BTS: World Championship of Beach Ultimate Frisbee

BTS: World Championship of Beach Ultimate Frisbee

I am a sports photographer and was hired by Ultiphotos as a member of a team of photographers to shoot the 2015 World Championships of Beach Ultimate Frisbee (WCBU) in Dubai. With only four official photographers we held quite a bit of responsibility on our shoulders as we were contracted to document 1100 players of 71 teams representing 25 countries during 380 games on 10 fields in only 6 days of non-stop sports photography! Learn how I came to grips with this seemingly overwhelming task and kicked my photo endurance into overdrive.   The playing field was about 80 yards long from back-endzone to back-endzone. Ninety percent of the time I opted for the Canon 300mm f/2.8 and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 on 2 Canon 1DX bodies. With both cameras attached to the new Custom SLR Dual Camera Strap it was quick and easy to switch between setups as the action got closer or further away.     Since I’m traveling long distances, I didn’t bring any longer glass such as the Canon 200-400mm with 1.4x extender or 400mm f/2.8 (another alternative would be the 400mm f/5.6). Otherwise I would have also put a monopod to good use!     I also carried with me in a Think Tank belt system, a Canon 24-70mm II f2.8, Canon 16-35mm II 2.8, and a Canon 15mm 2.8 fisheye. This robust shooting kit allowed me to capture action coming right at me from my favorite spots in the endzones, as well as roam the sidelines to catch intimate moments close to the players.     As I previously alluded, my favorite place to shoot field...
In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

In-Camera Time-Lapse Photography Resource and Guide

Fast-disappearing are the days of having to have a separate interval timer to create time-lapses. Many cameras now have built-in intervalometers. The following is a guide to setting up the time-lapse function for most cameras. 1. What is a Time-Lapse? 2. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 3. Notable Cameras with Built-in Interval Timers 4. What Settings Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? 5. For How Long Should I Make My Time-Lapse? 6. Time-Lapse Instructions By Camera 7. How to Put Together Your Time-Lapse What is a Time-Lapse? Time-lapses are comprised of a bunch of pictures of the same thing taken over a long period of time. You then display them quickly in sequence when you’re done. The result is a little “movie” that displays a slow passage of time quickly. Time-lapses are a great way to show how a kid grows, how a flower dies, how stadiums fill up, how the weather changes, and even how the Earth rotates! Most of time, though, you just want to show something simple made interesting, like the sun setting rapidly or the bustle of traffic. Time-lapses also make good scene fillers for larger visual projects. Pay attention and you’ll start noticing them everywhere, from the credits of TV shows to commercials and music videos. What Gear Do I Need for a Time-Lapse? Before we get into interval sequencing, it is important to understand some basic fundamentals of time-lapse photography. Consistency is key. You will need the following: • A tripod or other very stable environment. • A lens with manual focus. • Distance from random light sources (for example, don’t turn your...
6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

Shooting in the middle of the day is a photography no-no but sometimes, especially when traveling, you have no choice but to make the most of the harsh light. Here are 6 methods for getting better images in the heat of summer without having to carry a lot of extra tools with you. Turn Your Back on the Sky But Face the Sun It seems counterintuitive but you want your subject to face away from the sun. Light coming from behind your subject separates them from their background in a pleasing way. However, your subject’s face may be dark. To counter this, use Exposure Compensation or Meter specifically for your subject. This may overexpose your background a bit but it beats having a squinting, raccoon-eyed subject. Having a big open space behind you, as opposed to trees or dark buildings, will help keep your subject’s face bright even when they have their backs to the sun. The best combination is to find a location where the sun can be behind or at an angle to your subject while placing them against a dark background – like the very trees you’re trying to avoid having behind you. In short, a great formula for outdoor, high-noon portraits without additional tools is to have open sky behind you and the sun’s direction behind your subject, preferably filtered through darker scenery. Want to improve this even more? Put a reflector in front of your subject. The sun coming from behind them will hit that reflector and bounce that light back into the front of your scene. Seek Out Environmental Reflectors Beach sand, those creepy...
Going Long On a Budget: The Tamron 150-600mm Telephoto Lens

Going Long On a Budget: The Tamron 150-600mm Telephoto Lens

I’m kind of a big fan of Canon and Nikon’s long glass. More than once I’ve taken either Nikon’s 800mm or 600mm lenses with a fast body, or Canon’s 600mm. On these occasions my subjects are usually birds and often birds in flight, as they tend to challenge even the best gear out there. This time I chose to take out something a little more budget-friendly and less bulky: the Tamron 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Di VC USD lens in the Nikon mount. The following is my impression of the quality of this lens. Build Quality Tamron’s past lenses have felt somewhat chintzy to me in the past. I own an old 28–75mm lens that had the fit and finish of a cheap kit lens. I’d come to associate them with lenses of that sort; inexpensive, plasticky, and far from high-end. Like Sigma, however, Tamron seems to be working through a bit of a reinvention. Their 24–70mm f/2.8 lens is still the only lens covering that focal length and maximum aperture with optical image stabilization made by any manufacturer. It’s actually an optically sound piece of glass with a far better build quality than I’d expected. The 150–600mm lens has a similarly surprising solidity and heft to it. Gone are the creaks and clicks I remember from my brief encounter with their 200mm–500mm lens; this one feels solid enough to almost feel like a Sigma lens — and I mean that as a compliment. The barrel is plastic with a slightly textured finish, while the focus and zoom rings are ridged rubber. Both rings move smoothly and firmly; they feel neither...
Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Swap out That Wide Angle Lens for Your Landscape Photography

Landscape shooters love their wide-angle lenses. From the amazing Nikon 14–24mm f/2.8 to the new Canon 11–24mm f/4, it’s usually the wides that get everyone excited about landscape photography. Every so often, however, it pays to change things up. I was in the same boat when it came to landscapes; I reached for the Nikon 14–24mm often, even when I was using my Canon 5D Mark II. Then one day, tired of going for wide, sweeping landscapes, I decided to switch things up. Here are three ways you can do the same. Go Long but Not Too Long Sweeping panoramas are awesome and, back in 2012, I used a slightly different method to create a couple of images that I still look at and like today. In the image below I went with a “normal” length lens – the Canon 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-Shift lens. This is a composite of two shots, one with the lens shifted left, and one with it shifted right. Going with that normal perspective allowed me to avoid the one effect of wide-angle lenses that I don’t like: the tendency to often miniaturize things unless you’re pretty close to the subject (in which case they can distort things a bit). I also wanted some compression in the perspective and if you look at the image at 100% even in its current downsized version, you’ll see that you can read the words “Honneur et Patrie” on the far wall of the courtyard just fine. I wanted that tiny bit of detail, as well as Rodin’s “The Thinker” statue framed and recognizable by those pillars behind it. That...