Over the past couple of years I have really wanted to find a way to host a sports photography workshop. Since my college days at Mt Hood I have been shooting thousands of action photos and advanced my skills as a photographer on and off the playing field. This past fall term at Mt Hood Community College I was invited to teach a lighting course for the Integrated media program at Mt Hood and that kicked the door wide open for a sports workshop.
Once a year I sit down and review the Mt Hood sports schedules after they are published and I get a few game dates on my calendar. This year I noticed something rather different….4 basketball games in 2 days at the Mt Hood gym! The first thing that jumped into my mind was that this was the perfect opportunity to get a lot of shooting time in to teach a sports workshop…it was ON!
Over the next few days I made some calls and emails and things started to fall into place (HUGE thank you to Kim Hyatt, coach Larry and coach Gib for allowing us to shoot at the MHCC gym!).
Originally, I wanted a 4-day workshop but narrowed it down to 3 days. With the 3 days, I would have day one for classroom with 2 hours dedicated to camera & lens review, and an arena strobe review, then we would all head out to the court to shoot 2 games for some hands-on shooting under ambient lighting conditions (I wanted the students to get images in the challenge of low-lighting, before we set up the arena strobes on day 2). On day 2, we would set up the arena lighting and shoot the games, and for day 3 we would have a critique and review of the student images with awards handed out for the top 3 in the following categories: Best Sports Photo: Ambient Lighting, Best Sports Photo: Arena Lighting, Best Detail, and Best Celebration/Emotion. (Another HUGE thank you to Vanessa and Google Hotpot for the prizes & t-shirts).
To give a brief explanation of how Google Hotpot fit into the workshop, here’s the deal: are you familiar with Google Places and how you can rate & review restaurants and other businesses? Well, anything can be rated so my thought was why can’t photographers rate and review photography-related venues and locations? We can explain the best shooting angles, best time of day for lighting, if it’s indoor for sports: where the power outlets are at a specific gym or arena or wedding venue, who the contact people are…you get the idea. With that, I had each student sign up for a Google Hotpot account and add me (email@example.com) and we can all rate and review places and share them with each other. Such an awesome idea!!!
Now, after the students signed up for Hotpot, they had some ambient shooting time on day one, and after they could see the extreme challenge of stopping action, it was time to set up the arena strobes and get them each some shooting time “on the lights”. We started day 2 with a quick setup and I showed each student how to set up and aim the lights correctly, while being safe for the players and spectators. Again, we reviewed the settings for the camera, and each student got 5 full minutes of clock time to shoot on the lights, per each game (remember there were 2 games per day, women’s and mens). The games progressed and the students got a ton of shooting time and a ton of photos taken…everyone had a great time at the games!
Ok, now on to day 3. I wanted to wait a full week to give the students time to edit and submit their top images per each awards category. Once all the images from each student were submitted during the week, I made my choices and we met back in class on day 3. Without further adieu, here are the winners for each category! CONGRATS TO ALL WINNERS!!
FIRST PLACE: Best Sports Photo, Ambient Lighting: