Johan Schmidt Photography: Blog https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Johan Schmidt Photography (Johan Schmidt Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:22:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:22:00 GMT https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u57088339-o837205347-50.jpg Johan Schmidt Photography: Blog https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog 113 120 Preparation and planning for a golf landscape shoot https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/10/preparation-and-planning-for-a-golf-landscape-shoot There’s a lot of planning that goes into a shoot before the drone is sent up into the sky and the shutter pressed. 

First and foremost is to determine what is the purpose of the image and what story is being told. The purpose of the image will play a big role in hole photographed, the angle and altitude – e.g. if you want to show the ruggedness and isolation of the course, you’d avoid angles and elevations where surrounding houses will be displayed.

To highlight the undulating contours and slopes on a links course, which creates dimension and texture in the image, the sun needs to be at a low angle  to the ground to create the necessary shadows – sunrise or sunset. 

Typically links golf courses have tiny pot bunkers, but to see some light and detail in them, the sun must be at a suitable angle and direction. I use the website https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/australia/perth to see the time and direction at which the sun will rise or set and then plan on a golf course map which holes will be best presented on the specific day to highlight the unique characteristics of the hole.

The golf course superintendent and his staff have scheduled course maintenance tasks before the players tee off and the shoot needs to be synchronised with them and the club manager. They can assist to get a hole cut in the preferred position as one needs a one needs a pin and flag in the green to show it’s a golf course, preferably in a position where the sun will strike the flag and produce a colourful contrast against the greens and shadows of the course.

The day before the shoot, ensure all the memory cards are formatted, drone batteries and controllers charged, drone camera settings as required – always pack spares blades, batteries, memory cards.

On the day of the shoot, leave early enough so that traffic delays don’t make you miss the magical few minutes if it’s a sunrise shoot, which always seems shorter than during a sunset shoot. Meet up with the superintendent and his crew to finalise arrangements and then get to the planned shooting location as soon as possible – a golf cart can save you valuable minutes. Be aware of the time and get the drone up in the sky a few minutes before sunrise and try different angles and altitudes – plan for 20 minutes in the sky based on the drone’s maximum flight time before having to change batteries.

If the image will be displayed in a large format print (e.g. 36+ inches on long side) inside the clubhouse, the following picture will create a more dramatic effect as the eye is drawn to the sliver of sun on the green.

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If the image will be used on social media, i.e. a small smartphone or laptop screen, the following image will present the hole more effectively.

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Photographing a beautiful golf course is a magical experience – what can be better than being on a course at sunrise combining your love for golf and photography to create memorable images of a magnificent sporting arena for the club owner and members? – as Walter Hagen used to say “Don’t forget to smell the flowers”

 

 

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) altitude angle DJI drone Elevation Golf course photography links golf Phantom4Pro pot bunkers preparation smell the flowers sporting arenas sunrise texture Walter Hagen https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/10/preparation-and-planning-for-a-golf-landscape-shoot Sun, 07 Oct 2018 20:27:41 GMT
Wee Tap - Golf Course Photography https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/8/wee-tap---golf-course-photography Photographing golf courses is like most landsacpe photography - planning, planning & planning. I arranged with the manager the day before for a golf cart, pins & flags, arrived before sunrise and synchronised my shoot with the groundkeeping staff's early morning course activities in the clubhouse before going out.

"Wee Tap" the par 3 16th, measuring 'only' 138m from the back, is one of the few holes from Australian golf courses listed in Jeff Barr's book "1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die". In the afternoon, when the Fremantle Doctor blows (the prevailing SSW wind), this hole is much more than a 'wee tap' - a very shallow, elevated green modelled after the "Postage Stamp" at Troon, with 3 deep and penalising pot bunkers waiting for any misshit shot.

Below are my two favourite images from the shoot - I think for a large print (36x24 or larger 😊), the first image would be most striking as only the green being lit by the first rays of the sun focusses your eye to the green, after which the eye can wander to see the contours and slopes on the surrounding fairways, dark ominous bush, the 16th tee on the right towards the sun and the proximity to the Indian Ocean on the left, in the rest of the frame.

As the green is larger in the second image, it would probably be more suited in a smaller format such as social media or on the golf club's score card.

Which one do you prefer?

