Want to know what it’s like to cover a football game as the chief photographer of a school’s athletic department? Photographer Joel Hawksley created this day-in-the-life time-lapse video after being assigned to cover a football game between Ohio University and Temple University. It starts early in the morning when he pulls out of his driveway, and ends at night when he pulls in. In between we see everything from setting up, shooting, post-processing, and uploading/emailing photographs. Hawksley used a Nikon D700 and D300 to photograph the game, and a Canon G9 to capture the time-lapse images throughout the day.
Posts Tagged ‘sports’
“The Catch” is one of the most famous plays in American football history, and Walter Iooss Jr.’s photograph of Dwight Clark leaping into the air is one of the game’s iconic images. Paul Lukas of Uni Watch has published an interesting analysis of the photograph and why it “works”:
I’ve been fascinated by the famous photo of the Catch for years and have always thought it to be the greatest photo ever of NFL action, and possibly the greatest sports photo, period. The photo has always been very visually pleasing to me, so I recently decided to find out why.
Out of curiosity I applied the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, and perspective to the photo, and I was completely blown away by the results. Now I know why this photo has always been so visually stunning to me: Compositionally, it is divine. I’ve prepared a series of exhibits to support my points.
If you aren’t familiar with these two rules of composition, check out this article.
We were going to shoot several shots that would need to freeze him in mid air as he kicked the ball. We had limited time with him so it was necessary that things were planed out and ready to go when he arrived. We took two Hensel speed max heads that have the fastest flash duration of any mono block head available. The goal was to use them as our key lights and freeze his action in mid air. We shot background plates the day before at the ruins outside of Mexico City for him to be retouched into. The idea being famous soccer players in action shots at different iconic sites of Mexico. [#]
A video walkthrough of the post-production can be found over on Facebook.
German sports photographer Peter Langenhahn has an interesting way of documenting the important moments in a sporting event. Instead of showing them each in a separate photograph, he shoots events from a distant perspective and combines the important moments into a single image afterward. For example, one of his panoramas shows every single foul called throughout the course of a soccer match. After shooting up to 3,000 photos during an event, he spends up to 2-3 months combining them into a photo thats 100 GB in size and takes 6 hours just to save.
If you want to know the ins and outs of shooting a college basketball game, check out this awesome behind-the-scenes video with pro sports photographer Miguel Olivella. In it, he walks us through things like where to be, what gear to use, camera settings, and various tricks he has under his sleeve that help him get the perfect shot.
(via Scott Kelby)
The Super Bowl isn’t just the biggest event in the NFL season, but one of the biggest events for the world’s best sports photographers each year. Here’s a neat behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to shoot the Super Bowl as a Sports Illustrated photographer.
(via f stoppers)
Dean Blotto Gray of BLOTTO PHOTTO is the Burton Snowboards Principal Photographer.
If there’s one small joy in life that I look forward to every year, it’s probably the Burton product catalog, which always features an eye-catching mix of creative product photography, cutting-edge board and page design, and breathtaking location photos.
If you’ve snagged a copy of this year’s catalog, The Good Book, Blotto’s shots are featured in some of the spreads.
With so many riders on the mountain, snowboarding photography is also an integral part for individual riders to stand out from the crowd and get mainstream exposure and street cred.
Snowboard and ski photography are perhaps the most physically demanding types of sports photography, oftentimes set in the dangerous and extreme weather locations. At the same time, it’s got a youthful style and high energy culture that is very apparent in Blotto’s work.
PetaPixel: Can you give us some background about yourself; what you do, where you’re based, and how you became a photographer?
Blotto: I grew up in Arizona and Texas during my younger years, but Phoenix became my home starting in Grade 6. By this time I was consumed with riding BMX bikes, which led to racing at the local tracks until my mid-teens. Around this time I found skateboarding and that took over until this day. Once college entered my life, snowboarding did to. After the very first run I ever took on a snowboard, I knew this was what I wanted to do because it was like skateboarding on the mountains, total freedom to adventure.
I eventually moved to Colorado, Utah and Oregon to pursue a life in the snowboarding industry, but not as a professional rider. My friends and I started a small snowboarding company selling t-shirts, hats and bindings, so out of necessity I picked up the camera because we needed to produce our own images for our marketing materials. In 1999, I took a position at Burton Snowboards, which eventually led to this Principal Photographer role. My home base is Burlington, Vermont, which happens to be the world headquarters for Burton.
My official job title is Burton Snowboards Principal Photographer. It’s a year round position that keeps me on the road documenting their professional snowboarding team as they compete, film and tour. The photographic materials are used for Burton’s advertisements, catalogs, editorial purposes plus my website, photo shows and books.
PP: How do you get around the mountain/locations while you shoot? Do you ride, too?
B: A snowboarding background is ideal to document the life and times of the athletes because you’re in the mountains about seventy-five percent of the time. Everything we do is one-hundred percent team work based…picking locations, traveling, building the features out of snow, accessing alpine zones, getting home safe at the end of the day and being able to relate to your subjects around you.
