A few weekends ago, we had the opportunity to photograph the State Games of Michigan. I’ve never photographed sports before but I wasn’t about to turn my nose up at press credentials for a sporting event. We knew we wanted to try to catch skiing so we rented some longer telephoto lenses. Chris shot with a behemoth 150-600mm lens which allowed him to see people’s nose hairs at the top of the ski hill (ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration). I shot a 18-300 mm that allowed me to reach about halfway up the hill, but I found it was better for catching the end of the runs. I really enjoyed capturing when they stopped and sent the snow flying. Photographing skiing was a lot of fun and would love to be able to do it again some time, but something tells me I’m going to have to wait until next winter.
When shooting any kind of sports, freezing motion is key, so you want a fast shutter speed. We were lucky that this was a sunny day so I was able to keep my shutter speed quicker than 1/1000 second at ISO 100.
Nikon D3100 with Nikkor 18-300 mm f/3.5-5.6, handheld
February 18, 2017
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. If you are interested in renting lenses, I highly recommend LensGiant. They have a great selection and reasonable prices. They frequently run sales too. If you are in the metro Detroit area, you are able to order from them and pick it up/drop it off at the Northville UPS store which can save a bunch of money on shipping.
A few weeks ago was Snowfest in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Snowfest is an annual snow sculpting and ice carving competition and though its chilly, its really a fun thing to experience. After photographing the festival two years in a row, I have some advice for anyone looking to shoot a winter festival like this.
Although as you can see from the photo, there wasn’t much snow on the ground for this year’s festival, these types of festivals typically lack contrast in the photos (white ice sculpture against a white snowy background) I recommend staying away from the festival during the day. Personally, I prefer to shoot under the lights after the sun goes down. Some festivals, like the Plymouth Ice Festival, will backlight their sculptures bringing out the contours of the piece and adding interest the sculptures. With night shooting, be sure to bring your fastest lens and in a few places, I wished I had brought my off camera flash. I think that could’ve helped a few of my shots. If you’re trying to catch action, a tripod won’t help you. If you can go when the artists are out working, I find that my best pictures (both this year and last year) are of unfinished pieces that show the action. And if you can catch the ice flying like in this shot, even better!
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, handheld
January 27, 2017
We recently had an unseasonably warm January day here in Michigan. It was so warm that I went out shooting without a coat! It was crazy. Because it was so warm we had several days of pure fog! You don’t often get fog in the middle of the day here, so I had to take advantage! We went to a local park because I was worried if we drove too far the fog would dissipate. I got some very cool, almost spooky images that day. I am very glad we decided to venture out and enjoy a warm, foggy day. It is now back to freezing temperatures and snow. How many days until spring?
About the Photo:
This was a single RAW exposure with basic edits and black and white conversion done in Lightroom. Shooting in fog is interesting because it takes out a lot of the distractions from the scene making it a much more minimalist image.
Nikon D3100 with 18-55 kit lens, handheld
January 21, 2017
Towards the end of my winter break, we took a day trip to Muskegon to check out the winter sports complex. I had heard about the ice skating trail and that sounded like a lot of fun. What I didn’t consider about this plan, is that I hadn’t skated since college. At least the first half of our visit was spent on the ice rink, trying not to fall down. We finally ventured to the 1/4 mile skating trail but decided to play it safe and use these walker-like devices to keep from falling on our faces. It was a little embarrassing being lapped by 6 year olds, but it was still a lot of fun.
Skating isn’t the only winter activity offered at the sports complex. There is a sledding hill and miles of snowshoe and cross country ski trails. If you want to try something exciting, check out the luge. The winter sports complex is home to one of only four luge tracks in the entire country and anyone daring enough to try it will be trained by an experienced luge coach.
I want to mention that any time you are traveling in Michigan in the winter, it is important to pay attention to the weather. On the day we went, it wasn’t forecasted to snow at home, but traveling several hours west, the forecast was different. We arrived at Muskegon State Park to flurries coming off of Lake Michigan and terrible roads that obviously hadn’t been plowed. It was a treacherous journey to say the least.
About the Photo:
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is full of exhilarating outdoor activities and as I am not the most athletic person, I decided bringing my camera was a recipe for disaster. So, this photo was taken with the Lightroom App on my iphone.
iPhone 7 raw capture through the Lightroom App
January 7, 2017
Thanks for stopping by! If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. To plan your visit to the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, visit MSports.org.