Thursday, December 29, 2011

Boerne ISD Holiday Basketball Tournament

Spent some time shooting a few games of the 2011 Boerne ISD Holiday Basketball Tournament. I didn't have time to cover all the games, but I was able to cover Boerne-Champion vs Seguin (Boys and Girls) and the Clemens vs Central Catholic games.  To check out the game action please go to my event website: (aka

If you are interested in custom coverage for you favorite player or team, please email me so we can discuss your needs.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

ThinkTank Holiday Special & In-A-Bag Giveaway

If you haven't figured it out by now, I'm a big fan of ThinkTank professional bags.

The have some killer deals going on now and a contest worth entering.

You can check out the the entire product line via the link at the right and enter the In-A-Bag drawing via this link:

They are also having a special deal on the Retrospective bags which are not only great for photography, but for general travel use:

Buy any Think Tank Photo Retrospective shoulder bag and get money back!
Between now and the end of December, whenever you order any of Think Tank Photo’s Retrospective shoulder bags, you will receive up to $20 back.  The Retrospective bags are inconspicuous, soft-sided shoulder bags with a simple exterior that blends into the environment.   They range in size from the Retrospective 5--which carries one standard size DSLR with one to three lenses or a complete Micro Four Thirds or rangefinder camera system—to the Retrospective 30, which holds two pro size DSLRs plus three to six lenses.  Click on the “Support” tab on each Retrospective product page to download your rebate form.  And don’t forget, in addition to receiving the rebate check from Think Tank, you also get to select gear to receive for free with your order when you order using a link from this page!

Click here for more details.

Have a safe holiday everyone....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

San Antonio Reagan vs New Braunfels in Texas 5A Bi-District Football Playoffs

Ahh, the joy of shooting a game in daylight after months of Friday night games.  While I appreciate the quality that using flash for the night games brings to the photos, it is nice to be able to shoot a sequence of photos at five frames/sec...though I still tend to pick my shots. It's hard to break old habits and peak action is the key to this profession.

While the game became one-sided, we saw lots of intensity and action, lead off by strong emotion and appreciation for the veterans in the stands.  For the complete gallery check out

Saturday, October 29, 2011

San Antonio Stevens vs O'Connor Football

A bit of change this Friday.  I shot San Antonio Stevens vs San Antonio O'Connor at Farris Stadium, a late season 27-5A competition.  One more week of the regular season and then we're into playoffs.

The cold front that came in made it nice for the players, but a bit chilly for most everyone else.  Looked like Game 7 of the World Series also kept a few folks away from the game.  They missed some great action...

Check out all the action at

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Boerne High School vs Canyon Lake (Fischer) Varsity Football

This was a exciting game with powerful runs by the Canyon Lake Hawks, adaptive defense by the Boerne Greyhounds and a number of hard hits resulting in turnovers...or almost turnovers.

You can see all the action photos at Ralph Mawyer or, but I think the most interesting story was probably behind the pink here:

A few selects from all my games may be found on

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Boerne-Champion vs San Antonio Brennan Homecoming

A heart-breaker for Boerne-Champion last night, but great action for me as usual.  With Homecoming I also had the opportunity to do some fast portraits of the royal party and the dance team.  ;-)

Check all the photos out here:

Sunday, September 18, 2011

TMI vs Cole Football

I hadn't shot TMI since a pre-season scrimmage vs Sabinal, so I wasn't sure what to expect Friday night. TMI is a small school but they really raised the bar this year with major improvements to their athletic facilities and almost an entirely new athletic staff, from the Athletic Director on down.   Cole is a small high school based on Ft Sam Houston, so I was hoping for a close game and at least for the first quarter or so it was, but ended up a bit lop-sided at the end.

That said, TMI is playing with a very small team this year against teams chosen last year.  While this lets the Juniors and Seniors get a lot of playing time on both sides of the line, even 16 and 17 year olds have to get tired after a while. ;-)

But you know, the great thing about sports photography is it doesn't usually matter who wins, loses or by how much, when I'm focused on the action you get intensity and emotion from both winners and losers. Take a look at the TMI vs Cole gallery and you'd be hard pressed to prove this isn't 5A football.

You can find all my galleries at, or, if that's easier to remember.  Both teams get a bit of regional coverage as a small gallery is posted on SA, a high-traffic website for San Antonio area high school sports.

An hopefully this is the last time I shoot a Friday night game, edit and finally post the gallery at 3am...and then have to make a 7am flight the next morning.  But based on the the website views of the game over the weekend, I think the fans thought it was worth my effort. ;-)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Think Tank Photo Sale Gets Better!

