Archive for the 'Sport' Category

Skins A400 Product Review

Kohei Tsubaki of Japan is pictured competing in the bike leg of the Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Sydney on Sunday, April 11, 2010. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

First off, I’ll say I don’t normally do a lot of product reviews, but recently on Twitter I responded to someone I follow who was heading to Japan to do some snowboarding. They were wondering whether compression tights were worth buying for the trip and I responded by saying how priceless I think they are -I’ve been a big fan of the Skins long tights for many years.
I’m no athlete, but my experience wearing Skins comes from years of photographing snowboarding and skiing all over the world. I used to use plain old thermal underwear, although that didn’t even do the job of keeping me warm most days. I found out about Skins while away on an editorial trip with a bunch of professional snowboarders from Victoria back in about 2006-they were swearing by them, but I didn’t really understand the benefits of compression tights at the time. Continue reading

NRL Grand Final

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In early October I was lucky enough to be given the job of shooting the NRL Grand Final for Australian Associated Press (AAP). I haven’t shot a great deal to See this here, so getting a chance to shoot the biggest game of the year, and getting paid to do so, was something I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience.
If anyone remembers the day, it was pouring rain. Not the kind of conditions you would hope for when covering an event of this size-and of course being exposed to the elements for 80 minutes makes for a soggy night indeed.
I did, however turn up prepared for the worst weather and had all my gear covered up with rain covers, and in the end I think the pouring rain made for some great pictures. Rain, after all, looks pretty incredible when it’s lit up by those massive stadium lights.
I was there to cover the game with AAP’s chief photographer Dean Lewins, and I thank him for showing me the ropes prior to the big show!
Below the cut is a selection of some of the images I filed from the game. Continue reading

Tim Cahill

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A few weeks ago I was assigned to do a portrait with Socceroo and Everton F.C star midfielder Tim Cahill, for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper.
Tim had just returned back to Australia from the World Cup in South Africa and was here also to take part in a number of matches with his English Premier League club side, Everton.
I haven’t done too many of these ‘celeb portrait’ style assignments, but I do know that the photographer usually has five minutes or less with the subject and then the subject moves on to the next journalist or t.v crew for their five minutes. These picture opportunities are tightly controlled and you usually have zero time to think.
Luckily I arrived a little early and scoped out four possible spots I could put Tim in that would result in four different shots for the paper. Any more than that would be a bonus.
I had one Nikon speedlight on a light stand and it was fired by Pocket Wizard remote.
As it turns out I had around four minutes with Tim. Doesn’t leave a lot of time for experimentation, but I’m pretty happy with what I got out of it.

Below is the roids – legal steroids that ran in the sport pages that weekend. If you also need Maryland car accident lawyer online services. Visit marylandaccident.com for more information.

I was pretty happy with the size it ran, as the Sunday papers don’t often run big pictures across two pages. Continue reading

Winter Olympics wrap up

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I’m back home from Vancouver and finally have had a decent sleep after what was easily one of the best experiences of my time so far with a camera. I shot 18,175 photos in the three weeks I spent in Vancouver and really wished I had used the pedometer that was in our media kit “goodies bag”, because I reckon the amount of walking I did would be right up there. I also spent the equivalent of about three whole days on buses, I even fell asleep with a half full cup of coffee in my hand on one bus trip. I ate dinner on only four occasions during the games and only once at a reasonable hour prior to midnight. I met and worked alongside some incredible photographer’s while at the games and it was a humbling experience to be around such great sports photographers, all of whom were at the same time some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met, who included Robert Beck of Sports Illustrated, David G McIntyre, Jon Gaede, Erich Schlegal, Klaas Jan van der Weij, Peter Blakeman, Jeff Crow, Delly Carr, and Courtney Crow, to name a few. (and not forgetting my mates Sean Radich and Jake McBride).
Click below for more words and a selection of images from the second week of the games
Continue reading

Winter Olympics Part 2

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Ok so I’m starting to catch up here. Got about six hours sleep last night and I feel like a new person. There are some great events coming up in the next few days and there have been some brilliant moments in the past few. I’m still behind a bit with my posts, but I will get there!
I have also been photo blogging daily for Mountainwatch.com along with fellow Aussie photographer Jake McBride and you can check it out here. In this post are images of Dale Begg-Smith’s silver medal at the moguls and the men’s and women’s snowboardcross along with some shots from the halfpipe training. Continue reading

