Archive for August, 2012

Jacks n Joe, Dodgers, Arrival

August 31st, 2012
By



Howdy!

Busy busy BUSY first day on the ground here in Los Angeles.  Sports columnist Dave Reardon and I started with a nice human interest story about a gentleman with Hawaii roots who owns a restaurant near USC called “Jacks n Joe.”  After hearing the remarkable story of how he went from being a baggage handler at the Hana airport in Maui, to an architect mogul in Beverly Hills, and finally, to serving down-home, comfort food to the likes of Troy Polemalu, Abe Markowitz, and Matt Barkley, I made a nice poignant portrait of him with the only visible item that hints that his establishment, and kuleana, are truly based around Hawaii.

Mark Bednorz holds a surfboard with his late daugher Myckala's name carved by USC football player and Hawaii homegrown Simione Vehikite at Jacks N Joe restaurant on Thursday, August 30, 2012 near the USC campus in Los Angeles. The restaurant is a favorite among many USC football players and serves local Hawaiian style food. Bednorz and his wife, Vianney, built the restaurant from the ground up after the sudden passing of their 12-year-old daughter, Myckala, in 2006. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

After a busy morning chatting with Mark, we were off to Dodger Stadium to go pay local boys Shane Victorino and Brandon League a visit.  Upon arriving at the pass gate, and after getting credentialed, I couldn’t help but feel awe as I walked up to the railing and looked out on one of the great ballparks in our nation.

Dodger Stadium. First look. Shot with my iPhone

After getting situated in the press area, I went down to the field level, where I met with Dodgers team photographer Jon SooHoo.  At this time, the Dodgers were doing warmups and taking batting practice.  Jon advised me that Shane and Brandon were aware that we were here for them, and was very helpful in me being able to grab a quick “fast food” portrait of Brandon League.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon League poses for a portrait on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

I used a 24-70 lens, one 580 flash handheld popped with a pocketwizard, and the wrong lens hood.  Yup, that’s right, the WRONG lens hood.  I slapped a 70-200 hood on my 24-70 to achieve the vignette effect.  Aside from a color adjustment in camera RAW, everything here is a practical application!

Unfortunately, in the hustle and bustle of warmups and BP (there were a LOT of media doing interviews and milling about), I wasn’t able to get a portrait of Shane.  But off to the first base photo well I went.  Upon getting there, I noticed that the shooting areas were already taped off and marked with “AP,” “Getty,” “LA Times,” “Daily News,” “Reuters,” and “Dodgers.”   Uh-oh.  No space for the visiting island dude.  Luckily, Jon SooHoo graciously allowed me the Dodgers spot–I would be shooting next to Hans Gutknecht of the LA Daily News, Stephen Dunn of Getty Images, and Mark Terrill of AP–a fun bunch of ace shooters.  So I got situated and waited for the game to begin.  Pregame festivities included a tribute to perhaps the greatest baseball announcer of all time–Vin Scully, and a rainbow over the right field wall.

Dodgers GM Don Mattingly is interviewed by the media prior to the game.

Dodgers GM Don Mattingly is interviewed by the media prior to the game.

Baseball announcer Vin Scully waves to the crowd before a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

My shooting position in the 1st base well. Gaffers tape saved the day.

So after settling in, I attached my 400 to one of my cameras, and was in the process of screwing it tight into the monopod–but alas–it kept freewheeling.  Thread.  Stripped.  No.  NO!!!  I had to think of something fast.  I wasn’t about to handhold this thing the whole game!  Gaffers tape to the rescue!  See my previous posts on equipment, and you’ll see that I “don’t leave home without it.”  Gaffers tape, that is.

Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw delivers in the top of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Los Angeles Dodgers' GM Don Mattingly listens to 1st base umpire Tim Timmons after a balk was called on pitcher Clayton Kershaw in the top of the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Los Angeles Dodgers' Shane Victorino connects for a single in the bottom of the fourth inning of a Major League Baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Since my coverage was weighted towards feature art for our local players, I won’t publish most of that on here until it publishes in the Star-Advertiser, but I did manage to get some great shots from that 1st base well.  You’re so close to the action!  Second base was a tight pan with the 400 2.8.  And, when Dodgers GM Don Mattingly argued a call, it was literally RIGHT in front of us!  You could hear them talking!  So amazing!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay the whole game.  The Warriors were due from their flight out to LA at the hotel in Manhattan Beach, and we needed to be there to greet them.

Around 11:15, the buses finally arrived at the Marriott Manhattan Beach.  Coach Norm Chow and the team quickly disembarked and turned in for the night.  After transmitting a couple of shots of the team arriving, I called it a night.  Only a 16-hour day, nothing at all.  But an EXCITING 16-hour day!  Tune in for more soon!

Hawaii football players Kapua Sai, left, and Sean Schroeder walk with their bags as the Hawaii Warrior football team arrives on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan Beach. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii football players George Daily-Lyles, left, and Kamalani Alo walk into the lobby as the Hawaii Warrior football team arrives on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at the Marriot Hotel in Manhattan Beach. (Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Los Angeles

August 30th, 2012
By



Greetings y’all!

Writing you from sunny LA where I’m here to cover the UH football season opener against USC.  Despite what the polls say (40 points), I am here because of the historical and news importance of head coach Norm Chow’s first game.  I’ll be working alongside UH football ace reporters Dave Reardon and Stephen Tsai, and I’ll be updating this blog on a daily basis while up here.

I’m also shooting the LA Dodgers’ Shane Victorino and Brandon League–two local boys who are now wearing Dodger blue.  I’ve never shot in Dodger Stadium before, so it’ll be an exciting time!  The Coliseum AND Dodger Stadium in one weekend?!  A dream just became reality!  So stay tuned!

But for now, and for all you camera gearheads, let me share what’s in my bag during this trip.  Here’s an Instagram photo:

Contents of the main chamber of my Think Tank Airport Security bag

It’s been a while since I posted about gear, but there are a few things I should mention.  Monopod?  400 2.8 hood?  These go into my checked baggage.  In the horrendous event that my luggage gets lost or damaged, I can still shoot and make pictures.  Clothes? Toiletries?  Those are secondary to my cameras!  Also, pocket wizards double as remote triggers for my third body (1DMkIII) as well as a radio slave for the 580Ex.

Here’s some more Instagram shots from my travel day, but for now, Ciao!  Off to shoot the Dodgers!

Passengers and tails, HNL airport

Sunset at 36,000 feet

LA moon