Monday, December 17, 2012

Something a little different

A week ago I was trying to think what I could do differently for the last St. Louis Rams home game of the season. Do I attempt a remote somewhere, do I spend the game using just a certain lens, what can I do a little out of the norm? I decided to use a Nikon V2 mirrorless camera with a 10mm f2.8 lens, which on this camera is equivalent to a 27mm lens in 35mm format. I also decided to shoot entirely in black and white mode. Now the thing about this self imposed project is that I still have to do my job, shooting pre-game images for the Rams Marketing department, Group Sales, Media Relations, and shoot and transmit action for a wire service. I spent a little more time shooting the players during their pre-game warm up, so I could get a feel for what I was looking for. I was able to capture my normal assortment of images documenting the game and then transmitting 40 images afterwards. Later in the evening I started reviewing my black and white images to create a small gallery of my favorites. It was while I was editing the images that I decided to use the post-processing software Silver Efex Pro2, this allowed me to add more clarity and contrast and give the photos more impact. Although I ended up with some images I liked, I really didn't end up with one amazing shot that really stuck out. I was just pleased with the fact that I could do my job, but still come away with a different gallery of photos from the game. Here is a link to the gallery:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Open Letter to New Photographers

          Some things can’t be bought. Some things only come with time. Some things have to be earned. Some things take a lifetime to achieve. The latest camera or lens won’t get you the success you seek. The best workshop or photo conference won’t make you an overnight rock star. Following all the cool kids on Google+ or Twitter won’t make you a camera craftsman. Simply feeling like you’re entitled to recognition won’t bring it. Spoofing polls, pestering your friends for “likes” or begging for fans doesn’t cut it.

          Time – that’s the one thing you can’t cheat. To become a true master of photography you need to put in the time. No matter how much you want it. No matter how much you think you deserve it. Success in photography comes only with time – mixed in with a liberal dose of practice, passion, patience and perseverance.

By Scott Bourne, check out his blog at

Back again

Well, I thought I would give it a go again and attempt to blog. My last post was in 2009, so a lot has happened since then. There has been another Cardinals World Series Championship, new camera gear, and more. I am also teaching photography classes for Creve Coeur Camera when my schedule allows. I really enjoy teaching and with their 10 stores, Creve Coeur has a great customer base. Usually I teach Portrait, Landscape, Flash-Lighting, and of course Sports. But recently I started teaching a class based on the business of photography , and I am going to bring a few of those discussions here to my blog along with my normal updates of what & where I have been shooting. On a side note, the St. Louis Sports Magazine which I was involved with, is no longer being published. So I thought this is a good place to show images and discuss how they were achieved. Now, in case anyone is reading this....Welcome back!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That Brief Moment in Time

For my Scott's Shots section in the upcoming September issue of St. Louis Sports Magazine I chose this photo because it was a fun image to get. Here is the story:
How cool is this photo? When shooting baseball, photographers always try to get a ball on bat shot, and quite often we get one that is acceptable. But it is very rare to get one where the ball seems to be embedded in the bat. In 26 years of shooting Major League Baseball this is only the third time that I have truly captured this moment, and this is the coolest one so far. There are many things that make this a fun image for me.
First of all, when I shot this, the sun was in and out that day. Secondly, I was shooting in the outside first base photo pit, where I don't shoot that often. For some reason I really felt like I was relaxed and as they say "in the zone". I know I will get a lot of flak from my fellow photographers for saying that but it is true, I just felt that my timing was on that day. As the pitcher started his windup I took a deep breath and squeezed the shutter button when I saw Albert's shoulders move. By the time your brain tells your finger to press the button, & it does and the shutter lag in the camera it's easy to miss this shot.
I have always reacted to the hitters shoulders, not the actual swing. When the shoulders move, I react and this time I froze that special moment in time.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