Winter Olympics part 1

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I’ve been trying to do this post for at least four days now. Time is not something that is readily available when you’re shooting an Olympic Games. I’ve spent the last week constantly on buses between venues and walking from drop off point to security, then more walking, then a shuttle bus, then more walking – fast walking, trying to get to a good spot as fast as possible. The buses in theory are probably a good place to get some of these blog posts done, but then again they are one of the few chances to get some sleep. Today I fell asleep with a half full cup of coffee in my hand – Tim Horton’s, your coffee clearly isn’t strong enough.
The games are dominated by the big photo agencies, Getty, Reuters, Assocociated Press, and Agence France Presse. These agencies get all the best positions at every event reserved for them, they have card runners constantly collecting their memory cards and running them back to pictures editors to get the shots on the wire before the event has even finished. For all the other photographers it’s a free-for-all. There are limited positions and for the most part, the angle or the shot from those positions isn’t clean and you are squeezing in with 20-30 other people trying not to hit the guy in front on the head with your 400mm lens (sorry to the dude from The Oregonian, or whatever newspaper you were from, it wont happen again!) It forces you to look for a different shot, and that is a damn good thing. It’s exciting hearing 30 cameras’ motor drives chattering away like some crazy summer insect on steroids, it’s cool to talk shop with photographers from all around the globe, it’s great to try to teach newspaper guys how snowboarding works, and even better when they start showing you the shots on their camera, clearly stoked they’ve made a nice frame.
Here’s a bunch from the opening ceremony and the first couple of days of competition after that. Let’s call this part 1! Continue reading

Nikon D3 and 200-400mm f4 VR for a weekend


A couple of weekends ago Nikon Professional Services were kind enough to lend me a Nikon D3 and the 200-400mm f4 VR zoom lens to play around with.
It was a last minute thing and so I quickly tried to arrange to shoot as much as possible in the two days I had this amazing set up.
In the one weekend I shot a game of Rugby league, Tony Hawk demoing at Monster skatepark, a NSW Premier League Soccer match that evening and the following day I shot a handfull of overs in the final match of the Women’s World Cup Cricket, and then another Soccer game that night. I definitely put the camera to the test, especially the high ISO capabilities. Most small club fields in Sydney have terrible lighting and I was shooting at ISO 6400 at f4, and shocked at how well the camera not only handled the noise at that ISO but also how well the camera was able to focus the long lens in such crappy light and keep up. On my D2x when shooting sports like soccer, the keeper rate is probably about 2-3 sharp shots in a burst of 10. The D3 was 9-10 tack sharp in a burst of 10! Seriously worth every cent.The other thing worth noting is how sharp this lens is for a zoom! You would think the images came from a prime 2.8.
It has been pretty hard to go back to the old cameras after using the D3.
Time to sell everything I own!!
lot’s more shots after the cut.
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Basketball


SO my flatmate, Chris plays Basketball in a bit of a low key local comp and i figured I’d tag along last night after I got off from working and cleaning up all the cardboard in our garage thaks to these cardboard removal boxes. I’ve never shot Basketball before and found there were more than a couple of hurdles! More shots and details after the jump. I knew the first issue would be the amount of light in the gymnasium. It is held at a local school so I knew right away the lighting would be lacking. The other problem was the amount of space, there was pretty much two metres between the sidelines and the brick walls of the building, not a lot of room to move around the court. The bricks proved to be a bit distracting too, although one can’t always hope for a full stadium with a big out of focus crowd to “clean” up the background!

All these shots were at 2000 ISO! It’s not pretty, but even at such a high ISO i couldn’t get a fast enough shutter speed to control the action. 8 out of 10 shots had motion blur. !/125th sec was the best i could do wide open @f2.8…

It goes without saying that either I need a D3 or just forget about trying in such lighting conditions.
One other major thing I learned about the limitations of my equipment last night was the old Nikkor 80-200 2.8D series lens really lacks the auto focus performance required for such fast moving/erratic sports.
This was something I already kind of knew, but figured it might work out ok with the odd shot dropped due to the AF not being able to keep up with the frame rate on the camera. It’s funny, because this lens has been my most used and abused lens for all my snow and other action sports work, I guess they don’t require much focus tracking though!