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) 3 barr bay bunkers course golf greenskeeper indian jeff kennedy landscape links ocean par photography postage pot serenity stamp sunrise tap texture troon wee https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/8/wee-tap---golf-course-photography Wed, 01 Aug 2018 13:29:54 GMT
Tips for panning sport https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/4/tips-for-panning Most action photos use a 'panning' technique because the subject is followed / tracked and then the shot is taken. If you can follow the subject in the same way, but simply lower the shutter speed to 1/80s or less, you can create motion in the background and a sense of speed.

In this shot, the portions of the athlete that are stationary relative to the overall movement, are sharp - so sharp you can read the time on her digital watch!

20180415_144020180415_1440Action during Joondalup#2 Triathlon, Perth on Sunday 15th April 2018

If you can get an object / athlete going in the opposite direction in the background, you'll create double the sensation of speed!

20180415_141520180415_1415Action during Joondalup#2 Triathlon, Perth on Sunday 15th April 2018

Some tips - credit to Clive Mason (Getty) and Dave Black

1. Use a shutter speed slow enough to create the background blur for your subject- e.g. cyclists would need a slower shutter speed than a racing car. You need wheels to be spinning.

2. Frame the subject against a background that has texture, such as shrubs, trees, pavilion etc. to see the motion blur.

3. Shoot at 90 degrees to your subject to maximise motion blur.

4. Start with slower shutter speed and work upwards until you can get a sharp image - gets easier this way and you'll reach the maximum effect quicker.

5. If your lens has Vibration Reduction / Image Stabilisation, then use it in Normal mode if you are on a stationary surface.

6. Use Continuous Focus mode with single point AF, aiming the AF point on a 'stationary' part; e.g. helmet, athlete's hand - shoot in burst mode.

7. Realise that the keeper rate goes up the more you practise

Have fun! 🚴🏻‍♂️💨

Once you've mastered subjects moving in 1 dimension (left to right / up & down) such as cars, cyclists, then advance to subjects in 2 dimensions (left to right and up & down) - e.g. athlete running like this shot of a cricket fast bowler running in to bowl.

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) af black blur clive continuous cyclists dave focus mason motion panning point reduction shutter speed tips triathlon vibration https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/4/tips-for-panning Tue, 24 Apr 2018 07:21:00 GMT
Personal projects - golf course photography https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/4/personal-projects---golf-course-photography With so much information available on the internet regarding photography, you often feel what can you add or say that hasn't been said already? 

Being a sports photographer, we get unique access to some of the most amazing sporting arenas, down at the playing level. As golfers, we get down to the playing level that professionals play at, but we never get to see these magnificent "sporting cathedrals" from a golf ball in flight's perspective.

This is my personal project - to display these soul calming venues in their true beauty in a series of blogs.

USA11_0907USA11_0907 Par 4 10th "Camellia" 495 yards - Augusta National Golf Club, USA

Par 4 12th 360 yards "Finchy's Folly" - Links Kennedy Bay, Australia

Late aftenoon shadows across the links accentuates the contours, slopes and texture of the fairways, pot bunkers and greens.

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) arena cathedral contours course drone golden golf light personal photography project slopes sports texture https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2018/4/personal-projects---golf-course-photography Mon, 02 Apr 2018 13:40:03 GMT
Simple set up for trendy headshots https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/5/simple-set-up-for-trendy-headshots Often simpler is better. Here's a headshot of a young executive, using only natural light without any reflectors or fill-in flash. The new trend seems to be to have a background that "looks like I'm in the office" 😉 instead of your standard studio background .

I had my subject stand 1 metre inside a doorway facing outside, so that he was in covered shade, yet still getting most of the light from the front to illuminate his eyes and eliminate those dreaded racoon eyes when shooting in uncovered shade. The light fall off shooting from outside into the room was quick producing a dark background, yet with some detail.

If the light, looking from inside to outside is a bit bright for your subject, have someone hold a dark towel up behind you to minimise squinting, although as Perter Hurley says, a little bit of a 'squinch' is good. Don't forget to set your white balance by using a grey card or an Expodisc.

