Saturday, May 19, 2007

Polar Opposites

Today, I shot two lacrosse games: a Northwestern women's NCAA tourney game, and a Chicago Machine game. I originally was going to take a day off today, but when asked to do these games, I couldn't say no. I really enjoy shooting lacrosse, and I believe that it is difficult not to come away with several nice sports photos when shooting lacrosse.

Now, even though both games I shot today were lacrosse games, the women's and men's versions are two completely different animals. There are power plays, shot clocks, two point shots, and hitting in men's lacrosse, but none of those exist in women's lacrosse.

The other difference between the two games was that on one hand, the Northwestern women's team is an unstoppable juggernaut who have only lost two games in the last three years (60-2)...

whereas the Machine have never... that's right, NEVER.... won a game in franchise history (0-13 since 2006).

It was an absolutely gorgeous day out here in Chicago. Normally, I hate shooting on "gorgeous days" (aka lots of sun!) you either have to shoot backlit and all your colors get washed out, or you have to shoot frontlit and you get a lot of contrast. I'd rather shoot on a cloudy day where all the colors are pretty much neutral, and where I can just set my exposure and call it a day. But the time of year and time of day of this shoot made the sunlight fall on the field perfectly: Shadows and contrasty areas were minimalized on my frontlit side, and the side/backlit side was pretty as well.

No such lighting "issues" for the Machine game, because it was a 7pm start. The sun was well below the stadium bowl by then, and by 8pm, the game was played under stadium lights. When that happens, it's just like a cloudy day: just manually dial in an exposure, fire away, and get lots of cool images of the Machine getting whipped again!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Regularly Scheduled Programming

What? Two straight non-sports posts? What's going on? OK, that's it, we're back to our regularly scheduled programming :-)

The two Chicago baseball teams aren't doing too hot right now: both the Cubs and the White Sox have been hovering right around the .500 mark. Although both teams have been pitching pretty well, they both are having some issues on offense. The Cubs just can't ever get the clutch hit, and the Sox can't even seem to get hits, period. Everybody pitching against these clubs right now look like Cy Young Award winners!

Luckily, sports fans in Chicago don't really care right now because everybody is so tied up with the Bulls and their playoff run. Unfortunately, the Bulls look like they're about to get swept out of the championship hunt after losing to the Pistons again on Thursday night, so all the basketball frustration will just get re-channeled by the fans onto our poor baseball teams. And when that happens, I'll be there to make more pretty pictures:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Dalai Lama

Most people who shoot professionally will say that their first experiences in photography was editorial: shooting news and sports stories for a local paper just after graduation or a college paper while in school. Of course, many of these photographers quickly realize that shooting strictly editorially is a tough way to make a living: the hours can be long, there is constant traveling, and of course, the pay is s**t. So as they grow as professionals trying to make it in a tough market, they expand into other fields where the hours are more controllable and the pay is significantly greater: weddings, advertising, PR, etc.

So why do people continue to shoot editorially? Well for me, it allows me the opportunity to be see so many different people and places, as well as attend and cover events that most people only wish they could be at. For example, the PGA Championships or the Chicago Air Show, the World Series, and most recently, the Dalai Lama! That's right, his Holiness himself, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

This was the first time the Dalai Lama was in Chicago for a public teaching. It was estimated that 11,400 people came out to hear what he had to say.

Now because I was moving all over the place trying to photograph not only his Holiness but the scene created by the thousands of visitors, I actually did not get the chance to hear too much of his teachings. Well, I guess I'll just have to achive enlightenment some other day!!!