For fraternities in college, Bid Day is a special occasion which marks the end of recruitment for new members into the fraternity. Some colleges, such as Transylvania University, make an interesting spectacle out of the event. Fraternities parade with their painted colors, costumes, and flags to a common area and gather en masse to await run-outs. These new potential members, known formally as pledges, literally “run out” to their fraternity of choice to be swept up into the group of fellow future brothers and lifted into the air. What follows is a unified show of almost simultaneous excitement and anticipation; the fraternities are grouped very close together, so they often do not know which pledge will run to who until he is already barreling toward them.
All of the following were captured with the NEX-7 and Nikon 105mm f/1.8 AI-s (all shot at f/2.4 and ISO 100 as well), the same lens which I have fallen in love with ever since Holi Day this year due to its unique rendering of detail and depth-of-field separation even at a distance.
First up, the parades:
I guess my first excursions into sports photography this year will all be trials-by-fire. Following up my first time shooting soccer last week, I shot my first field hockey game this past weekend, and will be photographing indoor volleyball for the first time later this week!
I won’t lie, field hockey is a strange sport. It’s essentially ice hockey (which is interesting enough by itself), but with shorter sticks, a ball instead of a puck, and it’s played on short grass. Oh, and there’s no real pads or helmets, so players feel every push and shove from their adversaries. It isn’t as fast-paced as soccer, but when the ball gets in-between two players, chaos ensues—what I try to capture, in other words.
Conditions were bright and sunny for this match, helping keep ISOs low and shutter speeds very high. Harsh shadows are no match for Lightroom 4’s excellent shadow recovery tools. All the following taken with the NEX-7 and Nikon 180mm f/2.8 AI-s ED and Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED, two lenses I love more and more every day.
300mm, ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/1250
If you haven’t been able to tell from my recently lowered volume of posts lately, I’ve been busy. Classes getting into session and photography assignments are making it difficult to keep up with the website (such as working on the 36-72mm review). Fortunately, I still have a bit of time to share some of my assignments with everyone, such as the first soccer game of the 2012 season. Coincidentally, this was actually my first time photographing soccer. It’s a whole ‘nother ball game (no pun intended). Unlike baseball and basketball, where there are general areas I can pre-focus on to get near the action, soccer is quite literally all over the field. Let’s just say it is testing my manual focus skills, heavily. Though, I’m sure I’ll get much better as the season progresses and I get back into the swing of things. After all, it’s been 4 months since my last time photographing sports. Hopefully I’m just rusty. 🙂
All of the following taken with the NEX-7 and Nikon 180 or 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED. Lighting was dull due to clouds (it was actually spitting rain most of the time), but at least it made it easy to keep exposures consistent. 🙂
Eye on the Prize
300mm, ISO 100, f/3.2, 1/1000
THE BIG ONE
And this is with the hood retracted…
Well, I’ve finally gotten around to taking an in-depth look at my favorite lens, the monstrous Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s ED. This optic is not one to mess around with. Weighing in at over five and a half pounds, this 10+ inch chunk of metal and glass is NOT a walk-around lens (unless you are an odd body-building photographer). Just as how macro lenses are built to do particularly well up-close and wide-angle lenses do their best with landscapes, the 300mm f/2.8 is a special-purpose lens. If you have just now started following this site, I spent much of this past spring doing sports photography primarily with this 450mm field-of-view super telephoto . The fast (and useable) maximum aperture keeps ISOs down and shutter speeds high, freezing the action with less digital noise. And yes, sports photography with manual-focus equipment is even easier nowadays with great focus-assisting technologies. Other applications of this lens on APS-C could be tight head-shots and even a bit of close-up birding (good luck sneaking up on them). On m4/3, this lens would have a 600mm super telephoto field-of-view, great for birding and other wildlife.
The editing is done, the orders are filled, and I have finally gotten caught up with the thousands of photos captured over the past few months! It has been a lot of fun, really. Over the course of pretty much no time at all, I have gone from not having a clue to what I was doing, to today really starting to utilize the intricate features of my camera and lenses, quirks and all. I can only hope it keeps getting better from here. 🙂
This set contains some of my best captures from the last game of the season in particular, along with a little update at the end. All taken with the NEX-7 and Nikon 300mm f/2.8 AI-s. Enjoy!
300mm, ISO 100, f/2.8, 1/1250
Finally, another picture-centered article, none of making you all wait with preview posts! Conditions were very good today, allowing for fast shutter speeds, low ISOs, and great character from the players. I believe what I’m going to start doing now is getting half action shots, and half portraits of the players. I need to try to capture the emotion conveyed by the game, not just show all the speed and purely visual flair that is sure to get old if I continue only taking and showing those pictures. There’s only so many ways you can hit a ball, but there are so many more ways the batter and team can react to such a hit.
Anyways, enough rambling, enjoy some pictures. 🙂 All taken with the NEX-7 and Nikon 300mm f/2.8.
Well, he’s happy. 🙂
Ready to Go
Chucking it far from left field
At least we can share
You thought I would forget to add a sliding picture, didn’t you? 🙂
Will he make it?
Lot’s of pictures taken, but not a lot of time to look through and work with them. But that’s the nature of it, eh? You have to take what you can get, and see what stands out from the rest.
Anyways, going off of that, despite the lack of time to really do anything, I am making progress on my feature article, and hope to have some form of the Nikon 105mm f/1.8 review up sometime next week. Until then, thanks for looking, and remember to subscribe to be notified of more! Have a great one guys.
Not wanting to leave anyone out in the dark, but I have been super busy with taking, editing, and printing photos lately, and haven’t had a chance to get to finishing up my article for Steve Huff, or completing the Nikon 105mm f/1.8 AI-s quasi-formal review. Big things (and photos) are indeed coming, I just need to take time to make sure everything is looking good before I can relax and work on this site. Just to hold you over, here’s one of my best shots from the most recent game, and yes, you can call me partial to “sliding-in” shots:
Have a great one guys, looking forward to getting more stuff on here. 🙂