hand surgery On 11/11/21, I underwent basal reconstruction thumb surgery on my left hand, which has rendered my photography business temporarily closed until I can support and operate my camera/lens with my left hand. Fortunately, I am right-hand dominant! I am currently wearing a brace and will do so for another month with hand therapy not set to commence for another 10-days.

I am a big cyclocross fan, and my friends were competing in Ice Weasels Cometh, so I went along as a spectator. I had ruled out taking a camera, but I experimented with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on my elbow the night before the race; this seemed feasible.

I only intended to take shots of my friends and a few others to set up my camera for each location. See the gallery below.

Rule #1 was to protect my hand.

I could not change my lens’s focal length with my hand, so I set it to 200mm and left it there!

My elbow, it transpires, is a very stable platform. Towards the end of the day, I opted to challenge myself to take a panning shot using my elbow as platform. Hand-panning is my favorite technique for sports photography, and with 40+ years of experience, I am pretty comfortable using this technique. Still, could I do it using my elbow.

My first couple of attempts were not fluid, and fluid movement is the key to panning. The objective is to pick up a bike 40 yards away and then track it by swinging the camera in a ‘panning’ motion. A perfect shot is when the camera and the bike are in perfect synchronization. Everything in synchronization will be in focus, and everything else will have a motion blur.

This shot is as good as I would have expected with two hands, never mind one hand and elbow.