Archive for January, 2009

Guler Ice Cave

Guler Ice Cave, Trout Lake, WA

Guler Ice Cave, Trout Lake, WA

Guler Ice Cave, Trout Lake, WA

Do you like standing in a freezer, surrounded by ice, in the dark, on a floor of solid ice? If so, the Guler Ice Cave near Trout Lake Washington is for you!

It’s actually a cool place once you understand your surroundings. I don’t mind the cold and dark, but carrying $2000 worth of camera gear on a natural ice rink while trying to get over a recent broken leg took a bit of work and good luck.

But navigating the ice wasn’t the hardest part. New cameras are great at understanding their surroundings, but take it into a dark place and try to shoot translucent ice and, well, it won’t want to behave. No one said photography was easy.

Despite these minor hardships, it was definitely worth the trip. It’s part of the Gilford Pinchot National Forest and there’s information here and here.

Portland LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

2009.01.23 - LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

2009.01.23 - LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

2009.01.23 - LumberJax v. Edmonton Rush

Another game, more cloudy Plexiglas. Man, helmets are hard to shoot through. Everyone’s wearing them, and it’s only occasionally that you can get a shot where there is some action, some eyes, and hopefully a mouth.

This is where the 1000 shots per game comes in. You may get ten shots in a second–and they all look alike–but there might just be one where you can see the player’s eyes–and mouth–through the facemask on the helmet.

Finally, a fight on the field tonight. Gloves dropped and helmets off (bottom), Dan Teat decides to tempt the 6’8″ Richard Morgan, and it goes as expected. Yes, Teat knows what the outcome would be, but damn, anyone that would even attempt this kind of fate deserves my respect. Richard Morgan is a monster of a man, but NLL players can’t always find someone their own size.

Portland to Bend

PDX to Bend

PDX to Bend

PDX to Bend

Every few weeks, I ride out to my brother’s in Bend with my camera gear in the back of the wagon, radio blaring, caffeine in my brain, and Bend beer on my mind.

For this trip, I made sure that my camera bag was in the passenger seat so that I could grab it when the mood struck me. With this in mind, it occurred to me that this is a trip that is so easily overlooked. Since I make this trip so often, it’s easy to get bored with the long stretches of forest in the mountains. Or the burned out deserts of the reservation. Or the gorges and bridges and endless farmland.

This time, I gave myself an extra two hours to explore the “in-betweens” of my trip. The top photo is a field just outside of the forests of Mt. Hood–one of many. The middle shot is just prior to the descent into Warm Springs. After miles and miles of ruler-straight highway through sun-scorched earth, you twist and turn into a huge, cavernous valley.

The last shot (bottom), is from a bridge near Terrebonne. Just stop, pull over, wait for a lull in traffic, lay down on the highway, and shoot. Or, in reality, stop by the Dalles-California Highway–which is closed to traffic in this section–and pretend that it’s dangerous.

Portland LumberJax v. Colorado Mammoth

2009.01.09 - LumberJax v. Colorado Mammoth

2009.01.09 - LumberJax v. Colorado Mammoth

2009.01.09 - LumberJax v. Colorado Mammoth

It’s a big game tonight. The Colorado Mammoth are a strong team and no matter what their record, they will check, shoulder, and bitch you to death. That’s just part of the game of lacrosse. You push, you talk, you check, you yell, and you push again. That’s the sport, and that’s why the players get paid.

And that’s why I get paid–to capture it all. The game is not only play after play, O and D, it’s also emotion. It’s walking down the hallway to the locker room, it’s running back to the bench after a goal, and it’s pushing toward the net against the best players in the league.

This week, I missed 10 minutes of the 3rd quarter because I bumped the dial on my camera and completely underexposed all of the shots. Luckily, I caught the mistake faily quickly. As in the sport itself, in sports photography there is pressure and there are mistakes, but if you can make the right adjustments as you go along, there can also be success.

Portland LumberJax v. Minnesota Swarm

2009.01.03 - LumberJax v. Minnesota Swarm

2009.01.03 - LumberJax v. Minnesota Swarm

2009.01.03 - LumberJax v. Minnesota Swarm

Tonight was the first game of the season. I shot over 900 photos during the practice and game. That’s a standard rate for me for these games, so no surprise there. Another non-surprise was the condition of the Plexiglas around the field. Smudged, warped, and scratched, it’s okay to shoot straight through, but angles are a bit rough. Reflection and imperfections end up destroying a lot of images, but you’ve got to work with what you’re given.

Unfortunately, my Canon 50mm f1.4 lens took a tumble a couple of weeks before, so the whole game was shot using my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS. I probably wouldn’t have used it much anyway, but it’s a sad loss. Luckily, the lens glass is still fine, but the autofocus is dead and the focus ring is a bit wonky. It’ll still be usable in a studio setting.

Outside of the usual action shots, I’ve been trying to get some good player staredown shots. They’ve been coming out great, but man, the players look like they’re going to crush me into a fine powder!