Patric Söderström is well-prepared. His clients, which include Sweden’s biggest news agency, T.T. Nyhetsbyran, and two soccer teams, Mjällby AIF and Kalmar F.F., know when they hire Söderström, he’s going to get the shots they want. Armed with a veritable arsenal of Nikon bodies, lenses, and PocketWizard radio triggers, Söderström is able to cover an entire field of action with a mere press of one button. Here’s what he wanted to share with us regarding his sports photography.
The photo above is a penalty shot during a game between Kalmar FF and Brommapojkarnas IF in Sweden’s highest league, Allsvenskan. It was the last game Kalmar FF’s goalkeeper Etrit Berisha played before getting transfered to S.S. Lazio in the Italian Serie A. Kalmar was down one goal, 1-2, when they got a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the game. Etrit Berisha stepped up and scored, making the game a draw. During the game he had executed some insane saves, and here he saved another point for his team. A great way for him to say goodbye to the fans. It was shot at Kalmar FF’s home stadium, Guldfageln Arena, in Kalmar. I arrived at the arena about 60 minutes before kickoff.
I got lucky with the shot since he placed the ball in the corner of the goal where I had my Nikon D800. It only shoots four frames per second but when you get the shot, you can really crop a lot to get to the intensity of the picture.
Canadian photographer A.J. Messier is the owner of Hogtown Studios in Toronto, Ontario. His clients include Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Hockey Hall of Fame, NHL, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Save the Children Canada. No stranger to sports photography, Messier takes us behind-the-scenes of his recent shoot of Damian Warner for Nike.
©AJ Messier-Hogtown Studios, Toronto, Canada
- Damian Warner, 23 years old, for Nike
- Canadian Olympic Decathalete
- 5th in 2012 Olympics in London
- 3rd in Decathalon IAFF 2013 World Championships in Moscow
I approached Damian Warner’s team about eight weeks ago with an idea of shooting Damian in Toronto. My concept was of him being a mild-mannered urban hipster like a Clark Kent, but with his uniform on he transforms into Superman. They immediately loved the idea, and mentioned to me he had never done a professional photo shoot before they were pretty much up for anything. Damian had just signed a deal with Nike. The logical hook into him, his events, and his Nike gear became my focus. The next issue was how to show Damian doing super human feats while in all the newest and brightest Nike gear and make it look dramatic, fresh, and more importantly stand out from all the other images of athletes over the years.
Making Waves is a weekly round-up of current posts featuring PocketWizard products.
Brazilian photographer Pablo Vaz has recently been featured on Portal Photos. To freeze a variety of fast-action sports, Pablo relies on his PocketWizard MiniTT1® and FlexTT5® radio triggers.
Stay tuned for a feature story on Pablo and his work to appear on the PocketWizard blog. Until then, learn more about him at his blog, 500px, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Canadian photographer John Rathwell is best known for his sports shooting. He’s the kind of artist who prefers capturing a kayak being piloted through rapids over a pitcher waiting for a signal, a surfer in frigid waters over a soccer match, or a closeup of a skateboard humming on blacktop over a golfer walking to the next tee. He recently was kind enough to explain how he got the below photo of mountain biker Felix Wilberg. Here’s Rathwell’s own account of how the shoot came together.
Felix Wilberg as photographed by John Rathwell. ©John Rathwell
Here is a shot of downhill mountain bike sensation Felix Wilberg at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec. The goal going into this shoot was to come out with something really showing the speed and intensity these guys come into banked turns with. I find the sense of motion is left out in action sports photos way too often, and, with flash, it’s so easy to have motion and still keep your subject sharp. The flash duration will freeze your subject, but the ambient light will still continue to absorb into the sensor.
My first few attempts at the shot where at 1/50th of a second and the background was put into an abstract blur. I didn’t realize how fast these guys actually come into the corners. I ended up moving up to 1/100th of a second for the shot to get just the right amount of motion blur in the background.
Photojournalist Jack Haley of MPNnow.com and the Messenger Post Newspapers regularly incorporates PocketWizard radio technology into his daily assignments. Rarely knowing what subject matter and conditions he’s going to find before his arrival, his PocketWizard Plus® II radios are still an integral part of his gear, helping him capture everything from sports action frozen in place to impressive environmental portraits. He recently shared information with us on shoots he completed for “Spring Sports Stars.”
Co-Player of the Year Tommy Wagner of Victor, New York. ©Jack Haley/Messenger Post Newspapers
This baseball player’s action portrait was shot at 1/320 with a Nikon D300s and two Nikon SB-80DX flashes. No diffusers were used.
