Category Archives Photography

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P.S. On Monday, once again this year, we’ll be doing broadcasts EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR with cool deals we’ve found for photographers and designers from other companies all over Web, so on Monday, hit this link to watch our hourly broadcasts  We did this last year and it was a huge hit because we really uncovered some amazing deals out there, so make sure you join us. 

Hi Gang: Sorry I’ve missed the last couple of days of blogging (it’s been crazy around here, and my travel schedule isâ¦wellâ¦crazy! I was in Denver Sunday, Miami Monday (still down here, shooting an online class with Jeremy Cowart today), and then I’m back in Tampa tonight. Whew!

Anyway, it was an amazing game to cover, and the weather held up and it really wasn’t too cold. In fact, it was great weather for a game. Brisk, but not windy. I came away with 60 overall keepers from the game and 62 image for the assignment I was on (which was to cover four specific players, but mostly Peyton Manning, and I have a ton of shots of him).

Down goes the photographer
A lot of you saw me get knocked over late in the 4th quarter, on a play that was reviewed (so they showed the replay numerous times). The players never got near me — it was more of a domino effect of other photographers and video guys getting out of the way, and I just lost my balance and went over. I was cracking up, and saying “Man down, man down!” to Dave Black who was shooting right beside me). Didn’t hurt even one tiny bit.

Anyway, here’s a few of my favorites, including my epic-fail on a remote shot for the player intros:

Above: Just out of reach. I really wished he had caught it for the sake of the photo (though I was rooting for the Broncos). 

Above: There are three shots in this series, and in this one Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe catches the pass for the touchdown (he’s in the end zone). I’m on this with my 2nd body, and a 70-200mm f/2.8. 

Above: Even though it’s not a peak action shot, I actually like this one better — I love touchdown shots where you can see the ref signaling the touchdown. 

Above: The last frame, he starts celebrating his touchdown and I am right directly in front of him firing away and it looks right into my lens. Sweet!

Above: For one quarter I switched my 2nd body to a 16-35mm f/2.8 lens and that’s what I used to get this touchdown. I like that you get the scope of the stadium, but my style is to shoot tight, so I’m not super loving’ it. 

Above: After the score he dives up and into the crowd. I run over with the 16-35mm to get this close-up shot. There were a bunch of photographers doing the same thing, and this was one of the only clean ones without a bunch of cameras in the frame. 

Above: Wish you could see his eyes, but I liked any shot with the player in mid-air. I’m a sucker for those.

Above: I laid down at the back of the End Zone to get this low angle shot with my 70-200mm. I was hoping they’d get closer, but they wound up kicking a field goal instead. 

Above: You know I love detail shots (in fact, I just added a Game Detail gallery to my sports portfolio — here’s the link) and this one was before the team took for the field for warm-ups. Note the “honor the military” gloves. Some players also had cammo-themed towels to show their support for our armed services. 

Above: Cool motion shot, right? Actually, total accident. At some point I hit the dial on my camera and accidentally changed my f/stop to f/14 which lowered my shutter speed from 1/1000 of a second down to just 1/125 of a second, which creates that blur. Luckily, Peyton was just handing off the ball, so he’s not moving very fast, so he wound up in focus. 

Above: Before the game I contact Broncos Team Photographer Eric Bakke (great guy, great photographer), about setting up a remote camera for the player intros, and I took an iPhone shot of the set-up so you could see it’s position.

 Above: Here’s the set-up: a Canon 1Dx on a Manfrotto bullhead mounted to a metal floor stand from, and triggered with a Pocket Wizard Plus-X wireless trigger on top. The security guy I was working with put a goal marker there so the Cheerleaders would clearly see it through the smoke and steer clear of it, and they totally did. Made me want to bring one of my own from here on out. LOL!

Above: You need LOTS of clearance to get approval to do an on-field remote camera like this, including approval from the Pyrotechnics guys, on-field security, team security, and well, pretty much everybody, or you have another security guy (or NFL official) coming out (seen above) asking, “What is this doing here!?” and Eric was a great help with that and lots of folks were in the loop hours before kick-off. 

Above: They have a pretty cool opening, with a horse and rider running out, then the Broncos cheerleaders, then in this case, members of the military with flags as part of the NFL honoring the military (seen above), and so far the remote is working pretty well. The placement seems OK, and it’s looking good so far. 

Above: The Offense runs out as a group, then you have the individual player intros and that’s where my epic fail began. First, as you can see, I set the camera (with a 16-35mm lens at 16mm) too far away from the players, and it’s probably aimed too high. I didn’t have another photographer to stand there to let me lock in my focus, so I had to eye it, and sure enough if it’s tack sharp. Worst yet, this was the first player introduced, and the last shot the remote fired. Thats right — it stopped after this shot, even though I was firing the remote trigger. I have no idea why. Did the cable come loose? Was there radio interference? Who knows, but I only got this one lame shot. #fail. It happens. 