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To give the subject an alternative look, I moved indoors, bounced the on-camera flash backwards over my left shoulder, off a white ceiling

but had him turn his left shoulder closer to the camera this time - very different look, but just as quick to set up

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Expodisc Grey card Headshot Peter Hurley Squinch light meter natural light new trend https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/5/simple-set-up-for-trendy-headshots Tue, 17 May 2016 09:01:33 GMT
Conventional wisdom doesn't always rule https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/3/conventional-wisdom-doesnt-always-rule Conventional wisdom for sports photography are things like:

  • get down as low as possible to get faces and athletes more prominent
  • find a sweet spot / sector in the field where your lens is at its best and stick to shooting in that sector
  • get the background as clean as possible so that athlete / action stands out
  • shoot from the outside of the field to the inside to eliminate a busy background
  • Get the light behind you, except when the sun is high 11 - midday, when you should rather shoot into the sun and adjust exposure for the face - this will remove the raccoon shadows in the eyes (Peter Reid Miller)

But sometimes using shadows and light in a different way can produce unique images that will make your images stand out from the other photographers

With the sun setting earlier as Autumn approaches and the north western pavilion a bit lower in height than the main pavilion next to it, about a third of the northern section of the field is covered in sun for about 30 minutes in the first halve, set against the northern stand already in shade producing a dark background. Instead of shooting soccer with the convention option of a 200-400mm lens, I decided to shoot with a 400mm f2.8 with a 1.4TC which would give me reach to the far end of the field into the strip of sunlight. Then it's a matter of anticipation to get the prerequisite "2 faces, a ball, feet off the ground"

PG_NJ_179_FBPG_NJ_179_FBPerth Glory vs Newcastle Jets during A-League round 22 on Monday 7th March 2016 at nib Stadium, Perth: Image by Johan Schmidt Photography

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Light Miller Peter Reid Shadows Soccer Sports breaking photography rule soccer the https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/3/conventional-wisdom-doesnt-always-rule Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:44:07 GMT
Bobbing and Weaving https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/2/images-in-your-mind Sometimes, as we press the shutter, we can 'see' the image in our mind. Hopefully when we look at it on a computer screen, it is what we 'saw'. On the occasions that this does happen, it's such a thrill. Today with cameras capable of shooting at such high number of frames per second, we've lost that ability of seeing the single shot as in the film days, when anticipation and timing was so crucial. The latest Canon 1Dx mark 2 shoots an image every 71.4 milliseconds or 83 milliseconds for the Nikon D5. Astounding!

It is so important to really look at the whole image in the viewfinder and not just the subject itself. By carefully looking and readjusting our shooting angle or a few paces to either side, we can elimiate distracting objects or highlights in the background. Cliff Mautner says you should 'bob & weave' like a boxer as a few inches either side can make or break an image. When shooting sports, a busy backgrounds kills the image. So even though you can't bob & weave as with a portrait, select a 'sweet zone' on the field regarding lens, light and background and then discipline yourself to shoot in it

Here is an image I saw in my mind as I took it during an AFL match - golden, late afternoon sunlight coming at an angle to enhance mood and texture, dark background in the shadows of the trees, bright colours in the jerseys, with urgency and concentration in the last quarter of the game -  one of my favourite of the 2015 season 😊

KG_0667KG_0667Kingsway vs Greenwood

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) AFL Cliff Greenwood Kingsway Mautner Rockets background balance bob bobbing contrast dark running speed weaving https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2016/2/images-in-your-mind Thu, 04 Feb 2016 10:02:26 GMT
The rise of the giants https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/6/the-rise-of-the-giants Jonah Lomu of the All Blacks burst onto the scene in the 1995 Rugby World Cup with his devastating runs down the left wing, demolishing Mike Catt and the rest of England in the semi-final.

Twenty years later we have seen the re-emergence of these giants. Huge, very fast and strong, yet players with the skills and deft touch of a pickpocket.

The French always regarded the forwards as the piano movers and the backs as the piano players. Now some of the wings are bigger than the props or locks! And faster!

Nemani Nadolo (Crusaders) – 194cm (6ft 4), 125kg!

WFW_0576_FBWFW_0576_FBin the Super 15 round 13 match Western Force vs Waratahs at nib Stadium on Saturday 9th May 2015 : Image by Johan Schmidt

Taqele Naiyaravoro (Warathas) – 194cm (6ft 4), 123kg!

 

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Julian Savea (Hurricanes) – 192cm (6ft 3), 103kg!

