February 28, 2008

Oak Hills Swimming & Diving

While I was at the last swimming meet I got a request from a few parents to come to Senior Day. I try to handle requests whenever I can and luckily I could squeeze this in. There was nothing better than walking into the school and seeing how happy everyone was to see me at the event. I truly love my job and I am happy that others enjoy my work. A huge thanks to the parents who got the meet sheet and marked all the seniors for me. That was a huge help. While I try to get all the swimmers it sometimes is just not possible. The diving board between lanes 2 and 3 just will not move out of my way:) Not sure how many times I almost have run into it or slided my way around it on the wet deck trying to get to another lane to get another swimmer. The meet was held on a Saturday afternoon so I had a lot of natural light coming through the windows which I loved. The images below start with the divers. I am still trying to get better at capturing the divers. More practice on my part would probably be a good thing. Here are the divers.

I like that you can see his face so clearly. Too bad I could not get a high enough shutter speed to get rid of the motion blur of his hand.
A backstroke swimmer breaking the surface after the turn.

February 27, 2008

Lakota West At Oak Hills Basketball

The Freshmen game was the first of two totally different events I covered on a Saturday in January. These 2 teams have a rivalry building between them. The Varsity teams are normally 1-2 in the division standings. That carries down to the other teams as well. Lots of physical battles throughout the game. Since the game started at 11am in the morning and it was bright out I tried to avoid aiming at the glass doors while covering the game. All that light is great coming through the door except for when it back lights a player. I could do some nice shadows of the players but that is not normally very interesting with regards to basketball. So here are traditional images from the game.

I think defense if important and I like getting shots of the players getting in their defensive stance.
I did not crop this all the way in because I wanted the reflection to remain in the image.
See how the light from the doors blows out the top left side of the image.

February 26, 2008

A New Look

I always have a list of things I want to accomplish with the business. One thing that has been on the list for a very long time is change my blog. Today I have finally done that. It included an upgrade of the template which is a little scary. So far it appears all my old posts are there and work correctly. Such a good feeling to cross something off my list. Now I have to decide if I want to tackle a site redesign as well. Let me know what you think of the changes to the blog. Also any feedback on a new main site are welcome.

February 25, 2008

Oak Hills Swimming

I finally made it to a swimming meet in January. If you think gyms are dark, swimming pools tend to be very dark. This one is no exception. There are very few lights and almost none in the center of the pool. When I cover swimming I always think about what I am wearing because I know it will get wet and I bring a towel. I also try to limit my equipment as much as possible so I do not have to worry about it getting wet. Most times I will keep my extra camera body and lenses in a bag around my waist so there is less stuff to worry about. My biggest fear at swim meets is me somehow ending up in the pool. Huge fear! I can take care of myself but my equipment really does not like water. Given the tight conditions at some of the pools I think it is a legitimate fear. Since I like to shoot at pool level for most of the events, I did get pretty wet at times. That is why I have the towel for the camera. My images are from the first 90 minutes of the meet. After that point it got way too dark to get quality images. I think you will be able to see how the light faded during the match from the images. Clicking on an image will make it larger. To see all images from the meet go to my site and click the Games link.

I think this might be my favorite image from the meet. Part luck that the swimmer popped out of the water so close to the wall.

Because of where I am allowed to go, most of my backstroke images are right after the flip at the end of the pool. I wish I could get behind the blocks for an image of the start but then I would be distracting to the swimmers. Something I do not want to do.

February 22, 2008

Sycamore At Oak Hills Basketball

The Freshmen boys played on January 22nd at Oak Hills. Most of the Freshmen games are played in their South gym but this one was in the main gym. I like the character of the old gym but the main gym gives me more room to move around without getting in any one's way. Here are some images from the game.

How much better would this have been if the banner was Oak Hills?

I did manage to get the mural on the wall in this shot.
A heavily contested shot.
Grabbing a rebound.

