11
Jun

Back in February I had the opportunity to shoot three separate sports in three different cities in one day so of course I took it!

First up would be Texas Rangers spring training practice in Surprise, AZ. The reason I was covering a team practice was the pitching debut of newly signed Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish. Darvish was only going to be pitching to teammates in an scrimmage but it would still get the first photos of him pitching in a Rangers uniform.

Below, a player running late leaps over a rope on the edge of the practice field to join in drills.

Nikon D3S, 70-200mm, 100iso, f3.5, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Nikon D3S, 70-200mm, 100iso, f3.5, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Below, Texas Rangers players run sprints prior to a scrimmage game.

Nikon D3S, 70-200mm, 100iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish warms up in the bullpen prior to an intrasquad game on the practice fields at Surprise Stadium.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 400iso, f4.5, 1/1000th, Manual

One fun thing about spring training is the players dont take it too seriously. In the below shot, Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler throws his glove in the air attempting to stop an overthrown ball during the practice game.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 250iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Josh Hamilton tosses his glove around as he plays center field.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 250iso, f4, 1/2000th, Manual

Darvish was only going to be pitching for an inning so I would shoot a pitch from one angle and then quickly move to a different spot for other angles. Here are a few.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 250iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

Nikon D700, 600mm, 250iso, f4, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Texas Rangers players congregate behind the dugout to watch Yu Darvish throw.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 200iso, f2.8, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

As soon as Darvish was pulled from the game I hauled ass over to my second shoot of the day. NASCAR practice over at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, AZ.

Below, nice light and a dark track made for cool shots of cars racing into turn one, such as this one of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nikon D3S, 600mm with 1.4 converter (850mm), 400iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

The below shot of Jeff Gordon racing through turn two was shot through a photo hole (basically a hole cut in the catch fence for us to point our cameras through). This photo position used to be a great spot about 10 years ago before they put the soft walls in. Now the wall blocks the cars coming off the turn.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 400iso, f5, 1/1250th, Aperture Priority

Martin Truex Jr (below) races through turn one during Sprint Cup Series practice.

Nikon D3S, 600mm, 400iso, f4, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

Below, Tony Stewart drives into turn one during practice.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 400iso, f6.3 1/2000th, Manual

Here is a wide angle shot inside the garage area as cars pull in during practice.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 125iso, f5, 1/1600th, Manual

Below, NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth sits in his car as his crew makes adjustments during practice.

Nikon D3S, 600mm, 2500iso, f4, 1/640th, Aperture Priority

Kevin Harvick (below) climbs from his car following practice.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 640iso, f4, 1/800th, Aperture Priority

Ok thats enough from NASCAR. For my final shoot of the day it would be back to Phoenix to shoot the Los Angeles Clippers taking on the Phoenix Suns in a little NBA action.

Prior to the game I mounted a remote camera up in the catwalk high above the court to give me  a straight down view on the hoop.

The star of the Clippers I was most excited to shoot was Blake Griffin. He made a great effort to provide me with some shots…

Below, Here is my view of Griffin driving to the basket under pressure from Suns center Channing Frye.

Nikon D3S, 400mm, 6400iso, f5.6, 1/1000th, Manual

Now here is the same exact moment from my catwalk remote camera. Almost looks like he’s getting slapped in the face by Frye!

Nikon D3S, 400mm, 6400iso, f5.6, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, Phoenix Suns center Marcin Gortat (top left) and forward Grant Hill and Los Angeles Clippers forward Reggie Evans (bottom left) and forward Bobby Simmons (bottom right) look up for a rebound in the first half at the US Airways Center.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 200iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Blake Griffin gives me a stare down in the second half of the game, below.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 200iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

In the below shot you have two future hall of famers Chris Paul and Steve Nash battling for a loose ball.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 200iso, f4, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Below, Los Angeles Clippers guard (3) Chris Paul takes a shot under pressure from Phoenix Suns forward (33) Grant Hill.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Aperture Priority

Below, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin takes a shot in the fourth quarter.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

All of Griffins plays weren’t enough as the Suns downed the Clippers. Below, Steve Nash and Channing Frye congratulate Jared Dudley in the closing seconds of the game.

Nikon D700, 300mm, 3200iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

That wraps up my three shoots in one day. It was a damn busy day but I was happy with the days take. As an added bonus here are some of my favorite photos from the rest of the weekend of NASCAR at Phoenix International Raceway.

Below, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr looks over his shoulder as he watches a car race by during qualifying for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 200iso, f4, 1/4000th, Manual

A NASCAR Nationwide Series official stands with the cars on pit road prior to the Bashas Supermarkets 200.

