12.15.10 - Fall Sports Portraits

Three times a year I take on the scheduling, production and shooting of the players and coaches our sports writers at The Daily Local News deem the top of their sport in our county. Fall is always a bit more of a challenge because of the number of sports, nine, and that the schedule usually has me trying to find these people during the holiday break.

This year I decided to stretch the boundaries and do multiple image layouts. Kids can be a bit self conscience, and there are usually a flock of other students in the vicinity making fun of them. This year's group was the most mature and personable group I have ever had. All the outside shots were done on sub-freezing days, and I had to balance my desire to have them relax around the camera with the fear of one or both of us loosing extremities.

Select the image and it will take you to my Flickr page to see the others.


Football 2010

Cross Country (male) 2010


Tennis 2010

Shutter Speed & Strobes

Shutter Sppeed

One concept that takes many photo students awhile to grasp is that when using strobes your shutter speed controls the ambient light. The only difference between these two images is that the one on the left is shot at 1/20s and the one on the right is shot at 1/250s.

I wish I had moved my key light around a little more camera left to get some catch light in his eyes, but tomorrow is another day in the world of newspapers.


I have not mastered developing a method for updating my blog from the various computers in my life. We use PCs at the paper, and simple keystrokes on my MAC, such as the copyright symbol, are ridiculously difficult on the PC. The list of fonts between the two systems are different. If I wait until I get back to my MAC the updating just doesn't get done. It seems the little amount of down time I have to check in comes about 4pm at the office.

I'm so glad this has finally appeared in the paper. The story is about an 83-year-old golfer who has seven career holes-in-one, two of them this past year. We did the interview at his house, and he suffers from some memory loss (he couldn't remember the name of the club he plays at.) So I was without a golf course, cart or clubhouse, and with a budget limited to $0, I was struck with a bolt of genius.

How does one make a golf cup out of nothing? One snags a styrofoam coffe cup from the lunch room, rips off the bottom, wedges it onto the 10.5, uses the same setup I use from my remote camera and gets our victim model to lean down like he his pulling the ball from the hole. GENIUS!!!

Photo of the Day

I have joked for years that I prefer not to peak early in the sports season. Today was the first soccer game of the year. A day game is not something I see much of, as almost all the schools we cover have lights and night games mean bigger crowds and charging for admittance. But this game was scheduled for high noon. Mother Nature gave us a nice cloud cover, and Nikon got me my company camera back. I wish I had shot this with the D3, the slight softness from the slower focus on the D2Hs bugs me, but you work with what you are given. With my schedule for the next few months I am not exposing my equipment to any more wear and weather than I need to for own work. Hopefully I have not peaked for the fall of 2010 with this image.


I spent a few hours Saturday at the BLM's mustang and burro auction in Harrington, Delaware. There has been quite a bit of press lately about the roundups, and while there are at least two sides to every story, my experience with the horses and the BLM were quite positive.

The staff were patient, knowledgeable and kind. The horses were curious, had plenty of hay and separated into small groups based on gender and age. While the prices were low, people need to be approved by the BLM prior to purchase, and then they don't own them until after a year and a secondary approval.

The BLM has foster training homes, and for the horses that won't make it on "the outside" it has a list of private ranches where they live out their lives as they were on the BLM land. Herds are thinned both for the betterment of the species, and because they are not the only animals that graze on the land, and yes, the BLM does have responsibility for cattle and sheep.