February 21, 2008

Fairfield At Lakota East Wrestling

After a day of photographing the Freshmen Invitational I found myself at Lakota East for some Varsity wrestling. I did get to stop by my office and download my cards from earlier and even started going through the images before leaving again. My husband was nice enough to make me a small meal as well which was appreciated. I was happy to see a meet sheet available at the door. I love knowing who is wrestling against who in each weight class. If I have covered the teams before I have a pretty good idea but once the matches start is nice to have something to write my images numbers on so I can divide the images by weight class later. Plus I just like having a roster. There was only one ref for the meet which is a little strange for Varsity. Normally there are 2 but with all the tournaments going on that weekend I would imagine it was hard to find refs. It was good for me though since I only had to worry about shooting around one ref. Here are my images from the evening meet.

I did a quick blink when I first say this one and then had to laugh. The head almost looked like it should be the wrestler's in the white the singlet.

February 20, 2008

That Was Close

Last night I had the opportunity to photograph the Oak Hills boys basketball team in their first tournament game of this season. It was held at Cintas. Great lighting! Yeah! Since I was only concentrating on one team I was able to try a few things during the game. Towards the end of the game I set myself up right by the basket support to get some shots from a different angle. (something I have done during the season but probably not as close) Something I always want to capture is a player saving the ball out of bounds. Well, this one was a little to close and not sure what I was thinking. Actually I was thinking, follow the play maybe I can get the player tossing the ball in to a teammate. The below image is not cropped and it was shot at 80mm. That is with my full frame camera so no digital distance added to that. Luckily for me the player stopped his momentum. Not even a great shot but I thought I would show that sometimes wanting a great image overtakes the need for self preservation. More images from the game at a later time.

February 18, 2008

Oak Hills Freshmen Invitational

This wrestling Invitational happened back on January 19th. It was a start to a full day of photographing wrestling for me. After this event I covered a varsity match in the evening. By the end of the day my back was definitely sore. I like to get as close to the floor as possible to photograph wrestling because a lot of the action happens down on the mat. This means I am hunched over or leaning to my side. Sometimes I lay on the ground but I hate the fact that I am not mobile at that point. You never know when some of the action is going to come at your way fast and you need to move. Even though I am at the edge of the mat sometimes the momentum of the wrestlers carry them off the mat so that is what I need to be aware of.

During the preliminary rounds of the event there were 4 mats in use. That kept me hoping from one point to another. Especially since I like to get clean backgrounds whenever I can. If I can avoid getting another match in the background of the one I am photographing I try to get myself in a position to do so. Here are some images from the day.

February 13, 2008

Some Snow Pictures

I decided to take a short break today and head out for some fun. Least it is fun to me. I love walking around taking images, especially when there is snow on the ground. Today I headed up to a park that I use for some of my outdoor portrait sessions. It is really close to me and not heavily used. I spent about an hour just walking around. Walking on snow with an ice layer is definitely not something I can do quietly. I did not want to disturb any possible wildlife but that was definitely not going to happen today. I felt like I was just clumping around. Anyways, I thought I would share just a few of the images I took today. None are cropped but I did do some light toning in photoshop plus converted one to black & white. Hope you enjoy them. I put the settings on each image as well. The only thing I kept constant was the ISO. The rest I changed depending on what I was trying to accomplish.

A view of the stream from the bank.
55mm, f6.3; speed 1/250; ISO 200
I wish I had my larger lens on when this happened but I was still using my 17-55mm.
55mm; f8.0; speed 1/500; ISO 200

I took this one on the way out of the park. Not my tired tracks as I had parked across the street. I was a little worried about trying to get out afterwards since I knew my car would be sitting on ice. 80-200mm lens.
185mm; f5.6; speed 1/800; ISO 200

A manually focused image. It actually turned out the way I wanted it to. This was with my 80-200mm lens.
80mm; f8.0; speed 1/1000; ISO 200

February 12, 2008

Centerville At Lakota West Basketball

This is one of the basketball games I skipped posting awhile back so I thought I would post it today. I am a bit tired today so there will not be much explanation about the game. My husband has come down with a cold which meant I slept on the couch last night to try to avoid catching it. And then we had a few inches of snow topped by some ice that I got to shovel this morning. I have made it a priority to learn how to start and operate the snow blower. That would have saved me time and some sore muscles today. Enjoy the pictures from the boys freshmen game on January 10th.

Not my idea of a nice facial.
Trying to keep the ball inbounds.

A steal.