Sports Shooter Academy IX update 3

Now that Sports Shooter Academy IX has come and gone, I’ve finally had a chance to let the dust settle. The final day was dedicated solely to baseball for me. We showed up early at Anteater Park on the campus of UC Irvine to get a lay of the land and start setting up remotes. The Eaters were playing UC Riverside again for the second straight day. The first game on Saturday was not incredibly exciting, so I was hoping for more action in the second game. We only had about 5 or 6 guys shooting the game since most people were doing the track meet across the way. This allowed us a lot of freedom to move around and get unique shots. I hung my remote down the first base line, slightly elevated above the top of the dugout and pointed straight at home plate with a 200mm lens. Keep in mind, you should never bank on a remote being your only shot. Never count on it producing something you can use. It’s just an added bonus. Some people the day before setup remotes at the water pool of the steeplechase and that was the only shot they took of the event. The technology allows you to trigger a remote with another camera, so take advantage of that!

Anyways… back to the game. It started out pretty slow. I shot the first 3 innings from the third base photo well, then moved up top with my long lens to get some different angles from in and above the bleachers. The UC Irvine Anteaters, who have their own super fan who was going nuts the whole game, were up 5-2 in the later innings before Riverside stormed back and tied it. The game went into extra innings, so I trudged back down to the third base well hoping for a good shot of a walk-off hit and the ensuing celebration. While I got the shots, I wasn’t completely happy with the angle and reactions. I probably should have stayed up top or gone over to the first base side. But, it was a good learning experience.

After the game, we headed back to the workroom to file our edits and stick around for the slideshow and awards. I had some good conversations with photographers Matt Brown, Mike Corrado, and Michael Goulding about my shots from the game. It’s amazing how much you can learn from just sitting down for five minutes with someone and showing them your shots and talking about them. Seriously, take advantage of those chances and do it as often as you can. If you ever see me somewhere and want to pick my brain, by all means do it! They helped me narrow down my top 8 shots to the final 4 for the slideshow, and I’m very happy with the ones we came up with. You can see those four shots below.

I just want to take the time again to thank everyone who put this event on and made it THE coolest photography event I’ve ever been a part of. Bert Hanashiro, Matt Brown, Christy Radecic, Rafael Delgado, Rod Mar, Michael Goulding, Dave Black, Jon McDonough, Shawn Cullen, Wally Skalij, Sean Haffey, Deanna Hanashiro, Sara Moosbrugger, Ian Ray, Ron Tonawaki, Grant Brown, and all the wonderful sponsors, including Nikon, ThinkTank, PocketWizard, Samy’s, Honl, SanDisk, Camera Bits, LiveBooks, and anyone else I’m forgetting. If you ever have a chance to participate in one of these events, please please do. It is a priceless experience.

Here are my final four shots from day four that were submitted to the slideshow. Stay tuned for a larger gallery of my overall experience coming soon.

UFC 137 fight night blog

Greetings from Birmingham, England. I meant to get this blog post up sooner, but there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day anymore.

I had a great time again at UFC 137. The main coverage for the event was from my friend Jed Jacobsohn, but I did have a chance to shoot a little bit. My original intent was to run upstairs to the press box and shoot the two Spike TV fights (Tyson Griffin vs. Bart Palaszewski and Donald Cerrone vs. Dennis Siver) with the 400mm lens. However, Bart decided to end his fight rather quickly before I had a chance to get up to the press box. So, I only shot the Cerrone/Siver bout from up top. That one, as well, was a quick one. Nonetheless, I came away with a few good shots.

We also mounted an overhead remote camera again in the lighting grid. This time, we went much further out towards the center of the Octagon to achieve the “straight over top” look as best as possible. I used a 14mm lens mounted on a Canon EOS 1DS Mark III. Luckily, we had some good fights and good celebrations. I think we came away with a good amount of winners from the overhead. It’s always a gamble, and you can never plan on it being successful. But, when it is, it gives you a good feeling of accomplishment.

I wasn’t able to shoot much of anything for the three main fights, due to the internet dropping out in the arena and having to relocate my edit station to the production truck outside the arena. I did shoot a quick shot of BJ Penn’s entrance with the 400mm from the floor. I love that lens. Can’t wait to try the new version.

UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz – Images by Joshua Hedges