© Matt Brown
Over on The Halo Way, the official photo blog of the Los Angeles Angels, photographer Jordan Murph has put together an educational post on how he and team photographer Matt Brown use remote cameras during games and what you’ll need to set one up yourself.
Why use a remote camera for sports photography? Lots of reasons! “They provide us with different angles from our hand held cameras in case we get blocked,” Jordan writes, “and they can give a unique view from a location that is impossible to physically photograph from, or they can just provide extra coverage.”
Pete Webb creates some gorgeous photographs. He has just discovered the world of HyperSync®, and it’s opened up a new avenue of the types of images he can execute. Webb informs he now has the ability to create photos he “could only have dreamed of” previously. His informative story follows.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/2000th. ©Pete Webb
Last week I received the email reminder to download the new firmware update for my PocketWizard radio triggers. I was pretty excited about this, as plug and play HyperSync was something I desperately wanted to use and desperately wanted to work.
First thing to do was plug my triggers into the PocketWizard Utility and update. With the new firmware updated, a quick look at the HyperSync tab told me there was nothing to select, so I carried on and went straight out in the field to use them. (I think the main tab to be aware of is if you are using speedlites and want to use HyperSync, then you need to turn off “High Speed Sync” HSS, so check the HyperSync-only box. If you leave it unchecked then you can set where HyperSync takes over from HSS).
I was told using HyperSync with my Elinchrom Ranger RX with ‘S’ heads and my FlexTT5 Transceivers that everything should be fairly plug-and-play, as it indeed proved to be. I called up Morvelo, one of my cycling clients who sent me one of his team riders dressed in all the latest gear and on a nice expensive bike, and headed to one my favorite little locations at the top of one of Sussex’s best bike climbs.
© James Quantz Jr.
When James Quantz Jr. was asked to create a number of promotional images for the University of South Carolina’s 2013 football season, he approached the project from a fan’s perspective. “If I think it would look cool on my wall,” he says of the concept, “I’m hoping I’m hitting on where the fans are coming from.”
In the behind the scenes video, you can see him working with Paul C. Buff Einstein lights with a variety of modifiers, including a large umbrella and a grid. The Paul C. Buff Einstein lights are being triggered by PocketWizard PowerMC2 Receivers. He shoots the athletes in a controlled environment and then composites them into background images of a full stadium that he had shot earlier.
And what’s that on top of his camera? A PocketWizard Plus III! He says,
“During a photoshoot like this when I’m capturing athletes in motion, I rely on my PocketWizards to sync flawlessly so I don’t miss any of the action. A lot of times these are day long events so one of my favorite features on the Plus III is a battery level indicator so I always know when power might be running low.”
© James Quantz Jr.
© James Quantz Jr.
© James Quantz Jr.
See more of James’ work at quantzphoto.com and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
All images, video and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©James Quantz Jr., all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or re-post elsewhere without written permission.
Photographer Ian Coble was featured on Season 2, Episode 3 of SnowChasers. Coble is candid about how he became a professional shooter, his undergraduate work, and his love of skiing. He discusses using strobes in snow, and the gear he carries in waist-deep accumulations far off the trails.
Dave Hahn is a Freelance photographer based in the New York metro area. His primary focus is sports and action photography. Below, Dave explains how he sets up floor-mounted cameras during basketball games using both PocketWizard’s new PlusX transceiver and the Plus III.
If you’re new to remote photography hopefully this will help explain how easy it can be using a camera mounting plate I developed, combined with a couple of transceivers from the folks at PocketWizard.
March 23, 2013: 2013 Women’s NCAA Tournament – University of Idaho @ UConn – Gampel Pavilion Storrs, Connecticut. Mandatory Credit: David W. Hahn / CSI: Photo
Here I’m going to talk about setting up remote cameras for basketball using both the PlusX and Plus III radios triggers. In the image to the right, you can see my set-up for the Women’s NCAA basketball tournament at UConn. The camera was mounted to a plate called a “fplate” (floor plate) and a Plus III was used to trigger the camera from the opposite side of the court.
If you’re new to remote photography, the newly-released PlusX is a great way to go. The benefits of the PlusX transceivers are affordability. It’s the first time PocketWizard radios break the $100 barrier. Next is, its simplicity in design and ease of use. The Plus II’s had only four channels to work with, sometimes making difficult to find an open channel when there are other photographers working the same event. The PlusX radios have ten channels. 1-4 will work with all the older models. With the addition of channels 5-10 you now have six low-use channels that will also work with the Plus III’s and the MultiMAX radios. Setting the channels on the PlusX transceivers is as easy as turning a dial.