Sunday, August 28, 2011

Game Action

High school football in Missouri kicked off the 2011 season this past Friday night. Debbie and I went to a game between two local high schools. I shot photos for a few quarters as additional practice for the college season (next weekend ! Yay !!). Here are some images from the game:

The game was at our new District Activities Center. The lighting on the field is excellent, and probably better than most of the small college fields I will shoot at. The high speed ability of the D7000 helps as well. In the second half I went from Aperture to Manual mode. The third image was shot in M mode, ISO 1600, f/2.8, 1/500s. ACR was used to boost the exposure (less than +1 e/v), crop and noise reduction.

I switched between .NEF and .JPG formats throughout the evening. During the first half, while the light was a mix of the natural lighting and field lighting I can see very little difference between the formats. But you definitely want the extra "space" for manipulation from the .NEF files when shooting in the deeper darkness.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This afternoon I went down to the local skatepark. It is in a city park just a couple of miles away from the house.

I like to go down there to practice for sports shooting. The good boarders put on a great show and give you fast targets to practice your action shooting. Saddly, it must have been too hot this afternoon as there was not a boarder or biker in sight.

The concrete structures attract a lot of graffiti. The city routinely repaints sections white to provide a new canvas. I started walking around the slopes and rails, and I saw patterns and colors that called out for images. I changed lenses to my 100mm Macro and started shooting lines and colors.

Green Hand



D7000 and Tokina 100mm Macro. Conversion in ACR6.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Football !

It still feels like summer in KC, but the first event of the high school football season was tonight.

This weekend the schools are allowed to hold a full speed scrimmage against other schools. These events are called Jamborees.

The four high schools from the local district got together for tonight's Jamboree. The format is like this: you play 12 plays on offense then 12 plays on defense. No kickoffs or punts. Offense starts at the 40 yard line and tries to work in. One pair of teams on the north end of the field and the other two on the south.

It's full speed contact for the players and preparation for the regular season that starts next weekend.

It is also a good warmup for this photographer! Especially since this is the first football with the D7000. Here are some sample images:

The D7000 will be a great sports camera. I was happy with the results from Basketball last year, and Football has the opportunity to be great as well. This camera can be very sharp, but as many others have noted it can also point out all your shortcomings like hand shake. All of these were shot with the 70-200mm VR. The focus is speedy and accurate. It is so fast that it can pick up the nearer player that crosses into the frame. But it can quickly recover as well. The 6 frames per second is nice too!

Two of these images were shot in JPEG and two in Raw. The sun was bright and the skies cloudless so the shadows were dark and sharp. Both types of files accepted some Fill Light well. The color and white balance are as came out of the camera.

We are hoping to shoot at least six football games for McPherson this fall, along with several other athletic events for the college this fall. Stay tuned !

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bond Bridge II

After posting my first images of  the Bond Bridge a couple of weeks ago I've been scouting angles for additional images.

The Bond bridge carries Interstate Highway 29 across the Missouri River just northeast of downtown Kansas City, MO. This view is from a small city park which provides a view of the north-bound approaches to the bridge.

At this location the camera is about a mile away from the center of the bridge.  The angle of this view is also from the opposite side of the bridge from the previous photos. In the previous photos from two weeks ago camera was set up just to the east of the bridge.  In those images the traffic passes through the arch tower from left to right. In this view we are on the west side of the tower and the traffic passes through the arch right to left.

Bond Bridge - South Approach

The disappointment: The additional lights on the tower and deck didn't come on this night, so the bridge tower is relatively dim versus the brighter street lighting on the highway approach.  The later photo from the previous set shows the decorative lighting and the brighter spotlights on the tower structure.


- Capture: Nikon D7000 with 70-200mm VR f/2.8. This image was shot at 140mm, 10 seconds, f/16, ISO 200. The additional step was a two stop ND filter to lengthen the time the shutter was open to create longer auto trails.

- Post Processing: Conversion in ACR. In CS5 two curves layers: one to brighten the archway and bridge cables; one to dim the bright LCD signboard and reflected streetlighting in the lower left.