Just got back from a week in Mexico. I hadn't expected to shoot much, but discovered what is a new sport for me, but something that's pretty popular down there. A mix of tennis, badminton and whiffle ball on a small court...just wish I'd brought some different gear. Check it out.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is the celebrated all over the world, but this event in San Antonio is one of the largest outside India and is the only celebration in the United States sponsored by a city.
Let's see, lots of color, dancing, costumes....hmmm wonder what we can find to photograph.
A big Thursday night game for Boerne, as they had to win to move into the playoffs. TV cameras everywhere as the game was being televised live by KRRT-35. Which means I was tripping over wires and adding videographers to the list of folks on the sidelines.
You've probably read all the stories about the volume of passing yards these two quarterbacks generated last Thursday night in Boerne, Texas.
Mike Richardson, the Marble Falls quarterback threw for over 700 yards breaking the state record, followed closely by Champion's Kyle Poeske who threw for 595 yards, tying him for number 4 all-time mark in Texas.
When the Marines pay attention, you have to be doing something right (or very wrong).... Kyle was doing it right.
I shot pretty regularly at TMI a few year ago, and they ended up using a number of my photos to enhance their fund raising efforts to improve their athletic fields and operations. I didn't shoot last year for a number of reasons, but had an opening on Friday night and thought I'd see how the football team was doing after a year of rebuilding with an entirely new coaching staff.
Doing quite well, thank you. ;-)
TMI is different, it reminds me of my senior year in a similar academy quite a few years ago. Small school, lots of playing time for all the participants since the pool of players is relatively small. I think the neatest thing, is the intimacy of the game with the parents and no where else have I seen the team pretty much beat up on each other and then sincerely meet after the game on the field to hear the coaches sharing their thoughts with both teams.
Before the football game I had a chance to catch one of the TMI vs Holy Cross JV volleyball games. Shooting in the gym is a challenge due to the lighting, inability to use strobes and lots of orange walls and floors, but I captured a few nice shots. Check them out in the volleyball gallery at www.ralphmawyerphotography.com.
First official game of the season and I think everyone, the teams, the officials and definitely me were trying to get back in the groove. Champion was passing left and right all night and dominated New Braunfels, but as usual there is always great action no matter who's winning or losing...which is the really great thing about my job. The one thing I noticed was the game was definitely longer as the clock stops more often with incomplete passes.
A bit of warmup for both teams and me. Boerne High School Greyhounds worked out against the La Vernia Bears. I guess it's different looking through the camera, I can't tell if it's a scrimmage or a regular game....all I see is action and wanting to crop into the intensity of the play.
The Cardinals are two weeks away from the start of their new football season. It's coming on five years since the program was established and with the recent coaching change and improved morale of the team, it should be another great year....and even better if UTSA would play them. They historically have played hard teams in their NCAA Div II league and this year will be no different as they go up against NCAA Div 1 AA #1 ranked Sam Houston State.
I had a chance to shoot the Texas High School Coaches Assn (THSCA) All-Star game last Tuesday in the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas. Fox Sports was doing a live broadcast, but they didn't have all the lights on since I understand they only do that for Hi-Def games, e.g., Spurs, etc.
It was a good test for my new Nikon D4 and 200-400mm/f4 lens. The 200-400mm is soft at full extension, but it stills performed well and I was able to maintain 1/640 shutter speeds at f4, on a lens with so much glass it's effectively a T-5 to T5.6, for you photo geeks out there.
I've always wanted to shoot an Indian wedding or similar event, as the clothes and colors are so vibrant.
It wasn't quite a wedding, but I did get a chance to do a behind the scenes (BTS) session of Aishwarya Rajan Babu being photographed by John Vega, assisted by Kelly. As Aishwarya would say, Semma Jolly time!
Just when I thought it was going to be August before I could shoot some football, someone brought the 7 on 7 leagues to my attention. Thousands of Texas high schoolers play this and I was able to shoot the qualifying games of the Central Catholic 7 on 7 State Qualifying Tournament (SQT) at the University of Incarnate Word stadium...such a great facility. (Tournament Director is Carl Padilla)
These are fast 20 minute halves with no running or linesman, mostly just pass plays and their defensive counterpart on the half a football field. I felt like I was shooting a mix of baseball and basket ball on a big court, since you never know where the ball is going to go and it's much quicker than and tighter than regular football. Still got some great action and more than a few nice portraits.
A Virginia farm boy, then World War II, then a Forward Air Controller and Pilot in Korea dodging MIGs in a Corsair (F4U), followed by jets in Vietnam, retiring just short of 30 years. Not a bad legacy...
Nine battle stars, the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star.
A the end of each football Spring Training season UIW holds their Red vs Black intra-team scrimmage. This year under the leadership of their new head coach, Larry Kennan, the teams held a draft to provide for a more competitive game. It's fun to shoot football in the spring, but the real thing starts with August pre-season training. The third game of next season will be a real highlight under Coach Kennan as the team will be playing in Dallas Cowboys stadium on September 14th....and UTSA still refuses to scrimmage. ;-)
With the University of Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio in the midst of spring training it gave me a chance to work on my photo technique on players that move a bit faster than high school teams...and start getting excited for the fall.
Boerne-Champion stayed close to McCollum all night, but the Cowboys were fast and made few errors. Shooting in Paul Taylor Field House was new for me, but the lights were great and I got a chance to shoot a bit from the railing above the basket for a different point of view.
A bit of a double-header on Tuesday. Shot a bit of early season baseball with Boerne-Champion scrimmaging against San Antonio Antonian. Then went inside to capture the Boerne-Champion girls varsity in an out-of-district game against Roosevelt. Different sports, different lighting, different approaches...but still great action.
Sports in daylight, not at night, not in a gym, not in the Alamodome, but actually out in the sun. Yes, it can be contrasty, but TMI has a great facility and it was a beautiful day.... now if I could just get TMI to play in their wonderful orange shirts. ;-)
While I often wonder why I continue to spend so much time and money shooting sports on spec, often to hear that a $6 print is just too much to pay for a great action photo of someone's child that may never occur again, that probably looks even better at 8x10 or larger, I run across something like this.... I just wish I could be as articulate with my customers in explaining the value of memories...
With most professional photographers having to deal with the fact that everyone has a camera and the resulting commoditization of the industry, this letter from a customer to her photographer is not only poignant, but also insightful: