Category Archives: Sports

Shauna takes fitness seriously.  Both hers and that of the hundreds of rabid fans of Hip-Hop Cycle, her insanely popular spinning class.  While she finishes up her PhD at Johns Hopkins, she tortures (ahem, teaches) her east coast devotees at Baltimore’s best gym, Merritt Athletic club.  But when she visits home, the West Coast faithful get a chance to take her class at the Equinox Palo Alto location….if they can get there early enough.  This week, Shauna was good enough to commandeer a classroom so that I could experiment with some techniques I’d been wanting to try.  And hopefully get some nice shots.


Last weekend, a couple of friends and I made the trip to Boulder Colorado to participate in a workshop led by the incredible Tyler Stableford.  To say that I love his work would be a huge understatement.  I can’t remember in which magazine I first saw his work, but it was a few years ago, when I was just stumbling into photography.   If you haven’t already clicked on the link above, you owe it to yourself to spend some time perusing his site.  It is amazing.

What I wanted to get out of this workshop were some tips on working with clients and models, some of his processing secrets, and maybe some great shots.   But Tyler was so great about taking time to understand where each of us were as photographers and encouraging us to push that boundary.  For me, that meant thinking much more about the story that my image composition tells, how each element in an image either enhances or detracts from that story, and developing a process for arbitrating the two.  If you cannot already tell, I loved it.   I got so much more out of the weekend than I anticipated.  And I’m planning to attend Tyler’s next workshop in Arches National Park!

  • Kathy Chappell

    Can’t help but shake my head and simply say….AMAZING, and that still doesn’t give what I wish I could say justice, because words sometimes just can’t convey the emotion evoked from such images, but that is what my limited vocabulary can come up with…breathtakingly beautiful images.

  • Thanks Matt. I appreciate your feedback….especially when it’s positive!!

  • Dana, your shots are amazing. Mind blowing. That one of the runner striking the ground coming toward you is epic. well done!

Lighting geekery alert:  I don’t typically get much into how I took a certain shot, but the mood struck today.  Over the weekend, I received what I think will become one of my favorite accessories: a 24-foot long “off-camera” ETTL cord for Canon flashes. Basically, this means that I can place a flash that is hard wired to my camera over 20 feet away from me when I’m shooting. I didn’t even know they existed until Syl Arena mentioned it at a workshop I recently attended.  So, for this image…I shot with a Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod & a Canon 24-105 Lens at 35mm, f/4, 1/200s, ISO 640.  The key light, a Canon 580 EX II,  was connected to the 5D hotshoe via the new cable and attached to a light stand at camera left, approx 12 feet from the subject. The key light was also gridded, gelled with a 1/2 CTB gel, and half-snooted (to prevent the wall from being illuminated by the key light).. all with Honl flash accessories (also worth their weight in gold).  The key light was manually fired at 1/4 power.  A second 580 EX II, gelled with a 1/4 CTO gel, was placed low, camera right to create the shadow on the wall and fired manually at 1/132 power.   The whole thing took about 15 minutes of shooting and a little tweaking in Lightroom/CS5.

  • Mar

    Awesome! No words

    (and I do not understand anything pass Mama said…)

  • Johanne, I have one of those, too. But at $60 from FlashZebra, the new 24′ cord (which is not coiled like a telephone cord) really is a steal. They tend to drift out of stock pretty regularly, I’m told.

  • Johanne

    I *love* it. I bought a 2-foot flash cord. Except it was built like a telephone wire, so the effective distance was maybe 1 foot. By the time I’d used it for one session of trying to stretch it longer than it could reach, the hot shoe housing broke (on the cord). I’ll have to look into this 24 foot thingy; gotta be cheaper than a pocket wizard.

I spent the middle part of last week in St. Louis, working and visiting good friends.  Oh, and taking pictures.  It was 85 glorious, sunshiny, humidity-free degrees for the entire trip.  Here are a few from Wednesday’s 2-1 Cardinals victory over the Houston Astros, including an impromptu shoot of Casey done by the light of one bank of fluorescent bulbs underneath Busch Stadium.  Good thing John showed up to take us home when he did, because, despite the class and restraint shown in these pics, Casey’s modeling “style” had the Cardinals staff in stitches.  I’ve obviously filtered the results to protect the silly (that would be me and Casey).

An young autograph seeker waits patiently above the Cardinals dugout…

Hunter Pence preps for batting practice…and posing, I guess.  Jackie (on the right, of course) and her mother, age 90, sit next to the Cardinals dugout and haven’t missed a home game in three seasons.  I spoke with them for a few minutes, and they were just fine posing for a picture (or 5).  John, the teams Assistant GM, actually knows them, although he doesn’t remember singing happy birthday to Jackie’s mother with the other 46k fans last June.  I’m more and more impressed with the Cardinals fans and organization every time I visit.

Fro a second, I thought this dude was Rick Dempsey, former Baltimore Oriole and 1983 World Series MVP.  Alas…nope.

David Freese, Cardinals 3rd baseman (Jackie told me who he was), made some kid happy.  As Freese walked away, the kid’s dad asked, “Who was that?”

Fluorescent Casey…


Serene, Emma, and I made the quick trip up to Boise to get in some time with family and on the mountain.  Emma wasn’t interested in having her picture taken, but nobody else seemed to mind.  I was especially excited about taking some shots up on the hill with a camera that I’d never used before, the Canon S90.  I’d bought the camera for work but hadn’t really had a chance to take a look at what it could do.  All the outdoor shots here were taken with it, and I’m even more impressed with it than I was when I first read the reviews.  Not sure it could sub for the G11, but its definitely a ton of capability in a really small package.  I also took the liberty of adding a new panoramic of Bogus Basin ski area to the slideshow up above…a stitched image of 6 shots taken with the S90.

  • shal

    I love Bogus Basin. Used to ski it when I was a kid!