Friday, January 6, 2012

My Inspiration Pt 2 - Sports Shooter Academy

  I was privileged enough to be accepted to the Sports Shooter Academy VIII Workshop Sept 21st – 24th in Orange County, CA.  This workshop consists of 4 days of shooting real sporting events in So Cal such as water polo, lacrosse, volleyball, soccer, surfing, tennis, cross country and boxing. One word to describe the event is hardcore. There were about 50 students selected for this workshop and an incredible faculty line up Matt Brown, Southern California-based freelance photographer, Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times, Rod Mar, Seattle-based freelance photographer, John W. McDonough, Sports Illustrated, Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Jordan J. Murph, Sports Illustrated Crystal Chatham, Palm Spring Desert Sun, Shawn Cullen Sports Illustrated and Susaníca Tam, Southern California freelance photographer.  

Day 1
  We learned about remotes from the experts Shawn Cullen and Jordan Murph. Shawn and Jordan set up remotes for NCAA, NBA, games etc.  I am still learning, but I may try some floor remotes during soccer season. Thanks Shawn and Jordan for the lesson!

  In the afternoon, we headed to the event we choose to shoot for that day.  I wanted to try Tennis since I never had shot the sport before.  I rented the 500mm from Nikon and I have to say this thing is heavier and bigger than me.  Tennis is quiet challenging with this lens.

Photo by Jordan Murph
  We headed back to the hotel to work on our loose edits and submitted 3 of our best photos. 

Day 2
  Class: Marketing and the Internet, Matt Bailey (liveBooks) and Working with SIDs and Art Directors Mike Greenlee (CSUF). The sessions were very informative and helpful.

  After the class sessions, a group of us headed out to Lacrosse other classmates headed out to beach volleyball and boxing. Nikon ran out of the long glass, so Michael Chen a fellow photog lent me his 200-400mm lens.  I am so happy Nikon representatives were at the workshop.  It is so cool to try different lenses especially the long glass.

  John W. McDonough spoke to us and said it just have fun with it.   

  Here are some of my photos. 

  After the shoot we went back to the hotel to receive feedback and critiques from the faculty on the photos we took. We were up until 1am almost every night.  It was a very long day, but worth the experience.

Day 3
  I did not really sign up for Cross Country in the morning, but I went ahead and tagged along to the event.  Everyone was setting up remotes everywhere; in the trees, by the lake, hidden in bushes, etc.  It was awesome! It was a good learning experience on how to set up remotes.

  After cross country, we headed out to a Volleyball game Cal State Fullerton vs. Cal Poly SLO. Yes it was a real match, so excited!  Matt Brown gave me some pointers and got the hang out it.  He mentioned to watch the players celebrate after the point. Shoot celebration and reactions, got it. Also, I remember everyone saying watch your background, do not take pics of the advertisement.  How amazing is it to shoot real sporting events and have professionals work along side you. I love it!  

  Once again we went back to work on our loose edits and submitted our top 3 photos for the slideshow.  At the end of the night, a few well actually half of our classmates hung out in the lobby to wind down and got to know each other. 

Photo by Jordan Murph
Day 4
  Can we say Football? This day was all about football.  Everyone in the class was on the field at the Santa Ana College vs. Palomar at Santa Ana College football game.  This game could not have been more exciting.  It even went into over time which meant more shooting time…YAY! The best part is watching the faculty jump up and down on the sidelines...classic!  
  I was having a difficult time shooting the game. I do not know if it was because I did not know the game or I could not carry the equipment up and down the field…OMG! I really wanted to give up, but an instructor saw that I was struggling and he picked me up well more like picked up my camera with the 400mm lens and walked me to the end zone. Matt gave me some pointers and told me to just concentrate on the quarterback and see where the passes are being thrown.  I told Matt I do not think I am built for this sport…I cannot even carry the equipment…LOL! I also shot along side Rod Mar Seattle Seahawks and Sounders photographer.   He said to me you better kneel during the game, because if you do not get out of the way when the players are coming this is what will happen.

Photo by Jack Megaw
Video by Myung J Chun 

  I have no idea how my fellow classmate Jack took this pic of me. I must have been entertaining. This was probably my favorite session.  I was able to shoot a Jr college football game and sit alongside professional photographers.  How amazing!

Photo by Ethan Klosterman

  We headed back one last time to sit with the faculty to get some feedback and revealed our top 3 photos.  Of course, the winners received prizes from our sponsors. Check out the winning shots here.  After the workshop, almost all of us met to say our good byes and have a few laughs. Everyone was so nice and supportive of each other. Since we did not have a group pic, Michael Chen and a few others decided to set up a remote in the hotel room. Here is the shot.

Photo by Felix Heder Trigger set up by Michael Chen

  I am so happy to have met this group of talented photographers and hopefully we will see each other again in this year’s Sports Shooter Academy IX.  Thank you SSA faculty for this incredible workshop! You have changed my life and motivated me to keep on learning! 


{debbie} said...

you're funny elaine... you truly live up to your "lil girl big cam" nickname... keep up with the momentum with your blogging!

Lil Mama Stuart said...

badass lacross pics! ;)