When shooting in the alpine environment, we access mountain areas via chairlifts, hiking, snowmobiles and helicopters. Your mode of transportation is dependent on where you are in the world and what your snowboarding goals ultimately are. I prefer hiking to snowmobiling, but I also spend as much time as possible shooting from the helicopter so I can document the snowboarder’s action from above…it makes for a very unique perspective not always seen in action sports. We also spend a great deal of time in any given city that has seen significant snowfall. Using cement, metal and architecture is a treat because it differs so much from the alpine regions.
PP: Which did you start first: riding or photography?
B: Started snowboarding in 1992, picked up a Canon 35mm SLR in 1997.
PP: How do you bring your gear on a photo shoot? Do you have a special photo bag you prefer?
B: Burton Snowboards is very flexible and enthusiastic when it comes to research and developing travel bags and camera packs. I’ve been using the Burton F-Stop Camera Pack and Double Deck Travel Bags since the year 2000. It’s the ultimate combination for checking in luggage during airline travel and the most reliable and comfortable bag to have on your back while shooting. Burton has listened to our needs as traveling snowboarders and photographers and produced reliable, smart luggage.
PP: What gear do you usually bring on a shoot?
B: Canon 1Ds, assortment of Canon lenses, Pocket Wizard remotes, ProFoto Strobes, SunPak Flashes and a point and shoot camera. There’s an assortment of safety equipment, proper outdoor clothing and of course a laptop and hard drives.
PP: Can you tell us about the most extreme or difficult weather or mountain conditions you’ve shot in?
B: Shooting in the alpine environment has the inherit risk of snow avalanches. It’s something you always have to think about, prepare for and be ready. If you plan your route and personnel properly, most situations will never get out of hand. My equipment of choice has never let me down during any winter condition. It’s comforting to know your equipment will perform right along side you, so you don’t have to focus any energy worrying about camera failure.
PP: How do you protect your gear from the elements and the cold?
B: I’ve found that the equipment I use has been weather sealed enough to stay protected in any snowy condition, no matter how wet or dry the snow is. I don’t use any aftermarket covers for the body or lenses, they only inhibit the use of the device.
The key to equipment longevity and reliability is a proper dry out and cleaning every time after shooting. It’s a big no-no in snowboarding to show up to a shoot with gear that doesn’t function properly. Athletes are risking their lives to progress and document snowboarding, so you need to be on point as the photographer.
PP: Have you ever broken equipment while riding/shooting?
B: I’ve dropped my share of lenses and cameras, there’s no doubt about that. If this situation occurs in the field, you must do what it takes to continue shooting and not hinder the flow of the session.
PP: How did you land a job as the Principal Photographer for Burton?
B: I was brought into Burton as a Team Manager with specialized skills in photography, cinematography, photo editing, marketing and travel. I was always taking photos during my team management days, so it was natural for me to graduate to the role of photographer.
PP: Your bio on your site says you travel 290 days out of the year. Where do you travel most often?
B: My travel schedule of 290 days per year is a result of Burton’s endless photographic needs from their riders. Our shoot locations are dependent on the latest snowfall reports, so when an assignment comes up, it could be New Zealand in August or Newfoundland in January. During the springtime, we set up man-made snow features at ski resorts (with the proper manpower in place) to create our vision.
Over the last couple of North American summers, I’ve found some time to document the track bike revolution in various cities. It’s a dream come true to photograph where it all started for me…bicycles.
PP: Do you have a favorite location to shoot at?
B: If I had to pick three locations I would never give up shooting it would definitely be Japan, Alaska and Central Europe. Each place offers such a unique vibe and backdrop for snowboarding and photography…from the type of riding that happens to the images you’ll capture.
PP: How would you say snowboarding photography is different from general sports photography?
B: The biggest difference between snowboarding and general sports is location, but more specifically dealing with the threat of avalanches in the alpine. A common thread is most of snowboarding’s photographers and cinematographers are snowboarders themselves, many of which are former professional riders.
Image Credits: Blotto portrait by Laura Austin, Blotto 1 and 2 by Jeremy Jones, Blotto by Gabe L’Heureux, all other images by Dean Blotto Gray
Seldom do the wonderful worlds of video games and photography meet, but when they do, fun often ensues.
Photography has had a relatively quiet but constant presence in video games over the last two decades, usually featured in video game titles as a mini-game or bonus mode. A few incorporate photography into the main storyline.
Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite photo-related titles over the years, ranked by their incorporation of photographic elements into the gameplay.
#1. Pokémon Snap (1999)
Platform: Nintendo 64
Gotta photograph ‘em all doesn’t quite sound as snappy, but Pokemon Snap is the first and arguably most successful Pokémon spinoff console-based title. Aptly named amateur photographer Todd Snap ventures through seven different landscapes, on assignment by Professor Oak to be the very best Pokemon photographer–like no one ever was.
