Archive for November, 2008

Elowah Falls

2008.11.19 - Elowah Falls

2008.11.19 - Elowah Falls

2008.11.19 - Elowah Falls

I decided to take a trip down to the Columbia Gorge today and shoot some obligatory waterfall shots. In under an hour from Portland, there are so many places to explore. Plus, during the week, there’s hardly anyone around.

I ended up at Elowah by looking at a map, picking a random waterfall, and heading out the door. I’ve been to the falls before, but I couldn’t find any shots in my archives, so it ended up being a good “random choice”.

Waterfalls can be tricky. Without a person or other reference point in the shot, it’s hard to understand the size of everything. Rocks and water always look like rocks and water, no matter how big they are. This can turn a 300 foot waterfall into a 10 foot waterfall.

In the center photo, I tried keep this from happening through a couple of techniques. First of all, I’m a sucker for ultra-wide angle lenses. But too wide on this shot would have reduced the size of the waterfall too much. So, I didn’t go too wide on the shot, but just wide enough to get a bit of bridge railing for size reference. I also let a some water droplets collect on the UV filter to illustrate the power of the waterfall’s spray. Hopefully, these things come together to convey that this waterfall is almost 300 feet high!

Portland LumberJax Second Training Camp

2008.11.22 - LumberJax Training Camp

2008.11.22 - LumberJax Training Camp

The Black and White experiment continues! I’ve heard back from a couple of my publishers and they really liked the first set. So, I think I’ll stick with it as the training camps continue.

Once the official season begins, this will probably be a different story. I have a feeling that my submitted shots will be a mix of both black and white and color, with color being around 90%. This ratio is the result of trying to balance creativity with practicality. In order to remain a photographer–and have the opportunity to take these chances–I have to sell photographs. If the market demands color, then I have to supply color. Of course, I can continue to push my perspective, but at some point, I do need to eat!

The photos to the right were taken with my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 and Canon 10-20mm f3.5-4.5 lenses. I rarely get to use my ultra-wide angle lens for sports photography nd it’s nice to pull it out of the back once in awhile.

Portland LumberJax First Training Camp

2008.11.15 - LumberJax Training Camp

2008.11.15 - LumberJax Training Camp

2008.11.15 - LumberJax Training Camp

Well, the first day of the Portland LumberJax training camp is finished and my black and white experiment has begun. I’m very happy with the results. It king of reminds me of old black and white newspaper sports photography. I’m not sure if this what everyone wants to see, but I’m going to stick to my guns for the moment. My publishers might have a bit to say about it–we’ll see.

The LumberJax are running drills, checking player conditioning, and playing scrimmages to find out who can make the final cuts for the 2009 season. Everyone is coming out full force while trying to figure out the styles of some of the new players. It’s great to be able to shoot from the bench and gain a different perspective.

The photos to the right were shot with my Canon 50mm f1.4 and Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS lenses. The low light and fast action usually forced my hand with the ISO, running between 1000 and 1600, and adding a bit of grain to the final images.

Portland LumberJax Lacrosse Season

2008.02.17 - LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

2008.02.22 - LumberJax v. Calgary Roughnecks

2008.03.20 - LumberJax v. Colorado Mammoth

Earlier this year, I started shooting for the National Lacrosse League. I grew up playing and watching lacrosse on the East Coast and was extremely excited to see the Portland LumberJax join the NLL. The first two years, I was a season ticket holder and when the opportunity came up to shoot for the team, I jumped at the chance to do my part to promote this team through photography.

For the 2008 season, half of my photography came from up high, using a Canon 300mm 2.8L lens. As you can see on the right, I could capture the action, but it wasn’t very up close and personal. This was intentional as I was just starting out and wanted to figure out the best way to shoot the game. Watching the game through a lens is very, very different than watching the game from a seat with an $8 beer in hand. Try watching the game through a straw. So, up high, it was a bit easier to get the job done while also getting acquainted with shooting the game.

This season, things are going to be a bit different. For one, I’m freelancing for various publications rather than shooting for the league. Because of this shift, I’m going to concentrate on the personalities of the game and get much closer to the players during both practice and games. I’m also going to jump off a cliff and play around with black and white sports photography. In a lot of sports photography, there can be many distractions with vivid background colors, reflective gear, and other noise not related to the subject of the photo. I think that black and white photography can cut out this noise and lead the eye back to the intended subject.

I know that many will not agree with this idea, but I’m excited to see what happens. I’m going to the preseason practice in a few days, so I’ll be able to test this theory out before the games begin.

Welcome to the BrightPixel Photography Blog!

As I work on more and more professional photography projects, I thought I’d write about a few different aspects of my work. I’m not sure where this will take me or which topics I’ll tackle–it’ll just have to shape up as it goes along. Of course, if you have any suggestions, let me know!