Above: I love celebration shots and this is one of my favorites from the night — it’s Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno leaping up and over Broncos tight end Julius Thomas (the guy who actually scored the touchdown), and you know I like it because the ref is signaling touchdown in the background.

Well, that’s a look at some of my favorites, and the story of my remote fail, and how I survived getting knocked over by the sideline domino effect and lived to tell about it (how’s that for adding drama). ;-)

Hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday and stay out of the way of fast-moving objects, and may all your remotes fire each and every time! :)

For me, it was Wednesday.

I love learning, and I actually feel like I’m picking up new stuff all the time, but Wednesday afternoon I really felt like a learned so much that it will change the way I make portraits from here on out. It happened during Joe McNally’s blind portrait lighting critiques during Wednesday’s episode of “The Grid.

He wasn’t critiquing my images.

What I learned wasn’t even about lighting.

If you’re wondering when the last time you really learned something new that made a real difference in your photography, it can be today, in one hour, with one amazing teacher, and it won’t even cost you a dime, but what you’ll learn from Joe is priceless.

Here’s wishing you a weekend of great learning.

All my best,


Check out this quick “helicopter fly-over” of my seminar
The folks from IntelligentUAS & DJI Innovations were at my seminar on Friday in Washington DC and did a flyover of the seminar crowd using a DJI Phantom (with Zenmuse H3-2D and GoPro Hero 3+). I love that overhead video view. Too cool!

I’m on my way, today!
I’m teaching my “Shoot Like a Pro” Seminar there tomorrow at the Hynes Convention Center. Over 500 Boston-area photographers have already signed up, and if you want to come too, it’s not too late: Here’s the link:

Next Stop: New York City on Thursday, November 14th.

I’ll be back for “The Grid” on Wednesday
I’m heading home right after my seminar on Tuesday, so I’ll be back for live airing of “The Grid” on Wednesday. Matt had a really good topic for this week….I just wish I could remember what it was, but I do remember thinking, “Man, that would make a great topic!” so make sure you tune in to see if I was right  (LOL!). It’s this Wednesday at 4:00 pm ET (New York Time) at 

What will photography look like 10 years from now?
PC Magazine did a nice write-up on the Photo Plus Expo industry panel I was part of on Wednesday night where we tackled that very question. Here’s a link if you’ve got a sec:

Here’s one for Lightroom users
I get a bunch of questions about managing your images and folders in Lightroom, and Matt just did a really great, short, to the point video about it in his “Lightroom Killer Tips” show, and I included it right here (above).

Don’t Miss Wednesday’s Guest Blog
This week, we welcome Washington DC-based photographer John Harrington, and he has some really pragmatic business advice for photographers on working within a client’s budget (and determining what that budget really is). It’s a really insightful post and you don’t’ want to miss it this Wednesday right here.

That’s it for Monday. I’m off to Boston, and I hope I’ll get the chance to meet you there! Cheers (no Boston pun intended). ;-)

I’ve got a busy week coming up, and I hope at some point along the way you’re a part of it. :-) [Photo above by Bede McCarthy].

Tomorrow I’m speaking on a panel with a very interesting topic: on the future of photography

Canon has invited me to speak in their booth theater on one of my favorite topics: Sports Photography, and it’s open to anyone at the Expo, so come on by — I’m on at 2:30 pm (I’d love to get to meet you in person, so if you come by, make sure you come up and say “hi”). Here’s the schedule for all the instructors and Canon Explorers of Light teaching in Canon’s theater:

Note: On Friday, Peter Read Miller is speaking at 1:00 pm. I’ll be out-of-town on Friday but that’s one I wouldn’t have missed. Also if I were there that day, I’d be sure not to miss Greg Heisler — he is really amazing (and a terrific speaker).

On Friday I fly down to Washington DC for my “Shoot Like a Pro” Tour there at the Washington DC Convention Center. Over 600 photographers are spending the day with me on Friday, why not come along? Here’s the link to grab your seat and we’ll see you on Friday.

On Saturday I’m back at Photo Plus Expo for my Canon booth presentation at 11:00 am, and then I’m headed back home to take a quick breather (Whew!) before I head to Boston for my Shoot Like a Pro tour there on Tuesday (here’s the link if you want to come and join me).

