to perform some trick skiing between the rounds on the first day of the Queen’s Cup

Queens Cup

The Second day… I started to get better shots… felt more comfortable, so I’m pretty sure next year will be more exciting. And I was also getting more comfortable with my new large lens… the 400 F/2.8 that weighs over 11 pounds. I got the new lens mostly for skiing and other sports, so I I can get a little closer to the subject.

Queens Cup tournament water skiing photo

I did have a wonderful time taking photos at the Queen’s Cup of the beautiful, strong, athletic, and independent women competing in the event. It was an absolutely wonderful location and I had a great time meeting new friends. Next year, I plan to take better photos.

I greatly appericate the purchases from everyone that help cover the cost of the trip, and all purchases made from my website that help cover the costs of following my passion, and being able to share all of the images that I take online.

Please leave a reply and let me know what you think.

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