 

WFH_0031_FBWFH_0031_FBin the 15th round Super15 rugby match Western Force vs Highlanders at nib Stadium in Perth, Australia: Image by John Schmidt

Patrick Osborne (Highlanders) – 189cm (6ft 2) 108kg

 

WFH_0637_FBWFH_0637_FBin the 15th round Super15 rugby match Western Force vs Highlanders at nib Stadium in Perth, Australia: Image by John Schmidt

Waisake Naholo (Highlanders) - 186cm (6ft 1) 96kg

WFC_290_FBWFC_290_FBin the round 9 Super 15 rugby match Western Force vs Cheetahs at nib Stadium on Saturday 11th April 2015

Cornal Hendricks (Cheetahs) – 189cm (6ft 2) 90kg was your traditional wing – explosive speed, elusive side step and an eye for the corner flag.

 

It’s been wonderful to photograph these players close up, feeling the earth vibrate as they thunder towards the try line. Come on Rugby World Cup!

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) 15 Cup Rugby Super World giant movers pano piano player wings https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/6/the-rise-of-the-giants Thu, 18 Jun 2015 11:36:31 GMT
Sporting trailblazers - Dr Danie Craven https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/4/sporting-trailblazers---dr-danie-craven All sports have their trailblazers, whether it is Don Bradman, Graeme Pollock or Viv Richards' batting, Bobby Jones winning the grand slam of golf in 1929 or famous rugby giants like Frik du Preez, Colin Meads or Willie John McBride. Often during a tournament or match we see something that reminds us of these trailblazers - an intensity that reminds us of Jack Nicklaus on Sunday on the 2nd nine in a major, or something I saw last week from the Singapore substitute scrumhalf playing against the Western Force A in Perth - the diving pass! - This pass was made famous by Danie Craven during the 1937 Springboks tour of New Zealand - arguably the best Springbok team ever, also becoming the first team to beat New Zealand at home in a Test series. The next team that achieved this was the mighty 1971 British Lions which did the same when they toured South Africa in 1974 - but more about that team later.

WFaS646WFaS646Western Force A vs Singapore at Cottesloe’s Harvey Field on Saturday 25th April 2015 : Image by Johan Schmidt

Tradition has it that Danie Craven developed this diving technique to get the wet, heavy and slippery leather ball as quickly and accurately to his backline on the muddy fields of New Zealand.

Danie Craven, who was selected for South Africa at the age of 19 before making his provincial debut for Western Province, played for, captained and coached the Springboks and is the longest serving President of the South African Rugby Board. When appointed coach in 1949, he won 10 games in a row which included a 4-0 whitewash over Fred Allen's All Blacks in South Africa. As Wikipedia puts it ... "In 2007 he became the third inductee into the IRB Hall of Fame, only preceded by Rugby School and William Webb Ellis, the alleged instigator of the game that would develop into rugby union"

Wonderful to see the diving pass again!

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Danie Craven Singapore Springboks Western Force diving pass rugby union trailblazers https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/4/sporting-trailblazers---dr-danie-craven Thu, 30 Apr 2015 13:24:43 GMT
What's your bucket list? https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/4/whats-your-bucket-list People have always compiled their 'bucket list' must-do items, often planned for some distant time in the future when they retire, before they die etc.

What would my photography bucket list be? As I concentrate mainly in sports photography, I'd pick two sports that have been close to my heart for many years and bring back fond memories of time spent with my Dad.

1. Shooting the US Masters Golf Tournament. Across all disciplines of sport, most sportsmen and women find golf the most challenging sport - the game where perfection is like a mirage in the desert.  I've been lucky to have been to Augusta during Masters week in 3 different years over 2 decades - even though TV cameras are positioned to present viewers with the best angles to view the golf and the beauty of the course, anyone who has been there when the dogwoods and azaleas are in full bloom, will attest to the fact that "TV doesn't do its beauty justice" - it is undescribably magnificent. 

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2. All Blacks vs Springboks rugby Test in New Zealand. A Test between these two nations is still the pinnacle of rugby rivalry in the world, with both teams rated #1 and #2 over decades. I've seen images of how beautiful New Zealand is and can just imagine the thrill of watching the All Blacks performing the haka before the Test.

Both these events would combine my love of the Rugby, golf and photography. What are your bucket list items?