94 Inc. Building the brand

I had a great gig this past week. I was hired to shoot P.R. photos and stock for a new street basketball team called 94 Inc., 94 being how many feet between the baselines of a basketball court. We had a couple of tiring 12 hour days but I wished the shoot would never end.
The players I met were the greatest group of guys on the planet and incredibly talented athletes. It is cool watching a company start from the ground up, the team went to a boys & girls club and talked with the kids, performed for them and even played a little 1 on 1 with some of them. They will perform for charities, create a clothing line and have episodes on MTV, showing them play and what goes on behind the scenes, documentary style.
We shot portraits on the Mississippi riverfront, in a studio, at a cool older YMCA gym, on a basketball court in a park, at a shopping mall, working out, and a t a club for a launch party for the company. You can probably tell how much fun I had, but I will let my assistant Jeff Curry give you his take on the shoot: Unforgettable is the only word that can describe the 94 Inc. photo shoots. I have been working with Scott for almost two years now and have been on plenty of photo shoots with him. Usually we set up lights, shoot the subjects for maybe 30 minutes if we are lucky, then break it all down and leave. Working with the 94 Inc. guys was like being in a bizarro world of sports photo shoots. The guys were as nice as could be and willing to do anything we asked of them, and they would have let us shoot for four or five hours if we asked. When Scott showed them photos, these guys’ eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning and they were 6 years old, and this reminded me of why we do what we do.
The photo shoots were amazing, but the public appearance the group did was the most satisfying part of the two days. These guys talked with kids from the boys and girls club, and watching them interact with these kids was unforgettable. They are the type of role models that kids need. These two epic days reminded me of why I love photography. Support 94 Inc. because they are the type of company that this country needs.
Well, that about says it all, this shoot was definitely a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win the big game!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The "Spring" Classic

I was fortunate to cover a few games of the World Baseball Classic in Miami this past week. It was an interesting experience, but not much different than covering an All Star game. One of the cooler things was that the fans were so much more vocal during the game, not just after a big play. There was a ton of Latin music being played in the stands by fans that brought their own instruments. There were at least 4 sections that had these impromptu bands playing around the stadium.
In my opinion shooting this type of game is more difficult because there is so much more to pay attention to. When a country's All Star pitcher is pitching to a different country's All Star hitter, they can both be equally important to be shooting, so you have to decide who to key in on all during every at bat.
I was happy to have a decent spot to shoot from which also helps in covering the game and not missing the action. For my first game I walked around and shot elevated for a little while which game me a nice angle on my first play at the plate. My next 2 games I was on a 3 foot riser outside of the 3rd base dugout, and I also got to shoot through the screen behind home plate for one inning during each game. In the Puerto Rico vs. USA game I ended up with a great angle on my second play at the plate which I really liked because no other photographer had the angle that I had.
When David Wright hit his game winning single he hit to the opposite field and watched the ball the whole time so I never saw his face, but I stayed on him and then he turned towards his teammates which made for a nice shot. Then the mobbing began and I just kept watching for Wright and stayed on him. I was happy with my coverage of the 3 games I shot and I thank USPresswire for giving me the opportunity. My next blog will probably show my favorite images from this Spring Training, thanks for reading.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Decent Game

When you shoot 20 Spring Training games and 81 home games you are sure to have some bad games, so you really appreciate the good ones, today was one of those good ones. The weather was nice so I decided to put my 2x converter on my 400mm lens. Shooting baseball with an 800 is risky when you are so close as is the case in a minor league stadium. There is very little room in the frame for hitters and pitchers, you pretty much have to shoot the outfielders or hope that the action will fit in the frame.
With the shot of Carp I was on the field about 60 feet behind the catcher while he was warming up in the bullpen. The Jon Jay leaping catch is the kind of shot that you are thankful that you have a converter on. The ball kept tailing away and I just stayed on Jon as he climbed the wall. Exposure, composition, and timing all fell in place for this image. After the 5th inning since the game was close I decided to shoot without the converter in case something happened. The double play is the old stand-by in baseball photography, focus on second base and let the action happen. The thing that makes this a nice shot to have is when the infielder jumps over the runner, many times it is just a boring routine shot, we had both today as shown.
The last shot was taken after Joe Mather hit a walk-off 2 run home run in the bottom of the 9th against the Red Sox, the light was great and it is just a nice celebration shot.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A More Relaxed Setting

One of the things I love about Spring Training is that I have less distractions and less restrictions when shooting the games and the workouts. I can walk freely just about anywhere during the workouts, drills and batting practice as long as I'm careful.
The picture of catcher Jason LaRue was right before the game and the pitcher was getting ready to warm up. I asked Jason to hold still for a second and then let him get back to work. I underexposed the shot to darken the background and held a flash to the side to light his face.
For the Pujols photos I sat on the ground behind a screen near first base. This allowed me to be basically be in front of Albert instead of the side which is usually all we see of the hitters. It was interesting that I had a harder time getting the timing down of Albert's swing, I usually watch his shoulders which are harder to see move when I'm in front of him. I can only imagine how hard it is for an infielder to react.