setting a new bar
February 8, 2012
- It was July 2007.
was the Annie Oakley Shoot-Out, featuring the best of the American
Association (AMA) at the Darke County Fairgrounds. My job was to cover
shoot the event for, what was at that time, the only real news source
At my side,
as usual, was my then nine year old grandson, Dylan Knoop.
years, Dylan had been attending sporting events with me. On several
he would go to Eldora because racing was huge to him. On this day in
young Knoop would ask me a question that would totally shock me.
I take the other camera and shoot the motorcycle races with you?”
time, I was using a D-100 that was provided to me and my D2H. I gave
to him, set it up and told him to have at it.
I know. Not only did he get some great shots but I published several of
photos in the newspaper with his byline on it. I was very proud.
didn’t ask very often to shoot but when he did, my answer was always
Today, he is a 15 year old freshman at Greenville. He never asks to
he goes out with me, he just picks up the camera, puts on the flash and
first did this, I never thought a lot about it,” Knoop said. “I just
was fun because I watched my papaw and others doing it. The camera
me because of all the buttons on it.”
response for someone that was looking through nine year old eyes. Now,
perspective has changed.
“Now I see
the quality of the picture,” Knoop said. “I enjoy the excitement of
get the right shot. You are up close to the action and I like that. As
you see more because you are right there.”
Knoop has shot several sporting events including basketball, motorcycle
and tractor pulls at the fair.
want to shoot the races at Eldora when I’m old enough to get down to
infield,” Knoop said. “Right now, they won’t let me down there because
young to be there by myself.”
never get the knack of using a camera for sports, Knoop went out and
with a little help along the way. Even though he gets great shots most
time, he has his days like the rest of us.
get everything right but I’m learning,” Knoop admitted. “I think I have
teacher but I have a lot to learn too.”
In a very
short period of time, Knoop has learned three big things when it comes
to know your camera and what it can and can’t do,” Knoop said.
the D2H is easy but the lens we use is not very good. Once we figured
could do with it, then things got much better. I still don’t know how
the adjustments right with the camera and the flash yet but I’m getting
Another thing is timing of a shot. I love it when I get a great shot of
in a basketball game. Sometimes, that shot tells the whole story. If
isn’t there, then you don’t get the shot and you have nothing. It’s
hard for me
sometimes to be able to keep the focus right. I hate it when I get in a
and the picture is out of focus because I wasn’t ready.”
his favorite thing to shoot so far was the tractor pulls.”
being on the track because it’s loud, dirty and even a little
said. “All sports can be dangerous and that’s what makes it exciting.
was little and going to football games, you (me) would make me stand
so I wouldn’t get hurt if a player came too close to us. Now, I’m
I’ve seen everything up close and I know more what it’s about. It’s
to explain but it is exciting to me. I’ve watched you do it for so long
I’ve seen how you do it. I think that drives me to want to do it. It’s
easy as it looks, though.”
the first time Dylan picked that camera up and had his work published,
very excited... as was I. Now, his reward comes in another way.
these people with cameras walking around taking pictures and I look at
what they publish and I think, I can do that good,” Knoop said. “I’m
I’m the best there is with a camera because I know there are many that
better than me. I also know that compared to others, my stuff is better
when I’m out here, people in the crowd see a 15 year old kid doing
think that’s funny because they can’t believe a 15 year old is doing
know people are looking at me, I can feel it, especially when those
from other photographers.”
school, Knoop wants to go to college to major in design engineering and
to design roller coasters. As his papaw, I can say that I am very proud
Dylan and the fact that there’s something in my life that I can pass on
he may be the next great photo journalist of his time. Maybe even a
Prize winner... who knows?
saw myself ever doing this,” Knoop said in closing. “I have learned a
what you taught me.”
he is the next generation of