» Fro Knows Photo Blog
My first love in photography came in the way of photographing sports. I shot every event that my high school had, from football to baseball to attempting and failing and shooting volleyball.
Sports can be very difficult to shoot. Many people work on just freezing the action first before branching off into anything else. You may think that the only thing important about freezing the action is having a fast shutter speed. That is correct in some ways but if your aperture is to high or you are using slower glass you may freeze the action but the background becomes an issue.
I am going to create a video showing you that you can use a kit lens and still blow out the background but in the meantime take a look at this Rapid Fire Critique.
The photos I believe are from a schools photography program but that was all the information I had to go on.
This was a tough critique in my opinion knowing that the photos may have been taken by students. I never want to be to overly critical of someones work especially if they are a student. My goal was to give as many pointers as possible to take the images to the next level.
The other night I went out to test out the D4s again in the real world. This time, I went and shot a men’s league ice hockey game.
I brought with me the Nikon 300 2.8 AFS as well as the 70-200 2.8 VR II. The image below was shot with the Nikon D4s and the 70-200 2.8 VR II at 200mm handheld with VR Off.
The settings were 1/800th of a second at F3.5, ISO 5000. I used continuous focus set to the new Group Area AF. The image is not cropped and was shot in RAW+JPEG. The edited file is from the JPEG since as of publishing this post Adobe Lightroom does not support the D4s’s RAW Files.
This is what I would call an almost perfect ice hockey image. The players head is up, the puck is on the stick and the lines are right on. You can see from the background that the horizon is straight and there is no dutch angle in site.
As you know I am not a big fan of dutch angles or horizons where the lines are not straight. Cameras today give you a virtual horizon which you can activate to help you get your lines straight. However, I personally do not use that when shooting sports. I don’t know what it is but my lines generally tend to be pretty spot on.
They say the best camera is the one that’s with you. Sometimes that’s just your smartphone, but in this case, I happened to have my Fuji X100s and Canon 5DMKIII with me.
Andy’s a music producer and has a production studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Andy recorded and mixed all of the records I did with my former band, Second Dan, as well as the theme music for my YouTube videos. We also happen to be neighbors in Williamsburg.
I ran into Andy and he offered to show me his new production studio. Of course I looked at this as a photographic opportunity. This is what I mean about mentality. When I have a chance to create some new work, whether it be editorial or portrait, I always game – especially when it involves interesting people! Andy’s got a look and a thing about him that is very photogenic.
I knew I’d be in a small dark space, so I visualized how I’d shoot him in the space. I also took into account that he only had a little time for me in there and I had to go off to another shoot, so pre-visualizing the shoot, my camera settings and what I wanted to achieve was important.
Armed with my X100s and Canon, we went to his studio which is a really tiny space but outfitted with his big mixing board, racks of analog compressors, multiple sets of speakers and the usual bits and bobs in a studio. I knew I wanted to get some portraits of him in action, some detail shots and hopefully a wide shot of the space.
I also knew I wanted to shoot wide open in order to get selective focus and a shallow depth of field to isolate Andy and not be distracted from all the stuff in his space. I had the 50mm f/1.2 on the Canon and the X100s (35mm equivalent). I shot mostly with the Canon at f/1.8 for the narrow depth of field for portraits, and used the X100s to get the wide shot of him in the space. The Canon’s a bit sharper wide open, but the Fuji is no slacker.
Andy played me some new stuff he’s working on while I took candid portraits and then we went about our day. I love with these type of unexpected shoots come up. It’s great fun and good exercise.
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One question that I get all the time is how do I travel with my camera gear? What I am about to tell you is how I like to travel in cities when public transportation is out of the question.
As of late I have been using UBER to get around cities with my camera gear and with clients. If you are not familiar with UBER it is pretty much an on demand car service for the 21st century.
USE Code “UberFroKnows” to get $20 off your first ride. When you use my code and take your first ride I also get $20 credit.
You download the app for your smart phone log in, enter your credit card info and you are pretty much ready to go. It is all done via credit card including the tip for the driver. So there is no need to tip the driver cash as they should not accept it from you. As a side note you can change the percentage amount of the tip in the settings of your ap. By default it is set to 20%
I have used UBER on multiple shoots in different parts of the country. I used in NYC when I was assisting Shawn Corigan and we had way to much gear to tray and wait for a cab. Recently in LA I used it with Matisyahu so we could get around the city with the gear and not have to worry about parking. And last week when I was in NYC to interview Joey L we used UBER to get from Brooklyn back into the city.
This service is so smart. When you are ready to take a ride you select your location on a map. You see where all the uber’s are currently as well as the time it will take for them to get to you. You have the options of selecting a Black Car, SUV or Uber X which are regular cars so you pay slightly less. I generally select Black Car unless there are a lot of people.