It’s a busy week, but I’m really looking forward to it, and for the chance to meet you in person, so I hope if you see me anywhere this week (NYC or DC), you’ll stop me and say “hi.” See you somewhere soon! :-)



This weekend, I had absolutely one of my most-fun football weekends ever, covering the University of Tennessee Vols big upset win against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Knoxville, Tennessee on Saturday and then right after the game flying over to Atlanta to shoot with the Falcons crew for Sunday's game. It doesn't get much better than that!

Today, I'll cover Saturday's game and the two locations we mounted remote cameras. I called my buddy "Big Daddy" Don Page (the head of sports photography for UT) and asked if there was any chance of us mounting a camera on the Goal Post itself. I often see video cameras mounted up there, but so far I haven't seen any still cameras, so I thought it was worth a shot. Don worked on it, and sure enough â” on Friday we got the go-ahead, with the warning that the camera or lens absolutely could not cross the plane of the goal post which could interfere with the game (and we would make darn sure it wouldn't).

 For me, there are two main reasons to use remote cameras: 

(1) To let you cover two or more locations at one time. For example, when I shoot Major League Baseball, I'll cover the batter myself, but I have a remote camera aimed right at 2nd base, so if something happens there I've got it covered with the 2nd camera.

 (2) But mostly for me, it's to give me angles and views from places either I can't shoot (like with the Falcons, right up next to the smoke and fire pyrotechnics when the player intros happens right before the game, or hanging from the truss the players run out through), or in our case, a Goal Post came up high aiming down right at the 5-yard line with a wide angle lens. I totally dig this stuff! :)

My Loadout
We packed four Canon 1DXs, a slew of lenses for the trip (long and wide), and a Pelican case full of remote rigging gear for the trip.  This was going to be challenging since two of my flights this weekend would be on Delta CRJ-900 Regional Jets with small overhead bins. I took a Thinktank Photo Airstream Roller, which is like the Airport International but about half the height. It's an amazing bag because it looks so small, but holds so much (Two 1Dx-bodies; a 70-200mm f/2.8, a 24-105 f/4, a 8-15mm fisheye zoom, a black rapid strap, my card reader, my backup drive, a Hoodman Loupe, memory cards, misc cables AND my 15" laptop and my iPad in the outer sleeve PLUS, my full-sized Gitzo Monopod. That is one amazing little bag, and believe it or not, it slides right under the seat in front of me on that small regional jet (the flight from Atlanta was only 24 minutes, so having a little less legroom was no big deal).

I carried my Canon 400mm f/2.8 in a soft-sided Lightware bag, and son-of-a-gun if it didn't fit perfectly in the overhead bin of both the CRJ-900 and the smaller CRJ-200 on my way back to Atlanta (seen above right). I checked the Pelican case (with a TSA-approved lock) as baggage along with my overnight bag with clothes (and I tossed my gel-filled knee pads as well in there).

Above: That’s Randy and this custom-made goalpost rig (see the metal bands?). 

The Goal Cam
We got to the stadium really early because we realized that the goalpost was MUCH thicker than how wide a Manfrotto Magic Arm clamp would fit, and so Don called his buddy Randy Sartin, who shoots for USA Today Sports Images and is really clever at coming up with solutions to problems like this. On Friday night he went to Lowes and bought two large metal bands (the kind you would use on a dryer hose or indoor plumbing) that you can tighten with a screwdriver, and he connected those (somehow) to a Manfrotto Magic Arm. You can see the metal bands in the shot above.

Above: That’s “Big Daddy” Don Page flashing a classic Big Daddy “I’m up on a laddar” smirk

We pulled our a big ladder (at 7:30 am) and Randy got it attached to the goal, then Brad Moore (who came on the trip with me to help out, and to visit family in his hometown while he was there), scampered up that ladder and mounted a 1Dx up there with a 24-70mm f/2.8, and we used Auto Focus to focus it on the 5-yard line (at around f/8) and then once focused, we switched the lens to Manual Focus and used gaffer's tape to make sure it didn't move.

Above: That’s Randy, me and Brad testing the remote after it’s in place. 

Above: I cannot begin to explain this shot of Brad, taken by Brad (note the PocketWizard in his right hand).

Above: Here’s a close-up look at the rig (Randy added a GoPro camera on top to make a time-lapse video). You can’t tell very well from this angle, but the camera is well behind the plane of the goal post.

We would leave the camera there all game, but we'd also get the big player entrance as they take the field (and leave the field) from right behind that goalpost, so it was the perfect place to position it.

Above: Here’s the goal post cam of the players taking the field.

