Friday, May 20, 2011

The Hazards Of Photography

It was supposed to be an epic shot, instead it turned into an epic failure! It happened when the University of Hawaii played New Mexico State during the 2009-2010 football season. It was late in the game and the Hawaii Warriors had a comfortable lead. Hawaii had the ball on about the New Mexico 35 yard line and I was positioned at the back of the end-zone near the goal post.
(This shot is the frame right before they came crashing into me)
Hawaii Quarterback Bryant Moniz dropped back to pass and surveyed the field. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Hawaii's star receiver, Greg Salas running a post route toward my direction and saw Moniz look toward him. I immediately focused in on Salas and the New Mexico defender, thinking that I was going to get a nice shot of Salas grabbing a touchdown pass. My focus was really tight and all I could see was Salas and the defender looking up for the ball. At this point, I'm was just waiting for the ball to drop into my frame for the perfect shot.

I waited for what seemed like minutes for the ball to drop into the frame, but it never came. Finally I realized that the ball was over thrown and both Salas and the defender were headed straight towards me. I looked up from my camera, but it was too late, I tucked my head and hoped for the best as the two players steamrolled into me. At this point everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. I was at the bottom of the pile wondering if I was hurt or not. My ankle was sore and I figured it was broken, but I remember thinking that if I came out of this with only a broken ankle, I'd be lucky.

I remember being helped up off the ground and looking at my ankle (fully expecting it to be twisted or contorted at some weird angle) it was sore but it looked ok. My first thought was, "where's my camera" (I was sure it had gotten damaged). I looked around and saw it laying on the ground about 10 feet from where I was. The monopod it was attached to was bent, and I could see that the lens hood had been pushed all the back to the camera body. I hobbled over to pick up my equipment and feared the worst. I took a quick look and noticed that my lens hood was cracked, but there was no visible damage to the lens itself. I framed a shot and took a picture, everything seemed to be in working condition, what a miracle.

After being helped from the field, I sat in the dugout and took my shoe off. HOLY CRAP, my ankle looked like it belonged to an elephant! It hadn't been more than 3 minutes and it was already all bruised and swollen. I was given a bag of ice and the team physician was called to take a look at my ankle. After looking at my ankle, the doctor determined that my ankle was probably not broken, but that I should probably see my regular doctor ASAP for Xrays.

As it turned out, my ankle was severely sprained, but not broken. It's been a year and a half and my ankle is still not back to 100%, I don't think it ever will be.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My First Great Action Shot!

While organizing this website I decided to put together a portfolio of some of my best action shots that I have taken over the past 7 years. It occurred to me that although I have quite a few shots that I'm very proud of, there is only one shot that I remember the vivid details of. The reason I remember it so well is because it was the very first great shot that I took.
(Click to see larger version)

It was March 31, 2007 and the fight was between Frank Trigg and Robbie Lawler for the ICON Sport Middleweight Championship. The fight was an all out war and by the 3rd round both fighters were sweaty and bloodied (makes for excellent photos). With Trigg being a wrestler and Lawler being a striker, I kept my focus on Triggs head, hoping to get a nice clean shot of a KO. Then it happened, Trigg threw an overhand left that tagged Trigg on the button, sending sweat flying off his head, and blood spewing out his nose! In my mind I said to myself "I might have gotten that one!" When the round ended I took a look at the shot and thought that it might be pretty good, but didn't really think too much of it. As the night came to a close I packed up my stuff and headed home to download and edit my photos.

When I got home I was very curious to see what types of shots I got from the Trigg/Lawler fight (since that was the main event and there was a lot of action). I quickly found "the shot" and viewed it at full resolution, HOLY SMOKES! This was my ultimate goal, a nice crisp, clean shot with blood and sweat spraying everywhere.

It's been 4 years since that shot was taken and I still get questions and comments about it. In my opinion this shot was a defining moment in my MMA Photography career.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Website Is Live!

After much contemplation, I decided to revamp my website. I’m not really an HTML, CSS, or coding wizard, and I’m basically too cheap to pay someone to do it for me. I ended up using Smugmug to host my site, and modified their existing template to come up with what you see. The site is a work in progress and there are still some changes that I’d like to make, but it will have to do for now.

I hope you enjoy the huge full screen slide show on the home page. I was browsing various photography sites for ideas and came across a couple with full screen slide shows, and decided that I needed to have one for my site. I’ll be adding more images to this slide show so check back often.

Another change that I made to this site, is the ability to purchase electronic versions of photos that are available for immediate download. I’ve come to the realization that people want the ability to download digital versions of photos so that they can print them, email them to friends and family, or post them to their social media networks. Now in addition to purchasing prints, you can also purchase digital downloads.

The last major change that I made to this site is the selection of Bay Photo Lab ( to handle all of my printing. Although slightly more expensive than other services, Bay Photo is known for their color accuracy and consistency. All prints come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, just let me know if you are not satisfied and I’ll have them reprinted or refund your money.

I hope you enjoy the new site, please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements, I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Welcome To My Blog

For some reason that I'm still not sure of, I've decided to add a blog to my website. I'm also not quite sure what I'll be blogging about, but in most instances it will relate to photography, MMA, or both. I'll try and update this blog at least once a week, so check back often and be sure to comment on my posts!