Covering the Copa America Centenario

For the first time ever the Copa America was held in the United States.  Typically held in South America, the Copa America is an international soccer tournament played every 4 years.  This year was the 100th anniversary of the trounament - The Centeario.  I was lucky enough to cover a lot of games for a wire service.  Here are some of my favorites from the tournament as well as a few behind the scenes shots of what it was like and what I used to cover the games (scroll to the bottom).

Fans getting ready for the game at MetLife Stadium.  Nikon D3s 24-70 2.8

Fans getting ready for the game at MetLife Stadium.  Nikon D3s 24-70 2.8

PAOLO GUERRERO celebrates a goal with teammates - Nikon D3s - 70-200mm 2.8

PAOLO GUERRERO celebrates a goal with teammates - Nikon D3s - 70-200mm 2.8

Edison Cavani heads the ball over a Venezuelan defender. - Nikon 200 D4s 200-400mm f4

Edison Cavani heads the ball over a Venezuelan defender. - Nikon 200 D4s 200-400mm f4

Arturo Vidal celebrating a goal. - Nikon D3s 70-200mm 2.8

Arturo Vidal celebrating a goal. - Nikon D3s 70-200mm 2.8

Bolivia goalkeeper CARLOS LAMPE (1) makes a save against Chile forward EDUARDO VARGAS (11) - Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Bolivia goalkeeper CARLOS LAMPE (1) makes a save against Chile forward EDUARDO VARGAS (11) - Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Ecuador forward ENNER VALENCIA (13) celebrates the first goal of the game. The light reflecting off the glass press box was amazing.  I could under expose the background and have the images almost look lit. Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Ecuador forward ENNER VALENCIA (13) celebrates the first goal of the game.
The light reflecting off the glass press box was amazing.  I could under expose the background and have the images almost look lit.
Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Haiti defender STEPHANE LAMBESE (6) heads the ball.  Another image where I was taking advantage of the light reflecting off the glass press box.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Haiti defender STEPHANE LAMBESE (6) heads the ball.  Another image where I was taking advantage of the light reflecting off the glass press box.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Leo Messi walking out for warm ups.  Nikon D4s 70-200mm f2.8

Leo Messi walking out for warm ups.  Nikon D4s 70-200mm f2.8

Argentina midfielder JAVIER MASCHERANO (14) block a shot on goal by Venezuela forward JOSE SALOMON RONDON  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Argentina midfielder JAVIER MASCHERANO (14) block a shot on goal by Venezuela forward JOSE SALOMON RONDON  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Even the "Pope" turned out to watch Argentina.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Even the "Pope" turned out to watch Argentina.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

In camera Multiple exposure of Leo Messi during a corner kick.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.  Lean against the video board to hold a still as possible.

In camera Multiple exposure of Leo Messi during a corner kick.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.  Lean against the video board to hold a still as possible.

Colombia goalkeeper DAVID OSPINA (1) stops a shot during penalty kicks after full time.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Colombia goalkeeper DAVID OSPINA (1) stops a shot during penalty kicks after full time.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Colombia teammates kneel together as they wait for the penalty kicks to decide the game.

Colombia teammates kneel together as they wait for the penalty kicks to decide the game.

James Rodriguez takes a Penalty Kick.   Nikon D800 Sigma wide angle lens.  F5.6 fired remote with Pocket wizards.  

James Rodriguez takes a Penalty Kick.   Nikon D800 Sigma wide angle lens.  F5.6 fired remote with Pocket wizards.  

Colombia celebrates the win over Peru.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Colombia celebrates the win over Peru.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Arturo Vidal heads the ball.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Arturo Vidal heads the ball.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Alexis Sanchez surveying the field.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Alexis Sanchez surveying the field.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Javier Mascherano celebrates his PK.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Javier Mascherano celebrates his PK.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Leo Messi upset after the loss to Chile.  Nikon D3s 70-200mm f2.8

Leo Messi upset after the loss to Chile.  Nikon D3s 70-200mm f2.8

Chile celebrates winning the championship!  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Chile celebrates winning the championship!  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4.

Chile celebrates the Copa Final win.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Chile celebrates the Copa Final win.  Nikon D4s 200-400mm f4

Copa America Centenario Champions Chile!  Nikon 70-200mm f2.8

Copa America Centenario Champions Chile!  Nikon 70-200mm f2.8

Copa behind the Scenes.  I used the following gear:

Cameras: Nikon D4s - Nikon D3s - Nikon D800.  The D4s was my main body and the D3s wasa 2nd.  i used the D800 mainly as a remote camera.  It was not the best for a remote.

Lenses - Nikon 200-400mm f4, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

My basic work station.  Macbook pro with photo mechanic ready to go.  Memory card readers already connected for uploading cards.

My basic work station.  Macbook pro with photo mechanic ready to go.  Memory card readers already connected for uploading cards.

Another view of the work station.

Another view of the work station.

Camped out in my spot behind the video boards.  Manfrotto monopod for the 200-400mm.

Camped out in my spot behind the video boards.  Manfrotto monopod for the 200-400mm.

