Friday, February 14, 2014

Getting Ready for the IHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships...

I'm looking forward to shooting some state events in the next few weeks.  Tomorrow I have the opportunity to shoot photos at the IHSAA Girls Swimming and Diving Championships at the IUPUI Natatorium.  The goal is to get images for the NFHS publications and primarily the new to be released NFHS.ORG website.

This week I spoke to our swimming and diving rules editor, Becky Oakes, about any images she would like me to capture.  This turned out to be a very valuable conversation.  Some of the items I'd not thought about were rightly suggested.  Some of the goals include:

  • Starting positions of the feet for the backstroke.
  • Underwater kicking during the breaststroke and freestyle, shot at several frames per sec.
  • Kick underwater on turns
  • Relay Take-offs
  • Watch for records to be broken.
    • The Carmel team is likely to break some state records and possibly national records in multiple events.
I believe I have learned from last year' experience.  My keep rate of shots was far lower than I had hoped. This was largely due to my unwillingness to bump the ISO higher in order to have a faster shutter speed. This time with the Canon 1D X I'll have much less concern about using higher ISO speeds.  I plan to shoot no less than a 400th/sec for action shots and likely higher.  I'm comfortable with ISO as high as 8000 and still managing image noise. The advanced focusing of the 1D X is incredible.  The tracking capability and shutter speed (12 fps) are awesome. I'll use the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L Series II most of the event on this body.  It's an exception lens with enough length given my access to the side of the pool during the event.  I considered using the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 Sports lens for this event.  But, its a bit big and I will not need the reach for most of the day.  I'll have my Canon 1.4x converter if need to adjust on the fly.

My second camera body will be the Canon 5D Mark III.  This is another exceptional body and has many of the same characteristics of the 1D X in terms of ISO.  I'll have the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 Series II on this one most of the day.  Its a fantastic combination and will be great for close shots of the teams on the side of the pool and interactions with the coaches and officials. I'll have the following lens readily available when needed, Canon EF 8-15mm L series Fish-eye, EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L Series II and a Sigma 15mm Fish-eye.

Packing up for the day...What will I be taking?

Camera Bodies:
Canon 1D X
Canon 5D Mark II with the battery Grip.
Spare batteries for both cameras - fully charged.

Canon 70-00mm f/2.8 L Series II
Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8 L Series II
Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L Series II
Canon EF 8-15mm L Series Fish-eye.

Other Gear: Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and Canon Speedlite transmitter.  Since flash use will be minimized I'm only bringing one flash tomorrow.

Fast CF cards for the 1D X (Lexar 1000x 64GB (2)) and the same Lexar 1000x 64Gb for the 5D and a Lexar 32GB SDHC for the second slot.

I'll take the MacBook Air so that I can work on and upload images during breaks in the action.  I'll also have an iPad Retina with me as well.  A new twist will be using the Canon Wireless WFT-E6A for this event.  I'll be able to easily transfer images to my iPad and share it via twitter.  The ShutterSnitch IOS app works with with this combination. I'll have my Verizon 4G MiFi running to ensure I have access to upload if I cannot connect to the event system.  If a record is broken I hope to post images quickly using mobile devices without going to the PC and ejecting a memory card, etc.

The rest of the kit is rounded out with a Gitzo mono-pod (possible use during diving), spare filters, a Lexar pro USB 3.0 card reader, tools, chargers and cleaning supplies.  It will all pack nicely into the LowePro 200x Pro Roller bag.

This should be a fun event and I'm grateful to the IHSAA for allowing access to it on behalf of the NFHS.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lets Shoot Some Baseball

It is time for the IHSAA State Baseball Tournament.  Today I am fortunate to be able to go an shoot the 1A, 2A and 4A games. The games are once again at Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians.  What does it take to shoot this event today?  Lots of gear, the bag will be packed!

Camera Body: 

  • Canon EOS 1Dx
  • Canon 5D Mark III


  • Canon 16-35 f2.8L II 
  • Canon 70-200 f2.8L II IS
  • Sigma 120-300 f2.8 DG OS (New version)
Other Items: 
  • Lexar and Sandisk 64Gb and 32GB memory cards. A few older 16Gb cards for backup.
  • Canon 600EX RT flash and Canon ST-E3 remote
  • Gitzo Carbon Fiber Mono-pod.
  • Spare batteries for cameras and flash.
  • Veloe wireless remote 
  • GorillaPod
  • Lexar Card reader, Dellultrabook and Verizon 4G MiFi.
  • Porlarizer filters
  • Canon 1.4x Teleconverter

I hope to be able to setup the 5DIII manually focused on 2nd base for a part of the game, mounted to the GorillaPod inside the dugout.  With the wireless remote I'll be able to quickly capture any plays at 2nd.

Today's images are to be used by the National Federation of State High School Associations. Yes, my day-time job. :-)

Time to pack it up and get to the ballpark!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

May in Indy... 500 time!

May is finally under way for me. In Indianapolis May is all about the 500.

Today I stopped by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to pick up my credentials! It was great to hear the cars on track. I will be out there taking photos on the next two Fridays. I look forward to posting photos starting this weekend.

Fun times!