First time shooting a WNBA game and I loved it! Great action and intensity throughout the entire game. You really see how physical the game is when sitting underneath the basket. Can't wait to photograph them again!
I had the great opportunity to photograph the first half of the Boston Breakers and Chicago Red Stars game last night. I wish I could've stayed the entire time! Despite the rainy weather earlier in the day, the fans came out in full force making for better backgrounds. Thank you fans! Also on the field were a few USWNT players and at half time players from the 99' Women's World Cup Championship team! I didn't realize they were going to be out there, but it was cool to see Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain!
Great action on and off the field, I'm hoping to get back there soon!
I had a day. One of those days you shoot a lot of photos, a lot. I knew I was going to Governor's Academy to photograph three games and I thought, why not add a portrait session before the games start! So I set it up with the school and had three basketball players come into the gym early to test some things out and see what we could create. We went through 3 different lighting set ups in about an hour and a half. The first was a standard three light set up, two side lights and a key light above and to the side of the camera. I shot close up with a wide angle to start but moved across the court with a telephoto to get something different. To get the reflection I laid down on the dusty floor and set the camera on the floor, I definitely want to try this again with someone dunking on the other end of the court next time.
The second set up I had the athletes doing more dynamic movements closer to the basket and used two lights. This was harder than I anticipated. Focusing, framing, and timing all have to come together in order to get the photo.
For the last set up, I gave them the option of white background or dark background with red mist. They chose red mist. This was a two light set up, speedlight behind the subject with a red gel, and a B1 with a 2-ft Octa above the camera and off to the side a little. The two athletes that weren't being photographed generously sprayed the mist for the photos. I did bring two small towels with me so the floor didn't get soaked and dangerous for the games!
I love having a day!
After seeing Gina LeVay's work from the March on Washington I wanted to try something similar here in Boston during a demonstration. I loved the feel of separating the subject with beautiful portrait light juxtaposed with the darkened ever changing crowd behind them. Shortly after seeing the project I heard about a demonstration taking place in Copley Square opposing the immigration ban. I only heard about the demonstration the night before and there wasn't much time to plan. Luckily, the morning of the demonstration, really 2 hours before it started, I found a buddy that wanted to help. After a quick 15 minute discussion and a breakfast sandwich, my buddy Max Esposito and I packed up a Profoto B1, a 2 ft octabox, a monopod to use as a light stand, and our camera gear to head down to the demonstration to see what we could create.
We scoped out areas looking for good backgrounds, checked lighting, and then we realized we had to find a different space in which to work as the crowd kept growing and growing. As you can see from the photo above there wasn't much space in which to walk, let alone try to carve out a mini studio. We moved more towards the outskirts of the crowd to find a little bit of space and start asking people if they would participate in our project. Everyone we asked was not only happy to be a part of it but thankful to us for documenting the experience.
Creating these images was an amazing lesson in taking portraits. We were in a crowded place, asking complete strangers to take portraits, using only about a minute to take them, and the light was changing throughout the day/location. I can't say enough how much it helped me improve my portrait skills of lighting a subject, making a connection with a stranger in a short amount of time, and composing all at the same time. It was an amazing experience to create something completely different than you'd expect to see from a protest and learn while doing it. To see more portraits and read thoughts and quotes from the subjects, check out the gallery here.
Below are a few "traditional photos" from the demonstration after we put the lighting gear away.
Fenway park is one of, if not the, best baseball stadium in the country...world. Built in 1912 it has a storied history with the Red Sox; the Green Monster is also the greatest fence around. This is why it makes a perfect backdrop for hockey in the winter. Frozen Fenway hosts high schools, colleges, and an occasional NHL game, as well as being open to the public to skate. This year I was fortunate enough not only to attend, but photograph the opening game of Bentley against Army.
Going into the game I wanted to focus on the atmosphere and allow people to feel as though they were at Fenway Park in the 20 degree weather. First off I needed to make sure I didn't get frostbite. Which is why I wore 4 layers on top, two below, thermal socks, and photo gloves, the ones with holes in the thumb and forefinger. I also had some hand warmers close by to keep my fingers warm enough to press the shutter. It didn't end up being as cold as I thought, but the preparation was still worth it.
I got to the game almost three hours early in order to get some wide shots with the crisp blue sky that pops up after sunset. There was also enough ambient light to keep the Boston skyline at a similar exposure to the lights inside the stadium. Being there early gave me some time to scout a few locations, know where I wanted to be when the teams came out of the locker rooms, and get a few shots of their pregame routines.
The action on the ice was heated and it was a close game until the end when Bentley scored an empty net goal to move ahead 3-1 just before the final horn. Both teams fought hard and I'm sure they enjoyed playing in such a storied stadium. I know I had a great time photographing the event!
While visiting my parents I put together a sports portrait photo shoot with some amazing high school athletes from my Alma Mater Mercersburg Academy. We had 7 athletes and only 90 mins. I went ambitious and tried 4 different lighting set ups and ran the kids though each one. I wish I had some more time to focus on the action photos with each set up, but my plan was to see which lighting scenarios I liked the best. To be honest, I think I like all of them, although the white background and blue mist stood out to me. Group photo at the end along with some portraits of my terrific assistants!
One of my favorite things to do is test out different lighting set ups. Changing colors, shadows, and angles to see what I find interesting. Last night I had access to an entire gym by myself. I spent a little over two hours setting up different scenes and shots to see what I could get out of my gear. Here are a few of my favorites. Unfortunately I couldn't try out my spray bottles to get mist in the photo, that'll have to wait until I get more friends that wanna help out...
Although I only played high school football for two days during preseason, I do understand the draw to playing under the lights. Rushing the field to a hill full of fans, making the big play, and celebrating with your teammates fills you with a sense of thrill that can't be matched many other times in your life. The players give everything they have to their team and the lights amplify it all. The ups and the downs.
This past Wednesday I took some time to go photograph the New England PGA Sectional Championship in Plymouth, MA. at Pine Hills Golf Club. Having a beautiful golf course as your backdrop and time to set up some shots made for a fun day, as well as getting to drive a golf cart around the entire time! It's always amazing to see top players perform in their respective sports and it was no different on Wednesday. The control and precision these golfers have is incredible. I was constantly blown away by the shots they'd make.
One of the challenges with golf is try to find the emotion of the players. Most of the time its tiny expressions after a missed put or shot, but a lot of players barely let it get to them. I managed to grab a few frames with some emotion especially as Matt Doyle, the winner, was receiving his trophy and a few missed putts on the last hole.