Rick – thanks for inviting me to do a guest blog for you. As a fellow blogger and friend, I am honored to be featured on your site.
When people ask me what I like to shoot, I use one of my favorite quotes, which is “I specialize in not specializing”. Yep – I stole that from you, but I love it and I live it!
In the past 8 years, I have had the chance to photograph some amazing subjects and travel the globe seeing what the world has to offer my camera and lens. But, even though I photograph events, portraits, landscapes , night shots and so many other types of photography, my most special photographic moments come every two years. This is when I join an elite group of photographers to capture the Olympic Games.
Opening Image: Bird’s nest image (Canon 1Ds Mark III, 16-35mm lens at 19mm, ISO 100, f/8, 2 sec)
This photo is really special to me, since it was taken during the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. It was my first Olympic experience and this shot combined that event with another favorite of mine, night photography. I had numerous photographs with fireworks in the shot, but I love the simplicity of this shot with the lights coming off the buildings to the side of the Bird’s Nest. (The negative space in this image also makes it perfect for my business card, where text can easily be placed and not obscure the main subject of my photo.)
Above: Olympic rings image (Canon 1D Mark IV, 150mm, ISO 2500, f/5, 1/100 sec, Exposure comp -0.7)
Coincidentally, another opening ceremonies shot, but this time from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Above: USA Hockey fish eye image (Canon 5D Mark II, Sigma 15mm Fish Eye lens, ISO 1250, f/2.8, 1/2500 sec,)
As a photographer, it is always good to push yourself to do something different. I had photographed hockey many times before this Olympics, but I had never used a fish eye lens for this sport, until this day. I primarily shoot hockey with a 70-200 lens, but after using the fish eye lens at the Olympics, I now have a second camera with a 15mm fish eye lens, so that when the action comes close to me, I can put down the camera with the longer lens and grab the camera with this ultra wide angle lens.
Above: Gymnastics trials image (Canon 1D X, 70-200 lens at 73mm, ISO 6400, f/4, 1/1250 sec)
Before heading off to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, I photographed the USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials in San Jose, CA. This photo shows the advantage of using a camera that can shoot at 12 frames a second. I shot a large burst of images, and was really happy to capture this gymnast at the peak of her jump. I could have shot this at f/2.8 but changed the settings to f4 to show a little more of the Olympic Trials sign in the background.
Above: Water Polo tight image (Canon 1D X, 200-400mm lens at 526mm using the 1.4 teleconverter, ISO 3200, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec)
In London, I was the official photographer for USA Water Polo, and photographed every one of their games. I came away with a lot of high-action shots, but this tight shot, showing just the tattoo and matching logo on the ball was one of my favorite images from that assignment. I knew that this was a special shot when the Associated Press photographer saw this on my computer and said “damn – I wish I had gotten that shot.” And trust me, I saw plenty of photos on his computer which I didn’t get.
Left: Equestrian image (Canon 1D X, 300mm, ISO 640, f/2.8, 1/8000 sec)
This was my first time ever shooting any Equestrian sports, and I was bound and determined to get a good shot of horse jumping.
I saw this gate with the Olympic Rings and parked myself at this location for at least 30 minutes waiting for the right moment to capture.
Luck is also part of photography, and everything worked in my favor for this photo. The horse was the right color (not too dark so that you can see the details in it’s muscles), the rider was looking to my side of the horse, the angle of the jump was just right, the rider was wearing a bright red jacket. All I had to do is capture it!
And thanks to people like you, Rick, I am continually inspired to shoot more and get better at my craft.