I have a ton of Think Tank gear and love it, particularly the waist belt bags, i.e., Modular and Skins.  I use both of the kits below, not only for sports assignments, but for travel also.

Think Tank has just enhanced their sale on the Modular and Skin bags today. In addition to 20% off your free bag option now includes some of their premium small bags includingLARGE Lens Drop In, RU Thirsty, Whip it Out, Skin 50, Skin 75 Pop Down, Skin Double Wide, Skin Strobe, or a Skin Chimp Cage.  

The waist belt kits are easy on your back and provides fast access to your gear, so pick a set up now while the offer is out there.

Click this direct link for the Modular Component Systems  and your 20%  discount or use the link on the right to see all their products.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Boerne Football Update

Another busy week, as I'm trying to shoot Thursday and Friday night games, make for some long nights and Saturday's editing 800 images.  This week we had Boerne High School taking on Pearsall on Thursday, with Boerne-Champion hosting 5A school San Antonio Brandeis.  As if that wasn't enough, I attended the University of the Incarnate Word game Saturday against East Central Oklahoma and got a few images from the stands.  Rough game for UIW, but at least they have been playing national ranked teams since their program went active vs some other new local teams that are just warming up for two years. ;-)

When selling digital images, I tend to spend more time in tweaking the images before they are posted, since the customer gets them immediately.  Prints I have the luxury of reviewing and improving before the order is released....but all that said, I just like to see photos presented in their best 'light'.  All my latest work may be found at Ralph Mawyer or

Here's a shot with a bit of tweaking to bring out the non-rain bearing clouds....

I thought this was pretty nice from the Boerne vs Pearsall game on Thursday...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Boerne-Champion, TMI and University of Incarnate Word...Busy week

Busy week with University of Incarnate Word (UIW) pre-season practice and scrimmage on Tuesday, followed by Boerne-Champion girls varsity volleyball vs MacArthur on Thursday. Then finished off the week with TMI's first scrimmage of the season against Sabinal. Great action and afternoon light for both TMI and UIW.

Lots of photos....check them out at SA for a few selects or the whole take at

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Football - Boerne-Champion, Burnet & Fredericksburg Scrimmage

Busy morning with the Boerne-Champion Chargers, Burnet Bulldogs and Fredericksburg Billies all scrimmaging each other at the BISD stadium.  Freshman and JV went first, then they let the varsity work the field. It was interesting to see how quickly the coaches and teams could move on and off the field, not to mention some in-your-face coaching after each play.  Cool stuff and more photos as always at Ralph Mawyer Photography....or, if that's easier to remember. ;-)

Some of the players are getting regional exposure when select galleries are posted on  SA

Follow me on Facebook if you want to know what I'll be shooting or see what's going on with me photographically.  "Likes" always welcome.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Boerne-Champion Football and Special Guest

I was shooting Boerne-Champion Chargers pre-season training this morning and was watching a really fast, fit female runner circle the track and thought to myself...what is this gazelle doing here?  Turned out it was Maggie Vessey, 800M qualifier for the IAAF World Track & Field Championships in Korea.

Maggie is posing with Boerne-Champion Head Track Coach Steve Pena. Vessey, a California native, is training in South Texas for the heat. Vessey recently qualified in the 800m for the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Her time of 1 minute, 58.86 seconds was the eighth fastest time in the world.

As far as the boys go, it was a cloudy morning and only in the low 90s, so I guess that made it easier.  Look at their faces and decide for yourself...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Volleyball - Boerne-Champion vs Edison

As much as I struggle with poor light in high school gyms, sometimes there is a ray of hope.

Nikon 70-200/2.8, 1/800 @ 3200iso

The first high school sport of the 2011-2012 school year is volleyball and is only played by girls in Texas.
Gyms are tough to shoot in, though Boerne-Champion is better than most, particularly this time of year with a bit of daylight coming in the large upper windows. It does make white balancing tough with multiple light sources, but this can be fine-tuned during post-processing of the client's order.  You can see the selects from the Boerne-Champion vs San Antonio Edison varsity and JV games at Ralph Mawyer Photography.

Just a reminder but you can also find my website at and beginning with this set of games you will be able to see select photos of all the games I shoot on SA, the hub for San Antonio area high school sports scores and stories.

Lastly, please consider Liking my new Facebook page where you can track and provide feedback and suggestions for my shooting schedule, along with miscellaneous ramblings specific to photography and sports shooting.

