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In Celebration of the Adobe CS6 Launch, The Photoshop Guys are doing a series of webcasts all this week to talk about Photoshop CS6. We want the focus to be about sharing cool stuff that we’ve learned about this new release as well as answer any questions you may have!

PLUS: Our Photoshop CS6 Launch Center (with loads of CS6 video clips and interviews and news) is NOW LIVE.

Here’s the schedule (below) and here’s where to go to watch:

If you’re a NAPP Member, these webcasts will be available to you on the NAPP Member webcast archive.

I finally got a chance to process some of my images from last week’s game between the San Francisco, 49ers and the New York Giants. Anyway, I thought I share a few of my favorites from the shoot below (click on them for much larger views):

Above: I dig the sweat flying and the fact that the defender’s helmet is up so high his chin guard looks like it’s covering his eyes. 

I had dinner a few days before the game with sports photography legend Dave Black and his lovely wife Susan. During dinner I mentioned to Dave that I’d be shooting the game this weekend, and Dave said:

“Here’s what you need to do: put a 1.4 tele-extender on your 400mm f/2.8 and get a super tight shot of Eli Manning—so tight that you cut off the top of his helmet and part of the ball. I want to see his face and the reflection in his helmet. Start the game shooting this and don’t stop until you get it.”

Well, I took his advice and shot in tight on Manning (like the shot you see at the very top of this post) for the entire first quarter. I have a lot of tries that didn’t hit the mark, but I did catch this one. Thanks Dave! (I did the same thing with 49ers QB Alex Smith, as seen as the end of this post). :)

Camera Specs:
Pretty much the same as usual, but besides the 1.4 tele-extender, I did try a different lens on my second body; my 28-300mm f/2.5 to f/5.6. So why this one? Well, I wasn’t happy with the 24-70mm, because 70mm isn’t close enough most of the time, and 24mm is a little too wide, so I thought I’d try something different since this was a day game. I wouldn’t have tried this at night). My main lens was a 400mm f/2.8, and I shot at f/2.8 the whole time (of course, when I put the tele-extender on, it dropped the f/stop to f/4.

Above: This is one of my favorite shots from the game. The fact that later in the game part of the field went into shadows did make things a little tricky, but I switched my White Balance to Cloudy and that pretty much took care of the color shift.

Above: I know you can’t see the ball in this shot, but I loved Manning’s face in this shot.

Above: In the frame before this shot, the defensive tackle had his hands firmly on the running back’s face mask, but the shot just wasn’t as interesting. 

Above: This one’s taken with a 10.5mm fisheye, from down on one knee.

Above: That’s me posing with my 400mm f/2.8. Of course, it’s closer to the lens than my head, so it looks larger than life (photo by Vinny).

It truly was a blast to shoot the game—-absolutely perfect weather, two teams at the top of their game, and San Francisco enjoying their best season in years, and a stadium full of fans enjoying every minute of it. It doesn’t get much better. Thanks to 49ers Team Photographer Terrell Lloyd (A really great guy, who was really helpful and fun), and my personal thanks to Anne Cahill who is just too cool for everything she did.

One Last Thing…
Dave Black told me that once I shot with that 1.4 tele on the 400mm, that it would feel so tight, that when I removed it, the regular 400mm would actually feel loose. He was absolutely right. When I took it off, I felt like I was using a 200mm, and actually, that was a good thing. Thanks Dave—-once again, you were right.

 

(Above: You can go to SI.com and see tons of shots with a receiver catching the ball in the end zone for a touchdown [boring], but how many times do you see a new fresh style, where the focus isn’t on catching the ball, or even seeing the ball, but instead the focus is on that icon of football—the goal post. This is the kind of fresh, brash images I was capturing all game. If I had to use one word to describe it: “Magic.” I was so in ‘the zone.” ;-)

Not every shot I took was a shot of the goal post. I actually had some where you could see the ball, and I can tell you without reservation, that they are pretty darn unimpressive. In fact, I spent four quarters creating some of the most average, uninspired, and down right yawners you’ve ever seen. I don’t know what happened. I’m bummed because I went into this game really thinking I was going to have a great shoot. We had perfect weather, a beautiful stadium, total access, and yet I missed so many shots, and was in the wrong position for some many plays, that I’m just sick about it.

(Above: Here’s one where you can see the ball, and it doesn’t bother me one bit that it’s partially obscured by the ref walking into my shot. In fact, I think it adds an artsy feel to the image—one that I believe is lacking in so many NFL shots these days. In fact, I think their sharp, crisp, clear photos are just a crutch these photographers use and their clarity just further exposes the lack of referee engagement in their images. It’s sad).

(Above: X-marks the spot, and clearly that is exactly where I was focusing. The real story is the headless guy in dark blue off the field on the right side. How does he keep his job with no visible head whatsoever? That, my friends, is the story. The rest are just blurry players on a football field). 

I actually did get a few decent shots despite myself, which I’ll share tomorrow, but it’s late and I’ve got an early flight home in the morning, so I’m hitting the sack, but at least I got to share a few of my “magic moments” here with you tomorrow. More to come tomorrow —- though some will be a little less “magic” than these.

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