Nikon D700, 600mm, 200iso, f4.5, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

The winner of the Nationwide race would be Elliott Sadler. Below he celebrates with a great burnout on the start/finish line. The sun hitting the car and lighting the smoke against the dark track really makes the car pop.

Nikon D3S, 600mm with 1.4 converter (850mm), 640iso, f5.6, 1/8000th, Aperture Priority

Following the Nationwide race was the NASCAR K&N Pro Series race. Below, the field of cars are backlit by the low sun as they sit on pit road prior to the race.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 320iso, f7.1, 1/4000th, Aperture Priority

With it being only a 50 mile race it had the potential to be done pretty quickly. With that in mind I went for the safe bet and positioned myself atop the grandstands in turn one which gave me a perfect view down the front stretch.

Below, NASCAR K&N Pro Series officials signal the drivers prior to pulling off pit road to start the Talking Stick Resort 50 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Nikon D3S, 600mm with 1.4 converter (850mm), 640iso, f5.6, 1/6400th, Aperture Priority

With the late start of the race it made for very clean late afternoon light on the cars. In the below shot of Dylan Hutchison, you can see the shadow of his car racing alongside.

Nikon D3S, 600mm with 1.4 converter (850mm), 800iso, f5, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

Lets move on to Sunday for the Sprint Cup Series race.

Before each race I walk pit road and look for feature shots to start my day off with. Whenever I am lazy or unimaginative I will head over to Kyle Busch’s pit and shoot a wide angle shot of his tires with colorful M&M’s logos on them. As you can see, I was feeling lazy this day…

Nikon D3S, 24-70mm, 800iso, f5, 1/2500th, Aperture Priority

Below, Tony Stewart follows the Cop Car/Pace Car in the early stages of the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

Nikon D3S, 400mm with 1.4 converter (550mm), 200iso, f4, 1/2000th, Aperture Priority

I love how colorful the below frame is as the 43 car field fans out early in the race.

Nikon D700, 400mm with 1.4 converter (550mm), 200iso, f5.6, 1/200th, Aperture Priority

Below, smoke floats into the grandstands as Casey Mears crashes in turn two.

Nikon D700, 400mm, 200iso, f4, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Since Phoenix really isn’t known for being a crash filled race, I decided to put forth some effort and climb halfway up the mountain in turn four to shoot something different from the normal on track stuff. The best way to produce great images is to take advantage of what the different tracks offer. I don’t know any other NASCAR races where you can shoot from a mountain!

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 100iso, f2.8, 1/3200th,Shutter Priority

In the below frame I would underexpose by several stops to make for a dark frame. The reason I did this is I noticed the sun reflecting off all the cars racing down the backstretch. By exposing to make a dark frame it really makes for an interesting shot since the only thing really lit up at all is the cars.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Manual

Now here is a normally exposed frame. Notice the huge saguaro cactus in the foreground.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 100iso, f5.6, 1/800th, Manual

In the below frame I shot with a wide angle to include the colorful umbrellas and chairs filled with fans on the mountainside.

Nikon D3S, 24-70mm, 200iso, f3.5, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Back inside the track I would get down as low as possible with the camera on the ground to shoot this low angle view as Juan Pablo Montoya pits.

Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 200iso, f5.6, 1/3200th, Aperture Priority

Here is another shot where I underexposed to produce a dark shot and getting the highlights off the top of the cars as they race around. I love the sparkle off the hood of Jeff Burtons car.

Nikon D3S, 24-70mm, 200iso, f3.5, 1/2500th, Manual

The winner of the race would be Denny Hamlin. I coulda done without that pole behind his head. Oh well, I will plan better to miss that next year!

Nikon D700, 70-200mm, 250iso, f5.6, 1/1250th, Manual

With how far behind I am on blogs I am gonna try and pop out a few a week in an effort to get caught up before I head to London for the Summer Olympics. Next up is NHRA Gainesville blog.

I have a Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to “like” the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!


 
Posted in Baseball, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, Racing, Remote Camera, Sports   | 1 Comment

One Response to “3 Shoots, 3 Sports, 1 Day starts busy Weekend”

  1. The game is so beautiful! I love the Rangers pictures with the green grass and the sunny skies. Wonderful work, worth a pin it!

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Check out my Facebook page devoted my photography where I routinely share my favorite photos from each shoot as well as favorite photos from the past. Click the below banner to check it out. Be sure to "like" the page so you can be kept up to date on all the events I am doing!