Category Archives Photography

When I shot the LSU vs. North Carolina football game last week, I wanted to take my new 32-gig Lexar Professional 600X high-speed UDMA memory card out, and when I popped it in the camera, I have to tell you—my jaw dropped when I looked at the LCD readout on the top of my Nikon D3, and saw that in JPEG fine mode, I had more than 4,300 shots available on that one card. Seriously—wow! I snapped the shot you see above of the LCD readout window using my iPhone 4 on the balcony of my hotel before I left for the game.

Now, later Paul Abell snookered me into shooting a sporting event in Raw mode, so my number of available shots went down to around 1,200+, but still—that ain’t bad for just one card. By the way—the Lexar 600X card is insanely mondo fast. I had never had that level of speed (or that big a card), but it was really sa-weet. Anyway, I had to share that moment with you guys. I didn’t even know the “shots left on card” readout went that high! :-)

I mentioned on Monday that a got a chance to shoot the LSU vs. North Carolina College Football Kick-off Game on Saturday in the Georgia Dome with my buddy, Atlanta-based pro sports photographer Paul Abell (here’s Paul’s guest post on my blog).

We really had a ball, plus it was a terrific game, coming down to the last 2-seconds, where the Tiger’s defense was able to hold off the Tar Heels from snagging a last second victory.

This was my first time out shooting with my 300mm f/2.8 (a gift from my book publisher [Peachpit Press] for being named the world’s #1 best-selling technology book author for the 6th year straight. I know—totally awesome publisher, right? Plus they really know how to give a gift!!!!!). :-)

Anyway, here’s a few shots from the game. I am getting better at my timing, which is something I’ve been trying to work on, but I let a few great shots get away because of focus issues (totally my fault), where the receiver was out of focus and the crowd behind him, or players on the sidelines were in focus. This was my first game of the season, and it helped get the rust off a bit, but shooting football is one of those things that just takes lots and lots of practice—–but I gotta tell ya—-I surely don’t mind this kind of practicing. :)

CAMERA INFO: All the shots were taken with a D3 or D700. My D3 had the 300mm f/2.8 on it pretty much all day, and my second body was the D700 with my 70-200mm for when the action got inside the 20 yard line. My ISO was generally either 2,000 or 2,500 (Note: My other sports lens is a 200-400mm f/4, and that one stop advantage with the f/2.8 lens let me shoot at 2,000 ISO in an indoor dome stadium, rather than shooting at 4,000 ISO like usual. Plus, it gave a shallower depth of field than the f/4, which I love). No color correction in Lightroom necessary (I know, I’m amazed myself—some sort of fluke)—just adding contrast and sharpening. Also, I only applied noise reduction on one single image, but sadly I can’t remember which one it was. Anyway, here’s the shots:


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Above: Taken from the upper deck with a 10.5mm fisheye lens. I removed the fisheye distortion with one click using Lighroom 3’s automated Lens Correction.

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Above: The fans get fired up during a pre-game rally!

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Above: That’s my buddy, Atlanta sports photographer Paul Abell right after the opening kickoff. He’s standing where I took the Fisheye shot you see earlier. He’s shooting a 14-24mm wide, and a 400mm f/2.8 for his long glass.

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I love shooting College Football. Your chance for high-scoring games (which translates to lots of action), goes up, and since they run some wild plays you won’t see in the NFL, you don’t always know what to expect, so it makes for a really fun day of shooting.

Hi Gang, and greetings from Photoshop World Las Vegas!!!

I’m pretty swamped today, but I wanted to share this video tip with you that I mentioned last week in my report about my trip to Maine. In that post, I mentioned how I went shooting with Scott Eccleston from, and that I did a tip for shooting long exposure HDR’s.

The video (below) looks tremendously brighter than it actually was when we shot the video (as you’ll see by how long the exposures take). It was really really dark—so dark I wasn’t sure it was going to work at all, but the video camera did such a good job of exposing for the tiny amount of light that was there, that it looks a lot brighter than it was. (Thanks to Mark Hensley for the awesome video work).

Anyway, here’s the clip (below), but make sure you check out (link) because he’s always posting lots of cool tips…well….weekly!). :-)


I loved doing this interview, because the Interviewer (Sophia Betz) asked some really great questions. We went into stuff like:

Q. What do you find is interesting to talk to photographers about these days in terms of new technologies that didn’t exist even three or five years ago?

Q. What tips do you have for photographers branching out into video?

Q. When you’re out talking to photographers or taking photos, how do you define success in an image?

Q. For first-timers to Photoshop World like myself, what advice would you give?

Q. Do you have any other advice for up-and-coming photographers?

And a bunch more. You can read it right now right here.

Tie Interceptor: Full Size Replica
Click on the picture to see it bigger, or see it in Flickr

Hey everyone, RC here. I was chatting with Scott a couple of days ago about my experiences at the Star Wars Celebration that just happened in Orlando, FL – and he thought it a good idea to share them here on the blog. I was happy to oblige! [NOTE: RC is being kind here. I absolutely loved his images, and the story behind them, and I begged him to do a post about it—Scott].

I walked into this opportunity not really being a Star Wars fan. I’d seen the second half of the movies as a kid, but never really got around to watching the three prequels. For the most part, I don’t watch a lot of movies, so it wasn’t something that I felt I was missing out on.

Why I Went
elvis-1What attracted me to go to this convention was passion. I’m a passionate person by nature – you kinda have to be to work here. Because of that, I find myself attached to people who are really into being passionate about things. I don’t follow sports, but i’ve always wanted to be friends with one of those superfans who paint themselves with the letter D and hang out by a stadium.

I mean, i’m the guy who drove by myself a ton of hours to go to the “RC Cola Moonpie Festival”. I love talking to people about the things that they love talking about. The sparkle in a person’s eye is just awesome- I guess it’s why I enjoy environmental portraiture as much as I do. To be able to go to a place where people get dressed up to pay tribute to something that they love was just something that I couldn’t pass up.

I packed a bunch of lights in my car and headed out to the convention. I was prepared for anything – from small lights to a pack and head scenario. More often than not, i’m usually the guy that’s packing 6 strobes so this isn’t entirely out of character. It’s the McNally in me. Last minute – I threw my tripod in the car, not really knowing why.

Check out the rest of the story by clicking on the link below…



Yesterday Nik Software announced a brand new HDR plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom (and compatible software) for creating HDR images called “HDR Efex Pro” (that’s it shown above).

It’s slated for release sometime in October, but I’ve been playing around with a pre-release version, and I have to say—-it’s pretty cool. True to Nik form, it’s got a great interface. I particularly like the previews of the built-in presets along the left side, and the fact that Vignetting, Levels, and Curves adjustments are build right in, so after you’re done with the Tonemapping, you don’t have to head back to Camera Raw for final tweaking—you can do it all right in the plug-in.

Plus, it has “Viveza-like” control points which let you adjust individual areas in the image. The noise seems very low too, which is big.

Anyway, head over to and check out their great video on HDR Efex Pro (click on the video on the lower left side).