Lenses as Phallic Symbols

I shot my first softball game on Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day. It must have been the luck of the Irish, because it went well!

I decided to shoot this game against Wichita State with a 300mm. Now, I'm not one to tote large lenses around (mostly because I don't own one), but when I get the opportunity to shoot something with a larger lens, I take the chance. One reason is because I've heard that

tight zooms help your sports eye - you're concentrating on emotion, immediate action and are restricted, therefore forced to pay attention more. However, I know why photographers actually like to shoot with large lenses.

Lenses are phallic symbols.

Obviously, men are more prone to succumbing to these symbols of masculinity than women. Men have the "parts," and masculine things like big cars, loud mufflers and sports apparel are obviously more common in male culture. However, and luckily for me, gender roles are broken down when it comes to photography equipment, allowing me the opportunity to indulge in the idea of "overcompensating for something."

I'll put it in my sister's blatant words: Lenses are penises. The bigger the better. Perhaps you don't know how to use it, but if it's big, everyone automatically assumes you know what you're doing. If you've got it, flaunt it. Need I use more cliches?

Maybe that's a bit vulgar, but it's true. I'll admit it, I automatically receive a confidence boost when shooting with large lenses. I feel awesome, and I'll take every opportunity to feel as awesome as possible. Don't worry about practicality!

And you know what's even cooler? Not using a monopod. This isn't photography-minded at all - now you're just showing off. Of course, you shouldn't be using your 200mm on a monopod anyway, but a monopod on a 300mm is acceptable. Of course you should slap a monopod on that 500mm, but you're hand-holding it? Now you're god.

So, I'm being a bit sarcastic, but think about it - it's true. And I don't mind indulging in it.

I had a great time at University Field shooting the double header for the Tigers vs. the Wichita State Shockers. I had a free day, so even though I had photographers assigned to the game for The Maneater, I went ahead and shot it for fun.

The game was such a nice change from shooting basketball, too. In Mizzou Arena, there are so many photographers that there are limited places to can shoot from unless you wanna shoot with a zoom lens from the stands. Also, the lighting is just awful. However, on Wednesday I was outside with 3 p.m. light with a million places to shoot from. I moved around a lot, shooting right next to the dugout, behind third base and up in the stands to get different variations on hitters and plays made in the field.

Although MU's loss to West Virginia was disappointing, I'm glad basketball is over so I can concentrate on spring sports and other stories. I have been very sports-minded lately and want to get back into feature stories and profile pieces...even though I can't shoot those with 300mm lenses.