 

 

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) All Augusta Blacks Bucket List Masters Springboks US golf rugby https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2015/4/whats-your-bucket-list Wed, 08 Apr 2015 15:31:28 GMT
Purity https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/12/purity So often incidents in life point to real motivation behind actions. The cricket world recently had the tragic death of Australian Test batsman Phil Hughes. Testimonies by his fellow players were unanimous in their agreement that he played the game for the love of it, despite the financial incentives of playing sport at international level. When the team was under pressure and down, he was the one who often asked his team mates “ … where would you rather be than playing for your country?”

 

On my recent trip to South Africa over the December holidays, Mr Johan Volsteedt, the former and now retired Headmaster of Grey College (www.greycollege.com) and schoolboy cricket coach of the first two South African Test Cricket captains after readmission in 1992, Kepler Wessels and Hansie Cronje, all time great fast bowler Alan Donald and many more, offered to help my 14 year old son with his cricket, partly for the reason I was an Old Grey from 1978.

 

On the weekend after the first 2 hour coaching session, Mr Volsteedt slipped on a flight of stairs and broke his right angle and tore the ligaments. Yet one week after surgery he was back in the nets coaching this boy from his wheelchair, who is not only from a different school, but also another country. Hard to even imagine and comprehend such dedication!

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Truly, this is a passion for coaching and a love of this great game we call cricket! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all coaches and administrators had such purity in reason?

 

NIHIL STABILE QUOD INFIDUM
Nothing is steadfast which is not true

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Alan Donald Cricket Grey College Hansie Cronje Johan Volsteedt Kepler Wessels Stabilis https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/12/purity Tue, 30 Dec 2014 21:20:44 GMT
Isn't this just grand? https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/9/isnt-this-just-grand What could be better than watching a rugby Test match where the Springboks play? Definitely better if you're watching it with your Dad! - the excitement on their young faces (and the Dads') at the Captain's Run was priceless. Precious memories that go past too quickly - enjoy Father's Day on Sunday 6th September (in Australia)

Aus_SA_0009Aus_SA_0009in the Rugby Championship round 3 Test match Wallabies vs Springboks at Pattersons Stadium in Perth played on 6 September 2014 (Image by Johan Schmidt Photography)

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Day Fathers Rugby Springboks https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/9/isnt-this-just-grand Fri, 05 Sep 2014 15:16:20 GMT
Benchmarking https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/8/benchmarking No matter which field you’re in, we’re always trying to grow by improving. A good way to do this is by benchmarking yourself against your peers / competition. In track & field or swimming, it’s easy to benchmark as you have objective measurements – e.g. 20.5 seconds for the 50m swim sprint.

But how do you benchmark things like fielding in cricket? Even if you have % of throws at stumps that hit, throws will be from different angles, some where all three stumps are visible to the extreme of only seeing a single stump.

Same with something subjective like photography. After a rugby match, I compare my images to those published on Getty Images and AAP looking at the range, angles and types of shots taken. If you look carefully, you can always learn something new.

http://www.gettyimages.com.au/editorialimages/sport

http://one.aap.com.au/#/

Fortunately, if we cringe looking back at images of a few seasons ago, which we then thought were ‘good’, we know we’re growing! Happy shooting.

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) AAP Getty benchmarking growing improving https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/8/benchmarking Tue, 26 Aug 2014 08:35:17 GMT
Soft light even with on-camera flash https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/8/soft-light-even-with-on-camera-flash The first thing you’ll be told in a flash photography lesson is “... get the flash off the camera ...” – as this will create directional light, resulting in images with “ ... mood, texture and dimension...” (as Cliff Mautner so elegantly states it).

But what if you can’t take the flash off the camera? – photographers would normally then resort to swivelling the on-camera’s flash head backwards or to the sides to bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling - but as a sports photographer out on the field (with no walls or ceilings), things happen quickly and the post match celebration and jubilation moments last for a short time only.

In the example below, I used an on-camera flash, with a diffusion dome light modifier attached. Flash was set to TTL / BL mode angled upwards at 70 degrees which produced a sliver of soft feathered light – so even with an on-camera flash, on those occasions when you can’t get the flash off the camera, using this technique, you can still create some texture and dimension and get those important catch lights high up in the eyes. 

