Saturday, December 18, 2010

Boerne-Champion Basketball vs Kerrville Tivy & MacArthur

After a long football season and some time-off I shot a bit of basketball Friday.  Forgot how hard it is, with tight action, limited ability to move around and the usual constraint, poor lighting for photography.  Really need to setup some strobes in the gym so folks can see what a difference it makes.

Interestingly enough, at least for photographers, is that I went in expecting to use my expensive f2.8 glass and ended up shooting most of the game with a 50mm/f1.8 lens that retails for around $100.  Just goes to show that you don't have to have expensive gear to get good pictures, you just need something that will collect the light. ;-)

Boerne-Champion boys varsity vs San Antonio MacArthur

Saturday, October 2, 2010

AirLife Helicopter @ Boerne Home Depot

I was taking a break from editing 800+ photos from the Boerne-Champion vs Brennan and TMI vs La Pryor football games and dropped by Home Depot in Boerne. They had a great display of emergency vehicles on display for the kids and I had a chance to shoot the Baptist Health System and University Health System AirLife chopper shortly before they departed.  Pretty cool stuff...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Admiral, there be whales here!"

You think trying to capture a photo of a pulling guard in a nighttime high school football game is hard, try getting a shot of one of these guys feeding...

This is image is of one of a group of humpback whales practicing cooperative feeding north of Monterey Bay, California.

This feeding behavior is what you won't see while the whales are mating or giving birth in their winter homes, such as Maui, Hawaii.

Summer is all about turning krill into 1000s of lbs of fat to live on during the winter.  What you will see in Maui is more acrobatics as the males fight over the females or just engage in what seems to be a higher level of competitive or protective interaction.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Boerne-Champion Football vs Marble Falls

A Thursday night early start with lots of action. The Boerne-Champion Chargers came out on top with a lop-sided win, but as always there was great action to capture from both teams.

You can see the entire gallery at

I can't make every game, so if you have a favorite player and would like full photojournalism style coverage of him or her at a particular game or event, please contact me to discuss your needs.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

TMI Panthers vs Holy Cross

TMI, The Episcopal School of Texas, hosted Holy Cross on September 3rd and I was there.

Pretty nice light on Friday, but the clouds did close down the late afternoon sun earlier than I would have preferred, but the 600mm lens I've been using while the light permits continues to produce wonderful portraits with that beautiful creamy background.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Boerne Football underway...

All we need is a cold front, because football is coming fast and furious.  I shot the Boerne Greyhounds JV vs Medina Valley last Thursday followed by the Boerne-Champion Chargers nail-biter against Div 5a East Central on Friday.  TMI vs Holy Cross is on deck for 3 September as I hope to cover all of our local teams at least a couple of times during the season.

As always, if I'm shooting your team and you are interested in purchasing photos of your favorite player, just send me the school name (JV/Varsity) and the player's position and number and I'll add them to my shooting card and do my best to get photos of them.  If you are interested in dedicated custom coverage for a game, please email me to discuss.

The University of the Incarnate Word got off to a rough start with a fast team from Langston, OK.  I was in the stands, but Tom Reel of the Express-News shot some nice images of the game here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Boerne Texas Football Around the Corner

With Boerne and Boerne-Champion High Schools starting play next week, they weren't the only ones needing some practice.  Champion's scrimmage against Div 5 San Antonio's South San last Thursday gave me a chance to have some fun with a really long 600mm lens in good afternoon light.  I really liked the impact of the photos, but not something you can use on a Friday Night's game with marginal lighting.

I often get questions from other sideline photographers about why I shoot flash at night games, since I have the pro gear to shoot available light.  The easy answer is quality, there is nothing that improves a photo more than good light and even the best hi-res digital cameras can't compare to a well lit flash shot in a dim high school stadium.  Not to mention that adding a $500 flash is a lot cheaper than a $9K 400mm f2.8 lens on a $5K D3s.  Easy comparison?  Just look at my night galleries from last year and most newspaper galleries of the same game.

That said, flash brings it's own set of equipment issues, skill and post-processing requirements, and while I'd like all the games to be at 4PM in the afternoon, like this Incarnate Word scrimmage, I'll continue to provide the best quality night game photos I can.  Boerne-Champion vs South San photos for your review.

Just a reminder, this year I'm debuting weekly specials posted in each game gallery for print and digital file purchases, in addition to a broader range of package and volume discounts, so please take advantage of them.  Custom coverage continues to be available, if you and/or another parent would like me to focus on your favorite player for a game.  Please email me to discuss.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

University of the Incarnate Word Football - 2010 Season Underway

The University of the Incarnate Word joined the Lone Star Conference this year, which means a long football season against nationally ranked opponents. Six Saturday home games and new stadium seating, you should come check it out. Even a couple of 2PM games, so you can still party on Saturday night.

I had a chance to shoot their first day of practice yesterday. They seemed to be sweating a bit more than I was. ;-)

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boerne, Texas Skate Park

The Boerne Skate Park finally opened in June this summer and I finally had a chance to drop by and check it out.  I'm going to try and shoot a bit there as skateboarding is dynamic sport with some really great athletes making their moves.  I guess like so many others, a lot of the publicity for the park was enhanced by the tragic death of Marcus Cunningham, his brother and friends in Kerrville.  I had shot a number of images of Marcus during football season and it would have been neat to see him on the rails here.

I didn't shoot much today, mostly just trying to see what the possibilities were.  You can see a few more shots in my Skateboarding galleries.

Mostly I can't believe I was selling these in a bike shop back in the 70's when they first broke out...and busted my tail on really old boards with steel wheels in the 60s. Fiberglass, trucks, urethane wheels and sealed bearings...only my flexibility and crash recovery abilities have changed. ;-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Football Starts in August!

