Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! (sorry it's a day late)

I've decided that Halloween and I have a love hate relationship.
Earlier in the month I had to photograph several haunted attractions in the area. Including one that is ranked #1 haunted attraction in America. That day, I decided I hated Halloween as it was impossible to think about my job and making photos amid jumping and screaming.

Yesterday I loved Halloween. The annual Halloween parade in Allentown was full of cute kids in costumes and excited faces as they scrambled for free candy. I found it difficult to photograph the parade because getting names meant I had to awkwardly march along with them down the parade route. I was glad that before the parade I headed to the meeting spot for all the groups and was able to capture the last minute costume details.

Leroy Piggy was not pleased with his owners choice of costume, but he can smell drugs on a person, or even underground, and has 14 vocalizations to let humans know what he smells.

As the parade kicked off the grand marshal had a great expression, I'm curious as to what was so funny.

What's a parade without the shriners and their tiny honking cars?

I ended up walking almost the entire 2 mile parade route as I followed certain groups in the parade and looked for great costumes watching the parade. It was a tiring assignment as I hiked back to my car, but filled with some great smiles.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Emotion 2

As I was hoping I was given the opportunity to cover one of the high school championship games. Mid afternoon on a beautiful fall day for boys soccer Colonial League Championships and to continue my focus on the emotion that goes into the game. The game was high intensity with some dirtier playing then I'd seen earlier in the season. This was perfect for what I was working with since the players were constantly right against each other fighting for the ball. I'm having a hard time deciding which photo I liked the best for intensity but the flying of the shaggy hair in this made it a favorite.

Where the game was played also helped greatly with my photos since there is a wooded area that lines the majority of the one side of the field. I was pleased to see how the dark trees in the background drop off and helps the focus on the faces and expressions of the athletes.

With three minutes left to go in a tied game Southern Lehigh scored and celebrated within a clear view of where I was positioned. I had several photos in the sequence as more players ran over but I think this one shows the excitement the best, and the face of the kid who scored the goal, #10.

I was slightly disappointed when the team didn't pile up in celebration on the field at the end of the game, but was still pleased with another game that led to some great expressions.

I am pleased with my action and reaction shots lately and am planning to start shooting more overall scene setters at sporting events. I'm thinking some photos of the crowd, coaches and bench will help to round out my story, so stay tuned.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


As I've been working on updating my journalism portfolio and website for job applications I've been gathering tips from other photographers to figure out the things that I am missing. These little things I've been trying to think about more, because they could set me above of other photographers.
Earlier this week I was called to cover high school playoff sports for the Morning Call so I decided to focus on the emotion and reaction of sports teams. High school athletes, especially those in the playoffs, would be perfect guinea pigs to try to capture their intensity and emotion.
I started out at girls field hockey as the sun was starting to set. I was disappointed to not get as many facial expressions here since their heads are often down looking at the ball. The two goals that occurred while I was there had minimal celebration so again disappointed. My favorite shot from the day has some emotion but most of all my eye was drawn to the angles that are created in the image.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to stay through the end of the game to see if the winning team celebrated, I had to run to edit and get to soccer.
When I got to soccer it was dark out, and the stadium lights cast some strong shadows depending where you were standing. Found a spot that was better for the light and like the expression I captured as the goalie made a save.

Emotion during the plays is important along with the emotion of when something good or bad happens to a team. I was pleased with this shot to show the good and the bad, one team celebrates the goal as the other slumps in disappointment.

Due to my impending deadline I had to leave to edit and missed the reactions of double overtime and penalty kicks. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity in the championship rounds to stay through the end of the game for more celebrations and emotions.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Night Lights Overrated?

Why can't all high school football games be played on Saturday afternoons? Last night, at 7 o'clock, with fluorescent stadium lights and too muddy of a field to kneel. Not to mention that it was in the low 50's, with winds so strong it ripped the cheerleaders poster before the team did. With the the poor lighting and the majority of the players not looking up very often it resulted in many dark faces and difficulty in stopping the action.

Luckily quarterbacks have to look up to find an open teammate to pass to so I had enough light on his face to make for a cleaner photo.

Now in contrast to last night's game today was perfect. Gorgeous sunny fall afternoon. Game started at two so the sun wasn't directly above the field anymore which gave nice light depending on the direction of the play. The ground was a lot better today so I could kneel for a better angle. (and almost get run over) Also I got to test out my teleconverter that I bought a few weeks back but haven't had the opportunity to use because at night games I couldn't afford to loose two f/stops.

My favorite shot from today's game and the play that if I would have taken two more frames I would probably be in a lot of pain writing this...

So in the end I think Friday night lights isn't as great as all those movies make it sound and more teams should start considering Saturday sunlight more.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In the beginning

So I have decided to start this blog. I will do my best to keep things consistent and exciting, or at least interesting. Maybe you'll check in here and there, or incessantly keep tabs on my photo career, either one is fine with me.
For now the majority of the photos will come from my current adventures, which include freelancing for the Allentown Morning Call, and the start of my portrait photography career.
I attended a seminar by photographer David Ziser in Philadelphia on Tuesday night with my good friend Bree. Caved and purchased his Zumbrella, aka an umbrella he designed to use for all his portraits... Ziser + umbrella = Zumbrella.
Tried it out with the help of some other burrowed equipment and here are some of my favorites...
The zumbrella is a 43'' white umbrella which I think gave off a nice soft light in my first try with it. Now I just need to invest in some pocket wizards...