Nikon D800 with Sigma wide angle lens on a remote ground plate.  Remote camera set up.  I also put the pocket izard on top for a better signal.

Nikon D800 with Sigma wide angle lens on a remote ground plate.  Remote camera set up.  I also put the pocket izard on top for a better signal.

Castle Hill Lighthouse | Newport RI

  • Wake up 3am.
  • Drive 2 hrs. (Catch up on podcasts on the drive)
  • Find location.
  • Wait for great light.
  • Repeat!

Even though the sky was quite boring it was still fun to get up find a new location!  At least some fishermen joined me to add a bit of scale to the image.

Castle Hill Lighthouse | Newport RI. 

Castle Hill Lighthouse | Newport RI. 

Self portrait (attempt at least)

Self portrait (attempt at least)

Adventure Sports Photography | Lake Wenatchee, WA

I spent the last week of 2015 in the Lake Wenatchee area of Washington filming for the American Ninja Warrior show.  The snow was waist deep, the air was cold, and the light was great!  Here are some images of the area.  

Sunset at Lake Wenatchee after a day of "Fat Biking"

Sunset at Lake Wenatchee after a day of "Fat Biking"

Southern point of Lake Wenatchee

Southern point of Lake Wenatchee

Snoqualmie Region of Washington

Snoqualmie Region of Washington

Endurance athlete Kyle Durand on a lake side trail run in the Snoqualmie Region of Washington

Endurance athlete Kyle Durand on a lake side trail run in the Snoqualmie Region of Washington

MLS & NASL Soccer | Sports Photography

Soccer is by far my favorite sport to watch and cover.  It is tough work to shoot soccer no matter how much I enjoy watching the action.  Standing in torrential rain after a 5 hour train ride can make for a long day.  A long fun day!  Here are my favorite images from the last few games I shot this year. 

NYCFC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | Yankee Stadium | MLS

Andrea Pirlo eyeing up the set piece | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

Andrea Pirlo eyeing up the set piece | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

Mix Diskerud cutting through the mid-field | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

Mix Diskerud cutting through the mid-field | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

David Villa | Nikon D3s f/4 1/500 300mm

David Villa | Nikon D3s f/4 1/500 300mm

RJ Allen fighting for the ball | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

RJ Allen fighting for the ball | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1,000 300mm

Josh Saunders greeting fans after the game at Yankee Stadium | Nikon D3s f/4 1/800 16mm

Josh Saunders greeting fans after the game at Yankee Stadium | Nikon D3s f/4 1/800 16mm

Patrick Mullins waves to fans after the game at Yankee Stadium | Nikon D3s f/4 1/800 16mm

Patrick Mullins waves to fans after the game at Yankee Stadium | Nikon D3s f/4 1/800 16mm

NY Cosmos vs. Atlanta Silverbacks | James Shuart Stadium | NASL

Carlos Mendes surveys the field | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1000 300mm

Carlos Mendes surveys the field | Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1000 300mm

D.C. United vs. NYCFC | RFK Stadium | MLS

NYCFC-0801.jpg
NYCFC-2585.jpg

NY Cosmos vs. FC Edmonton | James Shuart Stadium | NASL

Shooting Fish | Sports Photography

2015 marked my 5th year working with the Bridgeport Bluefish baseball team.  The Bluefish play in the Atlantic League which is an independent professional baseball league.  Independent league baseball is a great way to see a game and allows fans to have greater access to professional baseball.  The players easily approachable and the stadiums are allow for great views of the game.  The image below is from the Atlantic League All Star game in July of this year.  The clouds rolling through made for a great game atmosphere.

Nikon D3s f/4 1/2500 ISO 400 16mm

Nikon D3s f/4 1/2500 ISO 400 16mm

Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/500 ISO 400 300mm  |  Shunsuke Wanatabe pitching from the dirt.

Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/500 ISO 400 300mm  |  Shunsuke Wanatabe pitching from the dirt.

Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 400 300mm   Action at 2nd base during the Independent League All Star Game

Nikon D3s f/2.8 1/1000 ISO 400 300mm  
Action at 2nd base during the Independent League All Star Game

Looking for Light | Travel Photography

Sometimes you haul lots of gear out to create beautiful light.  Sometimes you wake up super early in the morning to seek out the first light of the day.  Sometimes you walk around with a friend, have a cup or coffee, and find a security guard standing in the right spot long enough for you to pull out the camera.  Sometimes in rains!

Fuji X100s f/4 1/250 23mm

Fuji X100s f/4 1/250 23mm

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. | Editorial Sports Photography

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson

I met Jamal, boxer pictured below, at a Starbucks.  He was looking at some videos from his latest fight.  I asked him about the match and we got to talking about training and all things boxing.  It turns out Jamal was looking to update his promotional images and was working with a writer on a story about his family and boxing.  A few weeks later we were in the gym.  

I brought 3 lights, 1 Nikon SB800 & 2 Nikon SB600 flashes, 3 light stands and a few modifiers.  I planned a couple of 3 light setups and was excited to see how they would turn out.  I also brought 4 pocket wizard flex units and a couple of leaking batteries. