Friday, July 12, 2013

Phoenix Coyotes Prospects Camp in Scottsdale

You’ve all heard the phrase, “location, location, location.”  That certainly is one of the lessons learned from photographing hockey on 11 July 2013.  I started off taking photos with my Canon 5D Mark III and Canon “L” 24-105mm lens off to the side, but through netting.  Some were good; most I had to toss. 

After 45 minutes of hard practice, the whistle blew and the prospects skated off to let the Zamboni machines re-ice the surface.  Then they ran a full scrimmage and I went over to a new location by the glass. 

The venue was the marvelous Ice Den in north Scottsdale.  It was well over 100 degrees outside, a typical Arizona summer day, but a very very chilly winter-like temperature inside.  Note to self:  bring a jacket next time!

I experimented with ISO during this shoot.  I started at ISO 400 but the shutter speed was far too slow.  I settled on ISO 800, even ISO1600 for a few shots, that allowed me to have a faster shutter speed of around 1/100th of a second.  My f/stop was wide open.  We had sort of tungsten lighting inside the Ice Den, but the florescent setting gave me a much better result.  The tungsten setting gave too much of a cool blue look to my photos.  The joy of shooting in raw format is I could easily re-set the white balance through Lightroom and sync all of my shots to that setting. 
I took close to 300 shots, but only kept 22. 

How would I do it differently?  Putting myself against the glass was about as good as it was going to get.  I couldn’t get much closer.  I could have used my Canon 70-200mm (f/2.8) lens for more reach.  Using a 1.4x extender would have meant I would lose even more light and would have had to used a higher ISO.  When you do that, you run the risk of more noise in the photos. 

For more on the Phoenix Coyotes prospects camp, go HERE

Keep Shooting!  One of these days you’ll get it right! 

Jim Patterson

Here are all 22 of my shots from my visit to the Ice Den….

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oregon Wildflowers and Waterfalls

The end of June found me in Silverton, Oregon, about an hour south of Portland.  My mission was to photograph wildflowers at the Oregon Gardens and waterfalls in nearby Silver Falls State Park

I joined the team from Canon led by famed outdoor photographer George Lepp

The first day we set out to capture some of the flowers at the Oregon Gardens.  I am in Arizona and I’m used to hot, but this was hot AND humid, so it took a toll.  But oh my there were some lovely flowers there. 

Days two and three meant early (cool!) mornings at Silver Falls State Park to photograph waterfalls.  Day two of my visit we hit North and Upper North Falls; day three we hit South Falls.

I constructed the tall shot of the waterfall to the left by stitching four photos from top to bottom within Photoshop (you can also do it in Photoshop Elements).    

For photographers, to photograph falls and running water, you must have a solid tripod, like my Manfrotto 190CX3 carbon fiber.  It's lightweight and strong.  You can take photos hand held, but you’ll never get that silky/milky look.  So you also need a neutral density filter to slow the shutter speed.  I used a Tiffen variable ND filter (two filters in one that you can dial up or down the intensity of the filter, or darkness).  It was so misty and humid that I’m afraid toward the end I got it a bit fogged.  I supposed I could call some of my latter photos “art” then.  And yes, it was so misty I had to clean my lens after every shot. 

Another challenge was going down to get the shots.  Why can’t the good shots be close to the freeway?  I’d look down and think.. wow, that’s beautiful.. but what goes down walking… you must come up.  These were some hikes, but it was so darn beautiful I just pushed myself, especially seeing an older gent with a hip replacement and a pregnant lady do it.  I’m sure glad I work out on a regular basis!

My next adventure is to Dublin and south and west Ireland the end of July. 

Until then, keep on shooting!

Jim Patterson

Please Enjoy All of My Photos from Oregon…