Other than a couple of my daughter's track meets, I haven't shot any sports photos since my days as the photographer for my high school's newspaper. Back then I shot with a Yashica twin-lens reflex, which had a fixed 80mm (normal) f/3.5 lens. It was a real challenge to shoot a night time football game on Tri-X film. Occasionally we photographers became part of the action when we weren't able to get out of the way of a tackle after getting the shot.

So I was a bit skeptical about what I'd be able to do at a youth league hockey game using my Fuji X-T1 and a 50-140mm f/2.8 lens. I figured the autofocus just wouldn't keep up with the action, so I used the same strategy I used in high school, focus on a particular spot and wait for the action to hit the mark. I also figured I wouldn't have much depth of field, but there was enough light at the rink that I was able to shoot f/4 with a shutter speed of 1/500 sec at ISO 6400. Since I was shooting black and white JPEGs, I didn't worry about sensor noise.

I was very surprised that I ended up shooting most of my photos at the short end of the zoom range. I needed the wider field to show enough of the scene to tell a story. The shorter focal length and my focus strategy seemed to work pretty well as a very high percentage of my shots were in focus. I think I made some pretty good action photos, and I had a great time. I plan on continuing to shoot as much as possible for the remainder of the season.

Bosque del Apache Workshop (Part 1)

As I mentioned in a recent post, last month Andi and I attended Rick Sammon's Bosque del Apache workshop. It was a great workshop in a beautiful locations, and we had a fantastic time.

We arrived a couple days before the workshop and spent some time going out to shoot on our own. One of the places we went was to the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array, near Magdelena, New Mexico. It was an awesome day in many ways, including the weather. We had sun, rain, sleet, snow, and hail! It was epic!

For an Arcanum photography challenge, I just post-processed ten photos from a single roll of film, and I chose a roll from our excursion to the VLA. Since I took the time to process and post the photos on The Arcanum site, I thought I'd go ahead and post them here, too.

By the way, Rick asked Andi and me to write a guest post for his weblog! I've written an initial draft and passed it along to Andi. I'm hopeful that she will polish it up, we'll add some photos, and get it to Rick in the near future. When that happens, I'll be sure to post something here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well.

Rocky Fork Metro Park

Yesterday Andi and I visited Rocky Fork Metro Park for the first time. We went with a group of people from the Columbus Creative Photographers Meetup Group. The weather cooperated by being mostly overcast with some structure in the clouds. The clouds didn't seem to be moving very quickly, so I didn't bring along a tripod to try to do long exposures. I did bring along both my Fuji X-T1 and my Nikon FM3A. For the Fuji I had my 50-140mm f/2.8 and 16mm f/1.4 lenses and used the former for almost all my photos. The Nikon had the 50mm f/1.8 lens on it, and that was all I used, although I did have a 28mm f/2.8 in my bag.

I wanted to make some photos that I could submit to the Metro Parks administration for potential use in their newsletters, brochures, etc., so I set up the X-T1 to shoot both raw and black and white JPEG photos. The photos shown here are all from the black and white JPEG set. I only shot about 2/3 of a roll of Ilford HP5+ film, so that is still in the camera waiting for the next adventure.

One More Favorite Image

A few days after selecting and posting My 2015 Top Ten Photographs, I decided there was one more that I wanted to include. Rather than go back and modify my original list, I'm just going to add it here.

I made this photo in New Mexico on the day before Rick Sammon's Bosque del Apache workshop started. Andi and I had arrived a couple days early and decided to drive over to the Very Large Array. It turned out to be a spectacular day for photography. We had sunshine, rain, hail, and snow. We ended up in one thunderstorm three times. The constantly changing weather and light was amazing.

New Mexico Thunderstorm. To fully appreciate the size of this storm, notice the building in the foreground.