Basketball Season & Arena Lighting!

17 11 2009

In the past, I have always photographed in small gym’s and they always have terrible lighting! I mean, in order to stop action, especially very fast action like dribbling basketballs and 6’9″ guys slamming a serious dunks, etc., you need expensive lenses and top-of-the-line cameras, ie: Canon 1D Mark 2’s or Mark 3’s that can follow focus that fast action. 

At a minimum you need 1/500th of a second and in those dark gym’s that means shooting 1600 or higher ISO’s. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Quality! The newer camera’s are starting to get better with the grain quality but what better way to get good quality but to lower that ISO down in the 400 range, and stop the action with flash duration (I will probably make a blog post in the future regarding flash duration but a basic explanation is the time the light from the flash that falls on the subject) but anyway…. use arena lighting!!

So, with the upcoming basketball season I thought I would finally sit down and create a couple video clips to share with potential clients. The argument is this “oh, I dont want those bright flashes going off during the game because it will distract the players….”. Uh, not if you do it right! The positioning of the lighting is crucial, yes, but if proper testing is done, it can be perfected and create amazing results!

Oh, and remember, I don’t charge a fee for shooting action so email me your team’s schedule and have me shoot a game for your team!

Here are two videos I created that show the full-speed action, along with some still images in between. ENJOY!

Can’t forget the ladies!….

The gym at Mt. Hood Community College with 2 lights bounced off the ceiling:

2 lights bounced off the ceiling

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

photographed with 2 arena lights

Now this is taken without the lights firing, same settings, horrible quality!

Mt. Hood Softball at Timberline

11 11 2009

For the past couple seasons I have taken the team and individual photos for the Mt. Hood softball team. The shoot has become know as the “fire shoot” where we light softballs and bats on fire. I look forward to that shoot the every year! ( click here for a video clip from the infamous fire shoot!!!!)

Since the team doesn’t actually play their first actual game until March 1st, 2010, coach Meadow called and wanted to have a fun Christmas photo taken. She wanted something different and a little more interesting. Her idea was a team photo up in the snow. We planned the shoot for November 10 up at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. Here’s a few from the shoot!:


Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10


Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10


Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10


Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10


Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10Mt. Hood Softball 2009-10

Sports Photography Slideshow!

31 10 2009

Happy Halloween!

Today I was invited to be a guest speaker for Chris Ryan at his weekend photography class. I went down to Newspace and shared my photo thoughts on sports photography and shared an awesome slideshow of my best sports images. A HUGE “thanks” to Chris for the invite, I had a blast today!

Check out my cool slideshow:

Blazers – Game One!

28 10 2009

Wow, can’t believe the regular season is finally here! It was great to see all those familiar faces…and some new ones too. How long has it been, like 6 months since we played Houston in the playoffs? I heard the Canzano show on my way to the game that: “it seems like we’ve been playing Houston all summer”….for sure, LOL!

For me, tonight started like we left off back in April…CRAZY! My shot list was full for pre game so if you yelled at me on the concourse and I missed you or if I just gave a wave…sorry but I was runnin’ everywhere!

It is definitely nice to be back shootin’ the games…can’t wait to see how these guys play together and follow the team again. One down, 81 games plus playoffs remain….UPRISE part 2, bring it!

GO BLAZERS! Here’s a few from tonight!

Mt. Hood Hoops Photo Shoot – Part 1

22 10 2009

Since I graduated college from Mt. Hood in 2001 I have always had an association with the Mens basketball team there at the college. The story goes, back in 2000, then Coach Neilson, recruited me from the photo program. I recall one day this guy showed up to the photo room looking for a sports photographer. Naturally, I was the “sports” guy in the photo program so I agreed to cover games, I was excited to shoot some basketball action! I was looking to get great images for Coach Rob as well as my portfolio for class. It also opened a door to having me share images with the college newspaper, The Advocate.

I think I shot 3000+ photos that year (film of course!). I would shoot the games on a wednesday night, then after the game at 11pm, drive down to Wy-East photo lab, downtown,  to drop off the film, then go home to sleep & drive back downtown at 8am the next morning to pick up the negatives, then drive back to the college in Gresham to edit the film. After I edited and chose the 2-3 images I wanted, I would scan the film, convert to black & white in Photoshop and send the files to the sports editor to make the afternoon deadline for the friday printing of the paper. I ended up winning first place for division 3 best sports photo , and honorable mention for best photography (keep in mind that I only shot sports for the paper so that was HUGE!).

So since I graduated the photo program, I always make it a point to shoot action at a game or 2. I love to follow the team and hope they have a good season to make it to the NWAACC Championship games in Tri-Cities……they always do!

Now on to this year’s photo shoot! Coach Rob has since stepped down from coaching and has passed the rains to his assistant coach Geoff Gibor. “Gib” has been with the team for as long as I can remember and I have always worked with him in the past. Now that he’s head coach he has been doing a great job of team promotion and getting the Mt. Hood name in the Community. That’s where the photo shoot comes in!

For the first part of the shoot we wanted the standard white background to easily cuy out the players from the background and use them in various web site and poster applications. Here’s a couple image examples and

click here for the part 1 video!

Before I forget, a HUGE “thanks” to Bryan Heim for shooting the video and assisting me on this shoot!

Mt. Hood Hoops Shoot – Part 2

22 10 2009

Now that you have seen the first part of the shoot with the white background, it’s time for part 2, dramatic action and the team portrait! (If you havent seen the part 1 video, click here).

Last season, 2008-09, the Portland Trail Blazers and Getty Images Photographer, Jonathan Ferrey, did a very cool portrait session for the team and I wanted something similar (for Blazers portrait examples visit the Getty web site, search for “blazers portrait” and click over to about page 8). He set two studio lights in the background and had a large softbox to light the front of the players. I took this idea and gave it my own spin. I used the same 2 lights in the background but I also wanted a good spot light on the floor to light the Mt. Hood logo and the player.

Now, once all the individual portraits were taken it was time for the team portraits. Coach Gib had the idea that he wanted the players walking through fog. I did my homework and after talking to Denis at Pacific Grip & Lighting he suggested dry ice and said it would stay low to the ground. We also opted to use a fog machine to haze the background air along with the dry ice for the ground effect. Gib & I were pumped, this would be waaaaay cool!

Here are a few action photos, a few setup photos, the awesome “fog” shot, and how Gib used them in this year’s posters! 

Also, click here for the part 2, behind the scenes video!