Monday, August 1, 2011

You can never have enough (Think Tank) bags

I have a ton of Think Tank gear and love it, particularly the waist belt bags, i.e., Modular and Skins.  I use both of the kits below, not only for sports assignments, but for travel also.

Think Tank just announced a sale on the Modular and Skin bags today with 20% off.  You can always get their gear through their link on this blog and get a free small bag in the process, but these are pretty special deals...and you still get the small free bag.

Here are the direct links if you're so inclined.  For that matter, I've probably got a few of the Urban Disguise bags for sale, listed on the right in my Recycle section.t

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New member of

After four years of procrastination and lurking I finally applied for membership on was accepted.  For a sportsshooter, at least for me, this is a pretty big deal and just wanted to share.

About -

I'll also be shooting for SA this year, so look for game photo highlights there and possibly on the Kens5-TV webpage slideshow.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Facebook and Updates

I know folks have a hard time remembering and spelling my name, but there's an easier way to remember my website now.

Just bookmark as it now takes you to

**** And did I mention I now offer small digital copies of your favorite photos for use on Facebook or email?  Just click the Buy Button, then Downloads tab to see the offering and let me know if you have special requirements not met by my product list.

I've also established a Facebook Business Page to make it easier for my followers to keep up with what I'm shooting and to provide direct feedback.  Please consider hitting the 'Like' button and follow me this coming football season.

Ralph Mawyer Photography on Facebook

Please spread the's going to be a great season.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heath & Kimberly....FINALLY!

I've been shooting Boerne high school sports for three+ years and have gotten to know a few of the coaches, or at least they know me as the guy with the camera.  A couple of years ago I had a request to shoot some photos at a football game that were basically candids and technically marginal, but turned out to be very important to one coach.

That simple request came from a beautiful woman, so it wasn't a hard decision to say yes. ;-)  Time goes by and then late last Wednesday night I get an email...."call me, I'm proposing to my girlfriend tomorrow night and need a photographer"...more or less.

Cool, would love to do it.  Sounds easy and fun. (1 out of 2 ain't bad)...Famous last words...

Let's see, I can't get close because the girlfriend knows me, it's dark, (really dark), I have to shoot them after dinner, then beat them to the proposal site and figure out how to be the only 6'2" guy around with bright silver hair and a really big camera and not be noticed. No problem I say to myself, deal with it, you get paid to solve problems...and the opportunities continue to present themselves. ;-)

So between 10-12pm Wednesday night, I'm discussing plans with Heath, surfing Google Earth for location photos, trying to figure out how to be a stealth photographer, at night, with no light to speak of...and still get at least a few photos that are memorable.  Oh yeah, did I mention that Kimberly knows it's not like I can be a tourist asking for her photo.

The original plan...a carriage ride through downtown San Antonio, a proposal from his knee in front of the historic municipal auditorium and then dinner at Paesano's.  Easy....

Did I mention the things we figured could go wrong... He had no fall-back date, it had to be Thursday.  It was a work night, Kim wasn't really in the mood for dinner (and the next day was feeling marginal), Kim wouldn't want to stay out late for the carriage ride. Not sure where carriage would stop and where I could shoot from. Oh yeah, I drove by the auditorium before the shoot and it was under construction with a traffic lane closed much for my preplanning there. (Did I mention Heath twisted the truth a bit for about 48 hours..."Yes, honey, everything is prepaid, we have to go."

Then I find out that since San Antonio is experiencing a heat wave from hell, the carriage horses can't come out until after dark, so Heath and Kim have to go to dinner first (not looking good for me).

So, I manage to get some photos of the carriage after dinner, that can only be termed, charitably, as documentary in nature....

then I'm off running to the car....and waiting on four other cars to pay out at the parking lot...the clock is ticking.  I try not to run down too many tourists as I rush down Presa St. to find a place to park at the auditorium...while Kim and Heath enjoy their leisurely ride in 98F heat.

I get to the auditorium and rush into the shadows, having not a clue where the carriage will stop due to our pre-arranged 'problem with the carriage lights'.  The carriage drives by me, keeps driving....and stops on the other side of the mall space.

I grab my cameras, run through the ground cover and hide behind a war memorial as Heath and Kim get out of the carriage....and Heath goes to his knee!  "Wait, I'm not ready!" Got to get closer, no light, she's in the shadows, tree in the way, this sucks!  So after ten more seconds of privacy for them I go into paparazzi mode and grab my other camera, rigged up with a wide-angle lens and flash.

For some strange reason Kim stays focused on Heath and the ring and not me, (go figure) so I was able to get a few candids and then we all relaxed and shot a few set pieces, with Kim being kind enough to stay emotional during the whole wonderful event....