For nostalgic gamers who want to party like it’s 1999, Pokémon Snap is now available for download on Wii’s Virtual Console.
#2. Dead Rising (2006)
Platforms: Xbox 360
Genre: Action/Survival horror
Freelance photographer Frank West is out get the scoop in a small suburban town that seems to have a slight zombie infestation. Fortunately, Frank West happens to be remarkably in shape–like most seasoned war photographers, apparently. Not only can he gain experience points as he takes unnaturally zoomed photos with what looks like a 17-35mm, Nikon D1X, West can use almost anything as a weapon: mall benches, lawn mowers, chainsaws, trash cans, other zombies–you get the picture.
#3. Fatal Frame Series (2002-2008)
Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Wii
Genre: Survival horror
The protagonist of Fatal Frame combats angry spirits of the dead with a camera while roaming around creepy environments. The gameplay is very similar to a first-person shooter game, except the main character wields an antique camera in lieu of a shotgun. Published at the onset of the digital photography era, this game pays an homage to film photography, as ammunition comes in the form of special types of film.
Fatal Frame is the first in its series, which includes Fatal Frame II, III, and a Japanese version of IV for the NintendoWii.
#4. Beyond Good and Evil (2003)
Platform: PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube
Genre: Action Adventure
Much like Frank West in Capcom’s Dead Rising, the protagonist in Beyond Good and Evil is an investigative reporter with above-average athletic prowess–she knows her martial arts. Set in a rustic future, young journalist Jade tackles the tough issues of human trafficking and propaganda, armed with her camera and a jō staff.
#5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Developer: Treyarch, Vicarious Visions
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PSP, Wii
Even Spider-Man has bills to pay. In Spider-Man 3, freelance photojournalist Petey goes on assignment around the city, occasionally taking self-portraits. Is that ethical?
In any case, at least his thin wallet is true-to-life.
#6. Bully (2006)
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Wii
Never had the time to take a photography course? In Rockstar’s schoolhouse adventure, Bully, a photo class is in the required curriculum. Jimmy Hopkins, the anti-hero, roams the halls of Bullworth Academy to complete his homework assignments.
#7. Metal Gear Solid (1998), Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
Platform: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
Genre: Third Person Action
Amidst Hideo Kojima’s thought-provoking storyline, an excellent soundtrack, and groundbreaking graphics, Kojima gives a nod to photography in several Metal Gear Solid titles.
Special espionage commando Solid Snake uses a camera in the Tank Hangar basement in the first Metal Gear Solid.
In MGS 2, Solid Snake and sidekick Raiden sneak stealthily around industrial settings, avoiding exclamatory guards and disabling weapons of mass destruction. Solid Snake uses a spy camera in a mission, which can be unlocked and equipped after the game is completed once.
Metal Gear Solid 4 contains a bizarre photo shoot Easter Egg. While fighting the Beauty bosses, avoid combat for three minutes and the photo shoot mode will be activated.
#8. BioShock (2007, 2008)
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Released initially for the Xbox 360 and later as a port to PlayStation 3, BioShock’s silent protagonist makes his way through a submarine 1940s dystopia that has been ravaged by the excesses of its vain, idealistic society. Along the way, he collects a research camera with which he can photograph enemies to improve fighting ability in future encounters.
Grand Theft Auto 4
Photography plays a very minor role in the gameplay of GTA 4, appearing in an assassination mission. Protagonist Niko uses a camera phone (no fancy SLR in this gritty game) to take a photo of and confirm a hit via photo messaging. How convenient!
Myst IV: Revelation
The last installment of the Myst series provides a camera for collecting clues to solve hair-pulling puzzles.
Screenshot Photography Modes, Various Titles
Other games include a photography feature, separate from the gameplay. Most recently, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves includes a screen capture, or photo mode (Visit The Sixth Axis for a screen capture forum here).
More titles with a screen capture mode include Gears of War 2, Halo 3 (for tips on capturing boast-worthy screenshots, visit Paradox460 ) and Gran Turismo 4, which has its own flickr group. Additional racing titles also have this feature, such as Forza 2, MotorStorm Pacific Rift, Wipeout HD, Tourist Trophy, and more.
Game Face Feature, EA Sports Titles
This past September, EA Sports introduced a new feature, Game Face, an upgrade of Photo Game Face, which works with games such as FIFA 10, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, Facebreaker and Fight Night Round 4 on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Game Face incorporates photography into character customization by letting players upload their own faces into different games as well as while creating their own avatar. The program is an interesting, though fluffy feature, akin to the PlayStation Eye and EyeToy, neither of which fared particularly well on the market. Game Face is still in its BETA stage, so we’ve yet to see whether it takes off.
We hope you enjoyed our virtual photo roundup. If you’ve got a favorite video game photo op moment, please share it with us!
Image credits: All images credited to their respective developers.