Sportsshooter Academy Day II
September 26th, 2011
This workshop can be exhausting. While it doesn’t necessarily start early in the morning, it does go late into the evening. Even after the critiques and image reviews, some of the best parts of the workshop are hanging out with the students and getting to know your piers. I spent quite a bit of time with two amazing photographers, Maya Sugarman and Michael Chen. Like I said in my last post, my attendance at the workshop was kinda last minute. I had planned to stay at the nearby Los Alamitos Army Air Station, or barring that, sleep in my car, but these two took me under their wing and very graciously allowed me to crash on their floor. We ended up scheduling our days together and developing a pretty solid working relationship. These types of friendships are, to me, more valuable than making the images at a workshop like this. The images are great, one or two might even make it into your portfolio, eventually to be replaced by something better, but friendships and the respect of your piers is something that is invaluable in this industry.
As for Shooting, I chose to hit up lacrosse in the afternoon and woman’s soccer in the evening. I chose Lacrosse for the portrait opportunities, as Tim Mantoani was going to be there with his lighting equipment. Tim is one of the top commercial sports photographers in the country. If you have played any EA sports video game, you have seen his work. I was really looking forward to his tutelage. However, so was everyone else, and I was the last on the list to work with him. Maya and I however searched out some other places and people to shoot. This brings me to the second great thing about what SSAVIII does for a photographer: It forces you to think outside the box to find great shots. We had a set up area to make portraits, but the lighting would be somewhat consistent for everyone, and after a while the same poses and people would be used. Maya and I found some great texture on the wall of the arena, and grabbed one of the Lacrosse players to pose for us. I loved the resulting images.
Soccer was much harder for me to shoot. As you know the field is big, and I did not have long glass. I was forced to look for unique images in the crowd or in the surrounding venue, and then wait for the action to come to me. I am not quite as happy with the results. Long glass would have helped, but lets face it, photography is not about the gear. I was shooting out of my comfort zone. I like portraits, that’s my happy area, and I would need to push outside that zone to really excel.