My apologizes to Kim and Heath, I'm a pretty good photographer, but a lousy secret agent and marginal paparazzi... and was thrilled to be the guy taking the photos for them.  ;-)
You can see more photos at Ralph Mawyer Photography in their public gallery.

Carriage - The horse's name is Susie and the patient, wonderful driver is Tim (210-480-1637).  He has the only carriage downtown with the cool red lights..and even he said this is the best proposal he's seen, as most are just done in the back of the carriage.  Contact him for a ride sometime, I think I will.


Gear - Nikon D700 and 70-200/2.8 at a ridiculously high ISO and Nikon D300, 16-85/3.5, SB900 strobe with diffuser.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Boerne-Champion Chargers vs Corpus Christi Moody Trojans

Boerne-Champion and Corpus Christi Moody played a very defensive Game 2 of 3 for the Texas UIL Region IV 4A baseball semi-finals. Lots of intensity, a beautiful field and great late afternoon light made for some really nice photos.

Check out the entire gallery at Ralph Mawyer Photography.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

San Antonio Highland Games - April 2011

It almost seems poetic, shooting the shot put and discuss one weekend and then getting the chance to shoot their cousins of war at the San Antonio Highland Games.  If you get a chance and you hurry, it's worth checking out Sunday afternoon, 3 April, 12-6.   More photos at

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Boerne ISD Relays - 26 Mar 2010

Football is the big sport in Texas, while basketball and baseball are probably the second most popular sports I shoot, but I always wondered why the Track and Field athletes get so little coverage. I guess it's because they are essentially solo sports and their competitions are usually rotated among different schools where five or more teams show up for a full day of competition.

Well, this year I dragged myself out of bed on a Saturday morning and had a blast shooting at least eight different events types.  It would take an army of photographers to adequately cover a Track & Field event, so I was worn out after eight hours, but there are few other sports that let you get up close and personal with the athletes and see the effort in their eyes and on their faces.  If I was asked to do a dynamic sports portrait I can't think of a better event than Shot Put, Discus or hurdles to bring out the energy in a subject.

This year Boerne ISD hosted the Boerne-Champion Chargers, Boerne Greyhounds, San Antonio Taft, San Antonio Clemens, Pearsall High School, Laredo United, Incarnate Word High School and Geneva. If you want to see athletes that have to do it by themselves just check out the Boerne ISD Relays 2011 photo gallery.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

TMI Lacrosse vs Georgetown and TMI Softball vs Lutheran H.S.

Long Saturday, but needed to get back in the groove as spring approaches and we leave early darkness behind.  I jumped in with both feet on Saturday.  First an early game of softball with TMI girls hosting Lutheran High School of San Antonio.  The winds were howling at 30mph+ with me trying to balance on a ladder to shoot over the fence.  Felt like I was on the mast of a sailboat...but beats shooting through chain link fence which is de rigueur at most facilities.  Noon-time games are always hard to shoot, better than night games, but the hard light really adds to the post-processing time to bring out the players faces, usually in deep shadow.  The great thing about baseball and softball is the chance for candid portraits when the players are not on the field.

The TMI vs Georgetown lacrosse game was fast and furious as usually, but you couldn't ask for much better light than 4-5PM on a winter evening with no stadium blocking the sun as it sets int the west.

Looking forward to weekday baseball and soccer after the time change next week, which will provide a little extra daylight for those 5:30pm starts.

Are you trying to shoot your son or daughter in their respective sport with your new digital camera and aren't happy with the results? Drop me an email if you have any questions....or if you haven't bought that expensive camera consider engaging me for custom coverage of your special player.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surfing - Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii

Now here's something I don't get to shoot much of in central Texas.  Looking forward to some bigger waves later in the week courtesy of storms pushing swells south from the north Pacific.

This is like trying to shoot a touchdown pass from 200 yards away.  The really good shooters are in the water with their camera and watertight  I'm shooting from a cliff 100+ yards away and can still feel the power of the ocean.  Some pretty impressive moves and sometimes I get the shot...

Full gallery at

Then again, these guys really know how to work the water...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Basketball - Boerne Middle School South 7th Grade Girls vs Kerrville-Peterson

Ever wonder where the high school varsity players come from.  Just check out some middle school action sometime and you'll see the foundation being built.  I had the opportunity to shoot the Boerne Middle School South 7th grade girls take on Kerrville-Peterson.  As with many sports, even when one team like Boerne dominates, down in the trenches there is still great action and emotion.