Archive for November, 2008

Giving Thanks…

November 28th, 2008
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For GREAT light.

Thanksgiving found me working the early shift–one I haven’t worked in quite some time.  I love the light when the sun has just come up.  It’s like Mother Nature reminding you how fortunate you are to be able to capture it with the black contraption in your hand called a camera.

 

A nearly picture-perfect sunrise with the island of Molokai visible on the horizon is juxtaposed by the silhouette of a bulldozer claw Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008 near Makapuu Point.

A nearly picture-perfect sunrise with the island of Molokai visible on the horizon is juxtaposed by the silhouette of a bulldozer claw Thursday, Nov. 27, 2008 near Makapuu Point.

It was off to UH football practice for me, and the light was NICE!!!!!  Our eyes see differently from the camera.  This is what our eyes see:

 

Our eyes see differently from what our camera sees.  This is a pocket of sunlight with the shadows of the UH dorms looming on either side.  I bracketed a sequence, and this is "proper" exposure, showing highlights and detail in the shadows.

Our eyes see differently from what our camera sees. This is a pocket of sunlight with the shadows of the UH dorms looming on either side. I bracketed a sequence, and this is "proper" exposure, showing highlights and detail in the shadows. Note that I brought up some of the shadow for the purpose of showing what our eyes really see in this situation.

Because of the bracketing, which, in case some of you who aren’t familiar with it, is shooting a sequence of shots both over and under exposing up to 2 whole stops, I chose to go with the underexposed highlight.  This results in dramatic chiaroscuro.

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 158mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 200, 1/5000 @ f2.8, Daylight whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 158mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 200, 1/5000 @ f2.8, Daylight whitebalance

Nice light is key.  Here in Hawaii, though, because of our location on the planet, we don’t have very long every day to get good light.  Usually about an hour in the morning and an hour at dusk.  One of my mentors, Frederic Larson of the San Francisco Chronicle, ingrained a saying into my head “Great moments in great light.”  That’s something to live by.  Here’s more football practice.  

Most people were thankful for family, good health, turkey, stuffing, and each other.  I was thankful for that, no question, but I was thankful for great light Thursday morning.

Two Sides

November 25th, 2008
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The New Mexico State Aggies, left, and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine moments before the first serve.

The New Mexico State Aggies, left, and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine moments before the first serve.

This past Sunday I covered the women’s WAC Volleyball Tournament at the Stan Sheriff Center.  The final match between the New Mexico State Aggies and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine was going to be a very long albeit spirited battle between two teams vying for supremacy in the WAC.  Since Hawaii had lost the last time the two teams met, winning would mean a lot more to not just the team, but the scores of fans who came out to see the match.

As a journalist, no matter where we live or who we cover, we always have to tell the story.  In the case of this volleyball match, I had to juggle between covering the Wahine and the Aggies, as either side will tell a story.  I went into this game shooting the usual action from the baseline, the concourse, and the sidelines, but I was really after something different.  Emotion.  Feel.  Jubilation.  Dejection.  These were all items in the checklist in my head, and I attuned my vision to look for them.

 

Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 178mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 178mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

 

The Rainbow Wahine react after claiming a commanding lead in the fourth game during the WAC women's volleyball championship match between the New Mexico State Aggies and  the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.  Hawaii won in four games, claiming the 2008 WAC Championship title.  Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 200mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

The Rainbow Wahine react after claiming a commanding lead in the fourth game during the WAC women's volleyball championship match between the New Mexico State Aggies and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Hawaii won in four games, claiming the 2008 WAC Championship title. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 200mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

Once it became apparent that Hawaii was going to win, I had to make photographs of the Aggies’ frustration and dejection as well.  As the title of this post suggests–two sides.  That’s part of being a responsible photojournalist.