(Credit to Cliff Mautner for showing this technique in one of his classes)

 

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Cliff Mautner Feathered light dimension mood on camera flash texture https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/8/soft-light-even-with-on-camera-flash Thu, 07 Aug 2014 05:18:18 GMT
Fan Appeal https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/7/fan-appeal Late on Tuesday afternoon, April 6th 1999, a golf buggy pulls up at the 12th tee on Amen Corner at Augusta National. Off steps living legend Jack Nicklaus, who having just had hip replacement surgery, was driving around before the Champions Dinner to see the changes made to the course around Amen Corner. He asks one of the players, busy with a practise round, if he could borrow a club and ball – takes a 5 iron and after a few warm up swings, tees up the ball and elegantly dispatches the ball to land softly on “Golden Bell’s” green. A standing ovation follows by the few patrons still on the course and photographing Amen Corner.

HDR 12th 2HDR 12th 2

Why are some sports stars so adored?

Nic Cummins, fondly referred to as the "Honey Badger", has become a crowd favourite in the Western Force and Australian Wallabies rugby teams. So much that blonde curly wig sales have gone through the roof in Perth with fans proudly adorning their wigs with some tape on match day.

WF_Reds_050714_1125_FBWF_Reds_050714_1125_FBin the Super 15 match Western Force vs Reds at nib Stadium in Perth on 5th July 2014

Sadly, due to family circumstances Nic is moving to play his rugby next season in Japan – all the best Nic – thanks for the memories!

WF_Tahs_2014_0290WF_Tahs_2014_0290Nick Cummins scores in the Super 15 rugby match between the Western Force and Waratahs at the nib Stadium Perth on Saturday 12th April 2014.

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Nic Cummins S15 Western Force rugby https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/7/fan-appeal Thu, 10 Jul 2014 04:48:19 GMT
Shooting different sports https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/6/shooting-different-sports Each sport has its own unique attributes and requires different skills, equipment and knowledge of the game from the photographer.

AFL and Rugby have been some of my favourite, each with their own dramatic moments;

In rugby, the positive aspects are:

  • players largely advance forwards 'in a line' due to the offside rule
  • players are coming towards you, thus providing a better chance of getting 'two faces and a ball' in the shot
  • dramatic celebrations after the 'battle'

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whereas the challenges are:

  • players drop their faces towards the ground just before making contact. Thus, unless you're really low to the ground, you'll get a lot of the top of players' heads
  • as the attacking and defensive lines face each other almost 1-on-1 in a line drifting in the direction of play, you'll get many players crossing between you and the player you're shooting
  • many movements are short bursts of only a few paces which produce 'static' looking images
  • you'll mostly get the faces of either the attackers or defenders from behind goal area - not both. To get both you need to move to the sidelines and take your chances with medical staff, TV crew, linesman, balls boys etc between you and the play

WF_Bulls_2014_0291_FBWF_Bulls_2014_0291_FBin the Super 15 rugby round 11 match between the Western Force and the Blue Bulls at the nib Stadium Perth on Saturday 26th April 2014.

In AFL (Aussie Rules), the positive aspects are:

  • players are often jumping up towards the ball in the air exposing their faces
  • game is played at high speed producing a sense of urgency, concentration and speed in the images

Tigers_Hawks__052Tigers_Hawks__052

whereas the challenges are:

  • players run in 'random directions' on the field twisting and turning all the time as defenders can come from any direction making it difficult to get faces or clean shots
  • the size of the oval (officially 135m x 165m! - almost 2 rugby fields side by side with an elliptical border) - try shooting that with a smartphone! 
  • no offsides rule, so the play moves very quickly towards and away from the photographer

But they're all fun to shoot and it's a great feeling when you 'know' you've got THAT shot, even before you get home to view them on the computer

 

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) AFL Rugby Shooting sport https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/6/shooting-different-sports Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:33:08 GMT
No more '"Police File" images! https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/4/no-more-police-file-images From our earliest memories, we've always been told to 'smile' on family snap shots. Smiles are good as they record happy memories in our lives, but these will always just be 'happy snappies'.

How about trying 'a small smile with a mischievous glint in the eye' look - very different effect heh?

 

Jack Apr2014_18Jack Apr2014_18

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) small smile with a mischievous glint in the eye look https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/4/no-more-police-file-images Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:28:31 GMT
Shooting tips for parents https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/shooting-tips-for-parents Our kids grow up so fast and their faces change a lot during their first 10 years. With everyone carrying a smartphone today, it's more easier than ever to capture images and you the parents or their siblings, have the best opportunity to take natural looking images of them 'as they really are'.

