Sometimes you need to experience a new place. This year that place was Canada! I've never been and along with Lauren Dobish, wedding and pet photographer extraordinaire, we camped out in a few different locations along the eastern coast of Canada. Hiking, kayaking, and taking photos allowed us to get away, detach from the phones, and enjoy the outdoors, even if the weather wasn't perfect. Enjoy some photos from the trip!
Having worked for two minor league baseball teams previously I had a bit of nostalgia when photographing the Lowell Spinners. The promotions, guys fighting to make the majors, and an intimate atmosphere give minor league baseball a magical quality. Anything can happen and usually does.
During the game I was focused on getting away from the standard action shot, although I still captured a few. I challenged myself to practice difficult slow shutter speeds, to walk around and find different lighting/angles, and to get reaction shots after at bats.
Not being concerned with all of the action allowed me to look around the ballpark and capture images I otherwise would've missed. Small moments can help tell the story of the minor league atmosphere.
Sometimes you need to get out of the house. Recently I've had too much editing to do and that means I don't get outside as much as I like, if at all. Today happened to be a particularly beautiful day and I found myself staring outside often. Once the sun fell low enough, I hopped on the bike and rode into Boston to get my photo fix.
I started around the Charles River Esplanade for the greenery, water, and ease of access via bike. The sun was blanketing the trees and buildings with beautiful late afternoon light and many people taking in the sun as well.
Next is was off to Fenway Park before the Sox game to see what I could find over there. I ended up taking a timelapse from this position as well. Here's hoping it came out well! On the way back I stopped at the Christian Science Plaza for a few photos as well. Turned out to be a great day for a photo fix and some exercise!
Don't be afraid to ask your friends for help or to be a model...This past weekend I was home for my 10th year High School reunion. My buddy, a Crossfit junkie and trainer was going to be there as well and teach a class. I contacted him before and said we should do a short shoot after his class so I could get some practice in and he could get some nice images. Things "worked out", pun intended, and we're both very happy with how the images came out.
It reminded me of my other models, a lot of which are good friends! Check out some below.
Most sports camera's can shoot 10 or more frames per second to help capture the action. However these burst don't always help with certain photos. Certain plays happen so quickly you can't hammer down the shutter and hope you get the photo. These types of plays require practice to get the timing down right and even then it still takes a lot of patience to get the photo. Practice putting your camera in single shot mode and figure out when you need to react to get the photo you want.
Just because the game is over doesn't mean there aren't photos to be made. Great moments can happen after the game and before for that matter. If you don't have a deadline or have to leave quickly, try sticking around and looking for the nice moments after the game.
Sometimes you get scared to take the photo. Scared of what other people might think about what you're doing. Scared that it won't turn out well. Scared that it won't be good enough. Scared it won't be worth it. Sometimes you gotta get over the fear and just do it. Push through. Feel the fear and do it anyway. It's cliche, but it can work. Fake it till ya make it. Take it away Shia LaBeouf...
As with anything, the only way to really improve is to practice. Practice using different techniques, angles, everything! Watch a tutorial online and then go try it out! Once you become comfortable with an aspect of lighting, technical aspects of your camera, or finding interesting light it will become part of your bag of tricks. You'll be able to reach in and grab a circular polarizer on a sunny day or adjust fill flash at a moments notice without thinking about it.
Having a big bag of tricks only comes through repeated practice and work. That can be from assignments, assisting, or trying things out on your own. The best way to get better is to shoot more and be aware of how and why you're shooting. Check in with yourself and make sure you aren't staying in a single position for an entire game or that you are trying to capture different elements and aren't just getting the same photo over and over again. Ask yourself, "How can I make this better?"
With so many uncontrollables it is hard to have a great shoot every single time. Practice and a big bag of tricks will help out tremendously. You'll know how to deal with bad situations that arise, how to get the "look" you want, and to get a safe shot before trying something a little more risky. The great thing about a bag of tricks is that it's never complete. There is always something more to learn. I'm still trying to be completely comfortable with many different aspects of light painting and need to explore different techniques that help get my desired effect. Get out there and shoot some more!
I love capturing the details. Things often overlooked or forgotten. It's fun capturing shots no one pays attention too and even more fun to put yourself in the mindset to look for them. It takes a conscious effort to get our minds in the right state to look for shots that are out of the ordinary. I try to practice getting into this mindset even when I don't have a camera; looking for interesting backgrounds, light, shadows, compositions and subjects.
Sometimes this gets me in trouble with the girlfriend as I'll interrupt a conversation with, "That would make a great photo!", hopefully she'll get used to it... As with anything it takes practice to get better, which is why I look for the details everyday.
How many photos do you need from a game or event depends on what they will be used for. I deliver anywhere from 3-100 photos depending on the event. When you are trying to get a large quantity its harder to be riskier with your photos. One reason I like news assignments is that it allows me to be risky and wait for a moment to happen.
The best time to be risky is when you already have the safe shots. Starting out get the safe shots you need and then look for different ways to be creative. You should also make sure you won't miss a game winning basket or something else as significant. I like to use the third quarter/right after halftime as a time to experiment. There aren't late game heroics going on and you tend to have plenty of safe shots.
I often lay down on the ground or floor to take photos during a game. You definitely get a lower percentage of keepers, but a more impressive image overall. Try using slow shutter speeds, lay on the ground, hold the camera up above your head, focus on an individual and wait for the play to happen. When being risky don't follow the action, try to anticipate whats going to happen next and have you camera there. If a player is on first base then point the camera at second base waiting for the steal or double play ball. Find a great background or frame and wait for the action to come to you. Once you become ok with missing a few photos you can be liberated to try new things and improve your the shots you do get.