Wow, long lazy summer for youth sports, but I did have the opportunity to shoot one of the top under-12 baseball teams in Texas and John Karger's birds from Last Chance Forever.

I'm starting to build my high school football schedule for both varsity and JV teams.  If you want to be sure I'm able to cover your team on a particular date or would like to discuss custom coverage of your player, please email me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Boerne High School Softball vs Wimberly

Softball is always fun to shoot, the field is small and the Boerne High School field offers great access...if you can shoot around the coaching staff. ;-)

Lots of great pre-game portraits and some nice action as the Boerne High School Lady Greyhounds took on Wimberley in Senior Night play.

I'm alway mesmerized by the fast-pitch delivery and control the ladies can put on that big bright ball.

Plays like this make the game even more enticing for a photographer.

As always you can find the rest of the game gallery at

Boerne-Champion Champion Baseball vs New Braunfels Cougars

Finally had a chance to shoot some Boerne-Champion baseball.  Good weather and good light for most of the game.  With two seniors graduating this year, most of the Champion team is composed of juniors and sophomores.  This was a make-or-break game for a playoff spot for both the Chargers and the New Braunfels Cougars.  Lots of big hits and big catches by both teams with Champion getting the win.  As usual I was mostly focused on great portraits and being in the right place for action shots, like this one:

You can find the rest of the gallery at

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Marcus Cunningham - Boerne, Texas

Just got back from vacation and was going to post some things, but I think it will wait...

I didn't know Marcus or the other boys, but I was lucky enough to know Shelly Beck, who was mentoring Marcus and asked me to shoot these photos at a Boerne High School football game last season. Sometimes a job turns out to be more than just a football game...

Marcus Cunningham - (RIP 11.30.1993 - 4.12.2010)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baseball - TMI Panthers vs San Marcos Baptist Academy

Classic, beautiful spring day for baseball.  As usual the lighting is pretty harsh at noon, but TMI, The Episcopal School of Texas, has a beautiful field.  Lots of action made for a great day as TMI took on the San Marcos Baptist Academy.  Lots more photos at Ralph Mawyer Photography.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Boerne High School Baseball vs Pawhuska, Oklahoma Huskies

I guess you could call it a dog fight with the Boerne Greyhounds taking on the Pawhuska, Oklahoma Huskies Friday afternoon.  The Huskies were on their spring break road trip to South Texas and I finally had a change to shoot the Greyhounds in daylight.  Lots of action with more photos at

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spent a beautiful day in Austin at a PhotoShelter workshop on photography as a business.  One of the high points was watching Houston pro Robert Seale setup and shoot a couple of different lighting sets for a new musician who just moved to Austin from San Francisco.  Somebody forget to tell her what August is going to be like down here. ;-)

Here's a gallery of my snapshots, all of which show why you really need to be using strobes or speedlights, even when doing outdoor portraits. ;-)

PhotoShelter - Business Workshop - Austin - Images by Ralph Mawyer

Sunday, February 28, 2010

San Antonio Regional Marching Auxiliaries (Boerne, Texas)

Wow, what a day. Saturday, 27 Feb 2010, the Boerne-Champion High School Charms Dance organization hosted 40+ teams at the San Antonio Regional Marching Auxiliaries at Champion High School in Boerne, Texas.  It was their second year and the success of the first year must have gotten around as almost twice as many teams showed up, including one from California.

Me? I was up at 5:30am for setup at the gym.  Starting at 9am, and for the next ten hours, I shot killer dance routines and that was just in one of two gyms. I was able to use a Nikon SB-900 speedlight, but was limited in where I could place it(and me), so still lots of post-processing to do....on 3500 images!  With more than three days notice definitely think lighting and workflow could be improved with some Radio Poppers and/or two to four AlienBees or more SB-900s. ;-)

As always you can see everything at,.

Even after a day of dancing the energy in the auditorium was undiminished as reflected in this dancer doing a flip over a trusting group of friends...twice!  The second time he cleared 10 bodies....and stuck the landing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Boerne Special Olympics Basketball

Some great basketball action at Boerne-Champion High School.  The Boerne Special Olympics hosted a basketball game supported by the Boerne-Champion band, cheerleaders, Champion Charms Dance Team and members of the varsity basketball team.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Texas High School Soccer - Boerne vs Clemens

A bit of nice scheduling by the Boerne Independent School District allowed me to shoot some daytime soccer of the Greyhound boys' varsity and girls' varsity teams as they went up against Clemens High School.

Few sports get the kind of turnout you see with football in Texas, but this is a sport I played for 35 years and was a State-level referee for ten or so years in the middle of I really like soccer and love to shoot it.  Looking forward to TMI Lacrosse as it's very similar.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

30F Outside and thinking Softball and Baseball Already

After nighttime football and indoor basketball it was nice to shoot some early season softball and baseball.  The Boerne High School baseball team was having tryouts and the softball team was having a fund raiser.

The fund raiser included a Parents vs Players game that I knew would offer some "interesting" images and the weather was great, if you didn't mind a 40F chill factor.

Southwest Lights Photo Workshop

With a lot of hard work Jason Abbot rescued one of the top Canadian portrait photographers, Warne Noyce, from the central Canadian plains and with participants from as far away as California nad Nova Scotia, the first Southwest Lights Workshop was born.

Talk about a busy weekend, three days of shooting all day through the wee hours of the morning and then getting up and doing it again after five hours of sleep.  Nothing like having a top portrait photographers help you work with poses and lighting when you are use to shooting most everything photojournalist style.

I was definitely more comfortable shooting outside, but this does really put an itch for a set of studio lights and workspace.