In the picture below of sport photographers in the background, they are all in a low position relative to the player - Getty sport photographers are known to be some of the best in the world - compare the eye level of the 3 photographers in the yellow bibs in front of the advertising boards. Guess which one of the 3 is the Getty photographer? (and no disrepect meant to the other  - all photographers in the image are good)  - correct - the guy on the far right.

So if the best shooters can get this low to shoot 6ft+ rugby giants, how much lower do we need to be to capture images of our kids?

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At least get down to their eye level - instead of  the normal 'top of their head' images, you'll suddenly not only see their full faces, but also engaging expressions in their faces, happy to see someone at their level.

Happy shooting!

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Shooting tips for parents https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/shooting-tips-for-parents Sat, 15 Mar 2014 15:46:50 GMT
Cruel injuries are part of professional sport https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/cruel-injuries-part-of-professional-sport Here is the moment David Pockcock's season ended in round 3 of the 2014 Super 15 - a sudden change of direction by  Western Force fullback Luke Morahan causing a twist in the persuer's knee in the Super 15 match Western Force vs Brumbies at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday 1 March 2014.

Wallaby international David Pocock was out of rugby for more than a season after a bad knee injury and was just starting his come back - he was operated on today and will be out for the rest of the season.

Hope you recover speedily and strongly David!

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WF_Brumbies_2014_336WF_Brumbies_2014_336in the Super 15 match Western Force vs Brumbies at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday 1 March 2014

 

WF_Brumbies_2014_337WF_Brumbies_2014_337in the Super 15 match Western Force vs Brumbies at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday 1 March 2014

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Super15 rugby https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/cruel-injuries-part-of-professional-sport Wed, 05 Mar 2014 15:45:30 GMT
Humble sportmanship https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/humble-sportmanship Professional sportsmen and women are under such intense scrutiny from the public and media due to the high salaries they command and seemingly rock star lives they live. Playing sport for a living is tough  - of all the thousands and thousand of Australians playing cricket yesterday, there were only 11 playing for Australia in the Cape Town Test

Fans can sometimes be fickle - as the old saying goes … "you're only as good as your last game" - of course this isn't true as a good player over many seasons doesn't become a bad player overnight, but it would seem so reading the newspapers and comments on the internet.

Mentally it's a very demanding world, where everyone is your friend while you're performing well, but being cast aside is often just a few bad matches away. The result is that so many sportsmen build a mental shield and can be perceived as cocky  / arrogant.  When I think back to some of the truly greats in their chosen sports like Pete Sampras, Jack Nicklaus, Roger Federer, Jacques Kallis etc. - they were all very humble in their achievements and conducted themselves as wonderful role models for the younger generation.

So it was heartwarming to see the humility by Japan A rugby team yesterday in a sweltering Perth when they played against the Western Force A. The respect shown on crossing the touchline and going onto a field was so refreshing - there was no swagger - just thankfullness for the opportunity.

Even though it was a tough match and a learning experience for them, I wish them all the best for the remainder of their Australian tour. It was an honour to photograph your match for Rugby Magazine Japan - thank you. (http://rugby-rp.com/news.asp?idx=105551&code_s=1000)

Japan A_1011Japan A_1011Brave defence by Japan A in the match Japan A vs. Western Force A at nib Stadium in Perth on Saturday 1st March 2014

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) Force Japan A Perth Rugby Magazine Japan Western rugby https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/3/humble-sportmanship Sun, 02 Mar 2014 07:39:00 GMT
Missed opportunities https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/2/missed-opportunities  

JackBook50-1-1_FBThe joy of a water hose!The joy of a water hose!

People say we shouldn't look back in life with regrets - but sometimes we miss opportunities that are there for a brief moment only - these 'regrets' are not necessarily things we have done, but often things we haven't done. 

When I was about 1 year old my parents had a photo taken of me at a studio which was printed in black & white.

When my son was a year old, I wanted to take a photo of him in a similar pose, but I procrastinated  - unfortunately one can't go back in time. 

I took this image about a year later after a fun afternoon with the garden hose.

So when you get the opportunity to capture or purchase a moment, whether in normal life or sport of your kids, don't let it slip past.

 

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(Johan Schmidt Photography) https://www.johanschmidtphotography.com/blog/2014/2/missed-opportunities Tue, 18 Feb 2014 12:25:25 GMT