 

The New Mexico State bench watches the final points during the WAC women's volleyball championship match between the New Mexico State Aggies and  the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.  Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 200mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

The New Mexico State bench watches the final points during the WAC women's volleyball championship match between the New Mexico State Aggies and the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 200mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

During the matchpoint, I was faced with a split second dilemma on whether to shoot tight on a key player or keep loose and capture the arena’s reaction to the win.  I opted for the latter and was fortunate enough to be in the right spot so that all the compositional elements worked nicely, even the scoreboard with the final score!

 

Celebrating after match point.  Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 80mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

Celebrating after match point. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 80mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640@f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

Seconds seem to last minutes in situations like these, and I already had it in my mind that as soon as I made a decent photo of the winning moment, I had to rush over to New Mexico State’s side of the court to grab a reaction shot.

 

New Mexico State's Krystal Torres, right, and Erin Birmingham sit dejected on the bench after the WAC women's volleyball championship match.  Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 195mm, Exposure mode:  Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640 @ f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

New Mexico State's Krystal Torres, right, and Erin Birmingham sit dejected on the bench after the WAC women's volleyball championship match. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f2.8L IS at 195mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1250, 1/640 @ f2.8, 4200K Whitebalance

Myself, UH Media Relations guru Jay Metzger, and Honolulu Advertiser photographer Andrew Shimabuku all agreed prior to the last point played that we shoot long for about 5 seconds (5 “Mississippi”) before rushing in for the wide angle jube.  It actually worked out well that way, as I was able to grab the shot above instead of rushing midcourt towards Hawaii’s celebration.

But I couldn’t stay away from that…no no, not me.

 

Hawaii's Stephanie Brandt, middle, and Elizabeth Kaaihue share a laugh after winning the match.  Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 16-35 f2.8L at 16mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1000, 1/500 @ f3.5, 4200K Whitebalance

Hawaii's Stephanie Brandt, middle, and Elizabeth Kaaihue share a laugh after winning the match. Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 16-35 f2.8L at 16mm, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO 1000, 1/500 @ f3.5, 4200K Whitebalance

Because of my going back and forth between Hawaii’s and New Mexico’s sides of the court, I ended up getting stuck on the opposite side of the rest of the media circus that had gathered to shoot the Wahine.  SHUCKS!  STUCK!  I had to lay low for a few seconds.  It ended up playing in my favor though, because I was able to get this shot of Aneli raising up the trophy the second after she received it:

 

Hawaii floor captain Aneli Cubi-Otineru raises the WAC Championship trophy.  Notice where every other member of the media is on the far left of the frame.  I was probably the most photographed photographer that night, but not on purpose, needless to say

Hawaii floor captain Aneli Cubi-Otineru raises the WAC Championship trophy. Notice where every other member of the media is on the far left of the frame. I was probably the most photographed photographer that night, but not on purpose, needless to say

Of course there was also the ceremonious mugging for the camera, and the shaka shot that follows.  I’ve never been one to photograph gratuitous “mugging.”  Yet we have to for the books, per se.  I ended up filing this one instead of the token shot, just to return the favor to my fellow media shooters.

 

Smile, everyone's backs of their heads, you're on camera!!

Smile, everyone's backs of their heads, you're on camera!!

 That’s my take on Sunday’s volleyball match, surely one of the more exciting ones this season.  (It was exciting….and no I’m NOT calling YOU Shirley!)  

And I’ll leave you with this shot.  Because of all the constant searching for jube, dejection, and emotion, sometimes you end up with the out-of-the-ordinary action shot simply because you aren’t after it:

 

Hawaii's Stephanie Brandt, left, and Aneli Cubi-Otineru dive for a ball in the fourth game.  Shot while I was lurking near the sideline waiting for my jube shot.

Hawaii's Stephanie Brandt, left, and Aneli Cubi-Otineru dive for a ball in the fourth game. Shot while I was lurking near the sideline waiting for my jube shot.