The camera was up and running by 8:00 am, so we went up to the roof of the stadium where I shot some fisheye shots of the empty stadium (it was scary as anything up there for someone like myself who has a fear of heights). On our way down to the field, we passed right over the tunnel where the players stack up right before they take the field and I took a fisheye shot of it empty, and showed it to Donald and said "Ya know, we've got another camera, and a couple more Manfrotto Magic Arms" and about an hour or so before kickoff, we mounted that camera, with the fish-eye set to 15mm on a railing above the tunnel. So, when I fired my camera, it would fire both the goalpost cam and the tunnel cam.

Above: Here’s the tunnel remote cam right as the players take the field. The two cameras both fire simultaneously when I fire my camera, or press the “test” button on the PocketWizard.

We used PocketWizard Plus IIIs to trigger these remotes, which are just perfect for stuff like this (with a 300+ foot range) and they are just so easy to work with and incredibly reliable. You just need a cable that goes from the remote into your camera's sync port, and you find the exact right cable that works with your camera using the free cable-finder widget on the PocketWizard site. Works like a charm.

After the players took the field, Brad quickly removed the remote and the rest of game I just kept a PocketWizard Plus III in my pocket, and when the play got near the end zone, I'd fire shots with it, no matter where I was in the stadium.

Field Camera Gear & Settings
I used pretty much the same gear I've been using all season: two Canon 1Dx's with a 400mm f/2.8 on my main body (with a 1.4 tele-extender attached most of the game) supported by a Gitzo monopod, and a 70-200mm f/2.8 on my 2nd body. Canon sent me this loaner gear at the beginning of the season, and I already let them know not to expect it back any time soon LOL!! (and by soon, I mean not until well after football season. 2015). ;-)

Above: I do this when I get sleepy. ;-)

At the beginning of the season a friend at Canon who shoots sports too asked if I'd like to try out some of their gear, and ever since their 1Dx came out (and my buddies from the Falcons all shoot the 1Dx and just rave about it), I've been anxious to see if it's "all that." Well, I can tell you, "it's all that" and then some. So much so, that for shooting sports I've totally switched over to Canon (in a related note, I saw my buddy pro-sports shooter Paul Abell [who guest blogged here my blog] at the Falcons game yesterday and I noticed he had switched over to Canon as well).

Anyway, I haven't had much time with Canon's other bodies, just my trip to Rome using a 5D Mark III, and I'm still getting used to using it, but it's been a lot of fun trying out some goodies. I also tried out some Sony gear at a studio shoot last month which was really interesting, but I didn't get to shoot with it long enough to get used to the electronic viewfinder.

At some point, I'll do either a video review or an in-depth blog post about the 1Dx and Canon lenses, because there's a lot I want to share about why that body was born for shooting sports, but this week I'm off to Photo Plus Expo in New York, and then my Washington DC seminar on Friday, and then back to NYC on Saturday (whew!), and then off to Boston for another tour date on Monday, and wellâ¦it's gonna be a few weeks, at earliest.

Canon did invite me to do a presentation in their booth about shooting sports at Photo Plus Expo this week, so if you're in NYC, I'm on stage at the Canon booth at 2:30 pm on Thursday, and at 11:00 am on Saturday, so I'll hope you stop by, so I can meet you in person (I haven't been on stage at Photo Plus Expo since 2010 so it's exciting to be back, and my thanks to Canon for the invitation to talk about one of my favorite topics).

What was especially exciting about all this though, was the game itself. For the past two years I've been only  shooting NFL games which are great, don't get me wrong, but the traditions of college football, and the passion of the fans is really something special, and something I have definitely missed, so it was great to get swept up in it all again. When the game came down to a last-second field goal for a big upset Vols win, the place just erupted into celebration that was beyond those even any college bowl game I've covered, and that was just amazing, since I was right in the middle of all of it. I have had special access to the locker room after the game, and that was just insane!!! A really amazing experience.

At the end of the game, when the Vols lined up for the last-second kick, instead of covering the kick (which I knew they had covered by the other team photographers), I turned and focused on the Vols bench and I figured I'd know whether the kick was good or not based on their reaction, and either good or bad it would still have the makings of a interesting story-telling shot. The kick was good, and the players exploded off the bench to rush the field, where I got the shots you see above.

I haven't had a chance to process all the images yet (I sent some to the Vols that they needed right away), and I I'm working on more Falcons stuff today, and I'll share those as soon as I can, but since I did some different stuff with remotes from this game, I wanted to share those here today.

Above: A really great moment when Coach Jones jumps up on the podium and directs the UT Marching Band in a rousing chorus of the Vols fight song “Rocky Top” — the place was just going nuts!!!

Above: I was able to fight my way through the sea of players and photographers and video camera crew to get this shot from the front side. 

Above: Go Vols! 

Here's wishing you call an awesome Monday (well, as awesome as a "monday" can be anyway).