Photographing a golf tournament amid 67mph winds and near horizontal rain is quite the challenge (all be it quite fun!). However, after 72 holes of gloomy skies and pretty flat light for photography (see first picture of Welsh golfer Lydia Hall as an example of the inclement weather conditions) the cold, wet and wind was all made worth while by a sensational sunset as the winner, South Korean Jiyai Shin, strolled down the 18th fairway to sink the winning putt and seal victory. The spectacular colours in the sky made for some of my favourite golf photos I’ve ever taken.
The beautiful Buckinghamshire Golf Course played host to the Ladies British Masters, one of the top tournaments on the Ladies European Tour featuring top name players including Laura Davies, Melissa Reid and Carly Booth.
I was commissioned to photograph the event by a Portuguese golfing magazine who coincidentally happen to sponsor the eventual winner, a Welsh talent named Lydia Hall. Below are some photos from the event.
The beach volleyball at the London 2012 Olympics was surely situated at one of the most spectacular venues with both photographers and television in mind. The purpose built 15,000 seater arena overlooking Whitehall with breathtaking views of iconic landmarks such as the London Eye, Westminster, and the newly completed Shard truly showcased London to the world. The sport and (half time dancers!) on show wasn’t too bad either!
With everyone raving about Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks hitting a relatively rich vein of form, I thought now was as good a time as ever to post this recent panoramic I shot of Madison Square Gardens, home of the Knicks and the New York Rangers.
Last week, I spent a few days photographing Killeen Castle, just outside of central Dublin, which will play host to the 2012 Solheim Cup in a few weeks. The Solheim is the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup and already extensive preparations were being made with grandstands being erected and scoreboards being prepped.
You certainly can’t forget you’re in Ireland at Killeen. With it’s Shamrock shaped Bunkers, the Jack Nicklaus designed course centres around a magnificent 13th Century Celtic castle which you approach up the last. The course recently hosted the women’s Irish Open and is replete with photographic water features and challenging doglegs proving a stiff test even to the most proficient golfer.
You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about my first feature published for “Middle East Golfer” (a magazine with a circulation of over a million people) from a shoot where I got to photograph gorgeous tree-lined fairways bursting with fall color in the late autumnal sun. This month the editors set me an all together more challenging task by asking me to follow up with a similar feature but, this time shoot a course in the snow in mid-December. Indeed, photographing a golf course in Winter was a daunting proposition at first given the mass expanse of sheer whiteness, lack of definition in the landscape, freezing temperatures and perhaps most importantly the absence of any golf buggy to carry me and my equipment around in!
Consequently, I spent a few hours traipsing around the course on foot with my tripod slung over one shoulder and my lenses over another trying to find interesting perspectives or unusual angles that could bring the course to life even in the depths of Winter. Unfortunately, on the day of the shoot there was little to no sunshine which only added to the flatness of the scene. I therefore deemed it necessary to draw out detail and accentuate shadow, highlight and contrast by employing HDR on this Winter, tundra landscape. The temperature was approximately 10 degrees Fahrenheit which, meant that I was trying to work fast as I knew a cup of hot chocolate was waiting for me back in the club house. Therefore, after shooting a series of panoramas and bracketing my exposures as much as I could while out in the field, I headed back to the warmth of the club house to defrost; whilst there I was also lucky enough to sample and photograph some of the food on offer for the feature.
Below are the sample pages from the resultant spread in the magazine. Enjoy!
This weekend, I was fortunate enough to shoot the last Michigan home game of the 2010 football home season – a 48-28 victory for the Wisconsin Badgers over the Michigan Wolverines in front of a crowd of over 112,000 at the Big House. It was a gorgeous, November day in Ann Arbor with temperatures right around the 40s and bright blue, sunny skies. Here’s a selection of my best shots from the day. No photos may be used without prior written permission:
This weekend, I shot one of my favorite events of the year and surely one of the craziest sporting events that you are ever likely to see. Known as the ‘Mudbowl’, this annual tradition at the University of Michigan is a inter-fraternal football match for charity with a twist – the game takes place in a huge pit of squelchy mud! All the rules are the same but, there are no helmets just unrestrained tackles and resultant carnage. At half time, there is also a short game between two of the sororities; as you can imagine seeing college girls play football in the mud provides ample entertainment to the hoards of semi-intoxicated students lining the hills to watch the event.
The flailing mud, raucous fans and competitive spirit of the event made for fantastic photographs (as long as I kept my gear out of the dirt!). The Mudbowl also raises money for a great cause, the U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and has already amassed over $20,000. Enjoy the photos! You can click directly on any of the photographs to view them larger.
I’ve been in chilly Johannesburg for just over a week and have been fortunate enough to shoot five World Cup games already including Brazil, Argentina, Holland and the USA. Despite the sub-zero temperatures, the warmth of the South African people along with the festivities created by the enthusiastic fans of the 32 teams involved, has meant that my first week has flown past. The dulcet sound of the vuvuzela which, sound like a huge swarm of bees continually swirling around you for 90 minutes is beginning to irritate me a little but, has done little to dampen my excitement every time I step foot onto one of the pitches.
The main media centre is like a five-star hotel equipped with restaurants, bars, Sony 3D TVs and plenty of other amenities; they even have a Canon and Nikon desk where photographers can rent bodies, lenses and other equipment for free for the duration of the games.
Yesterday, I shot a game with two Nikon D3x, with each camera costing five times my airfare here! It has been an amazing experience and an opportunity that allows me to combine my two main passions of football and photography. Despite England’s incredibly slow and lamentable start to the tournament, being involved so intimately in the largest sporting event on the planet is something that I will never forget. I can’t write a long blog post as I’m on my way to the Brazil vs Ivory Coast game at Soccer City tonight but, below are some photos of some of the games I’ve covered so far. Sorry there a little small as my blog has been playing up but, I’m working to get it fixed.
Last weekend, I visited Cardiff for my younger sister’s graduation. Whilst there I decided to take a tour of the Millennium Stadium, one of the premier multi-purpose stadiums in Europe. The venue has now been open ten years and has witnessed Rugby World Cup Finals, FA Cup Finals and many sold-out music concerts. On entering the stadium, I was initially a little disappointed to see that the pitch had been taken up and replaced by a speedway track for an event occurring later in the month. However, after shooting some panoramics I changed my tune; the grey concrete floor seems to provide the whole image with a more urban and contemporary feel. The images below are composites stitched together using both Photoshop and Photomatix. All images have been shot with a Nikon D300 and 18-200 VR lens. Now, I now want to make another trip to the stadium for a game!
The view from the second tier as the stadium is prepared for a Speedway event. The supports on the far right hand side of this shot are part of the former stadium that stood on the same site.
The view from the Royal Box.