Nosebleed

November 23rd, 2008
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Artsy Fartsy with Greg Alexander.  Shooting from up there gives really clean backgrounds

Artsy Fartsy with Greg Alexander. Shooting from the nosebleed gives really clean backgrounds

A few posts ago, I shot from the stands with the 800mm, but I was shooting from the press box perspective.  Hawaii’s win against Idaho Saturday night found me in the nosebleed section behind the South endzone-waaaaay up there.  Yet another neat angle, and very clean.  Here’s a few images from up there.  

 

 

Hawaii's Malcolm Lane pulls in a touchdown pass ahead of Idaho's Eric Hunter during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium

Hawaii's Malcolm Lane pulls in a touchdown pass ahead of Idaho's Eric Hunter during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium

 

Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander dives for the endzone but comes up short during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Hawaii quarterback Greg Alexander dives for the endzone but comes up short during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

 

Hawaii's Michael Washington is double-hit by Idaho's Jeromy Jones, top, and Virdell Larkins during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

Hawaii's Michael Washington is double-hit by Idaho's Jeromy Jones, top, and Virdell Larkins during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

All images from up there were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and the EF 800f5.6, 1/800@f5.6, 4300K Whitebalance, Manual Exposure.

…Just for fun, my favorite image of the game:

 

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle loses his helmet after being sacked by Hawaii's Joshua Leonard during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.  Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 600f4

Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle loses his helmet after being sacked by Hawaii's Joshua Leonard during first-half action of a college football game between the Idaho Vandals and the Hawaii Warriors, Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 600f4

Downcourt with the 300

November 18th, 2008
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In my few years of covering basketball for the Star-Bulletin, I’ve always found it to be a bit of a challenge as far as what focal length of lens to use.  Basketball is a very static sport that seesaws from one end of the court to the other, causing a bit of a juggling episode between two cameras with different lenses.   In previous years, I’d normally use just a 70-200 zoom, then use a 50mm prime or 24-70 zoom for the closer stuff.  The past three games I’ve photographed this season, I’ve used a 300mm lens for all downcourt action and an 85 1.2 for the closer stuff, and I think I’ve found the winning combination of focal lengths.  The 300 mm is quite challenging in that it is tight as a tick (see my post on the 800mm lens in football for more on tight), but when everything and everyone aligns right in the frame, it makes for some very neat and different images.  Here’s one from last night’s late nailbiter against Idaho State:

 

.Hawaii's Roderick Flemings, left, and Idaho State's Austin Kilpatrick eye a loose ball during the first half.  Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 3002.8L, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/800@2.8, ISO 2000, 4100K Whitebalance

.Hawaii's Roderick Flemings, left, and Idaho State's Austin Kilpatrick eye a loose ball during the first half. Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 300f2.8L, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/800@2.8, ISO 2000, 4100K Whitebalance

Now here’s one that I wish went MY way instead of going the other way.  Just the luck of the draw sometimes.

 

Idaho State's Matt Stucki loses the ball while jumping over Hawaii's Adhar Mayen in the final seconds of the first half.  Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 85f1.2L, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/1000@1.2, ISO 400, 4100K Whitebalance.

Idaho State's Matt Stucki loses the ball while jumping over Hawaii's Adhar Mayen in the final seconds of the first half. Canon EOS 1D Mark IIN, EF 85f1.2L, Exposure mode: Manual, 1/1000@1.2, ISO 400, 4100K Whitebalance.

Here’s another shot with the 85mm, showing just a fabulous background blur and really isolating the players and action:

 

The 85mm is tricky, because just a hair off, and your shot is out of focus (OOF as we affectionately call it)

The 85mm is tricky, because just a hair off, and your shot is out of focus (OOF as we affectionately call it)

Hoopla

November 18th, 2008
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Well, I’m killing time waiting for a late night men’s college basketball game between Hawaii and Idaho State so I figured I’d share some images from last night’s game.  Hoops is in full swing, and I like it!!  Enjoy…

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