Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Jacks n Joe, Dodgers, Arrival

August 31st, 2012
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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).

Reach

October 22nd, 2011
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A little finger tipper from last night’s Kamehameha vs. St. Louis football game.  Just wish I was in front of this play instead.

Kamehameha's Raymond Pedrina soars but comes up just short of a pass in the endzone during first-half action of an ILH Football game between the St. Louis Crusaders and the Kamehameha Warriors on Friday, October 21, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Aiea. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

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Magnetism

September 26th, 2011
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That’s apparently what happened during the UC Davis/Hawaii game this past Saturday!  After all these years of covering football, there are still some games where you just magically seem to have that rabbit’s foot in your pocket, and everything, and I mean EVERYTHING comes towards your end of the field!  Anyway, here’s some of the highlights from that game–some of which you may have seen in our print edition.

Magnetism!

Now if I could only have this kind of luck EVERY game….

Hawaii's Allen Sampson soars to haul in a touchdown pass ahead of UC Davis' Kevyn Lewis during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Corey Paclebar hauls in a pass in the endzone ahead of UC Davis' Charles Boyett during second-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The pass was ruled incomplete and no touchdown was awarded. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Sterling Jackson leaves UC Davis' Kevyn Lewis behind enroute to a touchdown during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Tank Hopkins upends UC Davis' Josh Reese during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

UC Davis quarterback Randy Wright coughs up the ball after a hit from Hawaii's Art Laurel during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii quarterback David Graves soars for the endzone for a touchdown during second-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii quarterback Bryant Moniz eludes UC Davis defender Bobby Erskine during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Fall

August 22nd, 2011
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….is here.  Like the monsoons of Southeast Asia.  Like the amuse bouche of a Michelin-starred restaurant.  You feel it, you sense it, then all of a sudden, it’s there.  Football season.  The Fall Sports season.  Refreshing.  Revitalizing.  The time of year to get it in gear, baby!

Kapolei's Kiatrell Zachery can't come up with the pass under pressure from Leilehua's Brennan Jacinto during first-half action of an OIA football game between the Kapolei Hurricanes and the Leilehua Mighty Mules on Friday, August 19, 2011 at Kapolei High School in Kapolei. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

But alas, it’s only been two days into the season, and the zebras are already out in full force on the safari.

Why, hello ref, nice of you to drop in on my touchdown photograph!

Look, I KNOW zebras are graceful animals of the savannah, but I don't...really...want...you...in my FRAME!

I LOVE IT!!

How low can you go?

November 1st, 2010
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Hawaii's Bryant Moniz is pursued by Idaho defender and former Leilehua player Robert Siavii, right, and Quin Ashley enroute to a touchdown during second-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii beat Idaho 45-10 and secured a berth in the 2010 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl this December. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Howdy!  Last night I photographed Hawaii’s win over WAC opponent Idaho at Aloha Stadium.  This morning, I woke up with a stiff back and sore knees and thought to myself, “Wow, I’m getting old, man!”  Then it dawned on me that the majority of my take from last night’s game were of shots taken near the endzone, and that means lowwwwwww.  I almost always shoot football on my knees.  It gives a perspective that makes the players look larger than they already are (especially when they’re filling your frame headed straight for you!).  But last night, I took it further as I experimented with going down as low as I can to the ground to shoot endzone action.  This required a bit of yoga contortion as I leaned forward with one knee down and the other foot down in a sort of half squat.  What was more challenging was NOT putting your elbows to the ground as your leaning in looking through the camera.  I actually own an angle-finder C from Canon that allows you to put the camera at ground level, but the threat of rain last night caused me to leave it in the bag.

This is how I got the shot above as well as the following images.  The result, though subtle, is a more pronounced depth of field, with the ground seemingly inches away from you.  Also, if you’re not too tight on the players, you can get some of the crowd reaction in the background.

Hawaii's Dustin Blount eludes Idaho's Gary Walker enroute to a touchdown during second-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Hawaii beat Idaho 45-10 and secured a berth in the 2010 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl this December. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Royce Pollard pulls in a touchdown pass ahead of Idaho's Tracy Carter during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Greg Salas cuts between Idaho's Tre Shawn Robinson (51) and Kenneth Patten (2) during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

Hawaii's Kealoha Pilares powers ahead of Idaho's Tre Shawn Robinson for a touchdown during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

All of these images were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 2.8L IS, Exposure mode:  Manual, 1/800 at f2.8, 3200 ISO, 4600K whitebalance.

I’ll leave you with a couple of my other faves from last night’s game.  Thanks for stopping by!

Bryant Moniz, chased by Idaho defenders, lines up to resemble the service reception bars of a cellphone! Neat-o!

Haven’t had one of these in a while, I wish he’d made the catch!

Hawaii's Greg Salas lunges for a pass but comes up short while pressured by Idaho's Thaad Thompson during first-half action of a college football game between the Hawaii Warriors and the Idaho Vandals on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. (Jamm Aquino/Honolulu Star-Advertiser).

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