Archive for October, 2008

Football from the stands

October 31st, 2008
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Last week’s Hawaii football game against Nevada was a wet and exciting one, to say the least–but exciting for me in more ways than one.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I shot the game with the new Canon EF 800 f5.6L IS lens which Canon Professional Services so graciously loaned me. 

I decided to shoot the first quarter from the stands on the fourth level–which is the same level as the football pressbox.  Basically, it’s the same view and perspective as watching the game on television.  But with the 800mm focal length, a totally different look and angle.

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/640 @ 5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/640 @ 5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

 

 

The angle of view was so tight, it was quite difficult to track the action at times.  It was much like getting accustomed to a new video game and its controls.  After a few plays, I was getting the hang of it.  One thing I noticed was that I gained almost a full stop of light from up in the stands because I was shooting down at the highlight versus the black abyss of the crowd and background when shooting at the field level.  Here’s my favorite shot from the stands:

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/640 @ f5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/640 @ f5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

I had specific orders to be back at field level after the first quarter, so with my lovely assistant Erica and the 600mm lens in tow, we made our way down towards the field.  The rain had begun to come down, and I noticed that the long focal length compressed the view but also made the rain more apparent in the shot.

 

I lost a stop when I went back to field level, so this was shot at 1/500 @5.6 on the 800mm.

I lost a stop when I went back to field level, so this was shot at 1/500 @5.6 on the 800mm.

Luckily the rain started to ease up just a little, and the frames didn’t have that hazy look to them like the one above.  Also, shooting at 1/500 on the 800mm required a very steady hand even on the monopod, as the supertelephoto focal length made just a little shake evident in the photo.

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/500 @ f5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 800 f5.6L IS, ISO 6400, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/500 @ f5.6, Image Stabilization on, 4200K Whitebalance

The neat thing about the 800mm on the field level was the ability to get up close and personal with what was going on on the sidelines.  Coach McMackin was giving his defense a little pep talk and that 800mm put me right next to them.

 

You can almost read Coach Mack's papers under his arm!

You can almost read Coach Mack's papers under his arm!

All in all, that 800mm was a pleasure to use.  Lightning fast autofocus and very lightweight to carry around.  I have to say though, that one would probably fare better using it during daylight hours, as the 5.6 aperture is just a tad dark for night time football.

Posted in sports | 5 Comments »

Not always behind the viewfinder

October 24th, 2008
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Hey Friends!

Sorry for the uber-delayed update–I’ve been working a lot of desk shifts lately to accommodate vacation time by other members of our staff, so I’d be posting about pushing pixels and I wouldn’t want to bore you all with that!

Anyhoo, today I’d like to share with you a shot I took last week at a high school football game between Aiea and Moanalua.  The story was on sportsmanship, and I got word that the two teams would gather in a circle of prayer at midfield prior to the coin toss.

With this in mind, I thought a great perspective would be to use a pole cam and a fisheye lens to capture both teams with their heads down in prayer, and hands held together.

I mounted a Canon 1D Mark III and a 15mm fisheye lens to a Gitzo monopod and used Pocketwizard Plus II transceivers to trigger the shutter.  Here’s what I came up with:

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 15mm f2.8, Exposure Mode:  Aperture Priority with -1/3 exposure compensation, ISO 6400, 1/125 at f4.5, 4200K Whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 15mm f2.8, Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority with -1/3 exposure compensation, ISO 6400, 1/125 at f4.5, 4200K Whitebalance

 

 

I tried various different angles, but this one was the most compositionally sound and really captured the essence of the moment.  

With modern technology now, and through the use of Pocket Wizards, photographers don’t need to be behind the viewfinder to capture a great picture.  Later on with different sports, I’ll go into the setup of remote cameras in more depth.

Enjoy, for now!  Next up, I’ll be sharing some images that I’ll be making at the Hawaii/Nevada football game with the new Canon EF 800 f5.6L.  Stay tuned!

Posted in sports | 3 Comments »

Waikiki’s economy…in time lapse

October 6th, 2008
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Hey All!

Sorry for the delayed post.  Been pretty busy working desk shifts to accommodate our ever-revolving schedule of shooting shifts.

On Sunday, I was assigned the deceptively difficult job of conveying Waikiki’s lack of tourism and how it has been affecting our local economy.  Our editors had noted that I could be as open as I wanted with this, but that it had to illustrate the sparsity of tourists and business.  Okay, sounds good enough.

After spending about an hour in the late afternoon, I had no eggs in my basket.  It didn’t really seem to be empty on the beaches and along the Kalakaua Strip.  Then a thought occurred to me.  I haven’t shot a nice cityscape time lapse in a long long time, and maybe, just MAYBE, the lack of lights in the hotel rooms will illustrate the lack of occupants and business.  I rolled the dice and chose the Hyatt Regency Waikiki because of its accessibility to Kalakaua and the Waikiki nucleus.  I waited until the the sun was nearly gone, then bracketed exposures of 10, 15, and 30 seconds.  This is what I came up with.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35 f2.8L with Bogen mini-tripod, Exposure mode: Manual, 30 seconds @ f13, ISO 200, Tungsten whitebalance, *Note: slight curves adjustment in Photoshop to correct for mixed light.

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 16-35 f2.8L with Bogen mini-tripod, Exposure mode: Manual, 30 seconds @ f13, ISO 200, Tungsten whitebalance, *Note: slight curves adjustment in Photoshop to correct for mixed light.

Posted in news | 12 Comments »