Monday, January 22, 2018

LA Rams Lose Playoff Game to Falcons

Two weeks ago I was given the opportunity to photograph my first NFL game, which just so happened to be the Los Angeles Rams' first playoff game since returning to the city of Angels and my first time photographing them since we both move here from Missouri in 2016. 

I've built a relationship with the managers of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum over the past year, photographing a few different events for them. They've been kind to me and appreciative of my work, making them one of my favorite clients to work for. I also love working inside of one of LA's greatest historical buildings. 

I was really excited when they emailed me a few days before the game asking if I'd photograph it for them. The one catch is that they always need marketing shots, which often mean neglecting the main action that all of us photographers are so interested in capturing. This situation was no different. But, I tried to make a little time to make pictures for myself. There's only so much you can do in terms of making marketing shots that fit the bill, which affords you a bit of time to chase your own pictures.

This shoot also provided me with a fun opportunity to test out my new video camera (which doubles as my 2nd photo camera), my Panasonic Lumix GH5. The GH5 is known for being terrible in low light. If you're pushing past 3200, you're going to be wading into some serious grain. That proved pretty true in this experience, but it also proved fairly simple to clean it up with noise reduction and to still come out with a usable image. The autofocus also worked great, making it a great 2nd camera to whip up at the end zone with a wide angle lens when you're praying to catch that last second action in focus.

In short, I had a lot of fun shooting my first NFL game, especially without the pressure of deadlines and captions breathing down my neck. I was able to play around with new equipment and test different limits of it and myself. Sorry for the wide edit of images, but as an independent photographer who doesn't consistently shoot professional sports, I'm allowed to splurge with my edits when I get the chance.

Thanks for taking the time to read and look! Comments and criticisms always appreciated!

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Photographing the California Fires

   The end of 2017 was a blur, and the beginning of 2018 hasn't been much different. I'm playing catch up on a lot of things I'm behind on, and one of them is blogging about recent work. In December, I spent a couple long days photographing the fires around Los Angeles, but primarily around Ventura. It was my first experience photographing wildfires and I tried to be as prepared as I could before heading out to document the fires. That being said, I obviously learned a lot through trial and error this time through. 

   Something that's easy to forget is how hard it can be to photograph another person's tragedy. I feel like sometimes I take the images I'm looking at for granted and forget about what the person behind the camera is going through to make the image. Photographing remnants of people's homes was hard. It wasn't fun pressing the shutter. I couldn't help but imagine that being my home in ashes. I was supposed to photograph the same area this month as flooding hit, but was out of town for personal business. 

   It was hard not to be rough on myself about the work I did covering these fires when the people at the LA Times did such unbelievable coverage (links HERE, HERE, and HERE). Feeling like you underperformed is difficult and frustrating. We don't need a bunch of average photos out on the wire - we need photos that tell the story and make people feel, make people care. On the other hand, I was able to compare what they did to what I did and use that as a way to learn what I should/could have done. I'll carry those lessons on going forward.
   Thanks for reading and looking. On to the next one!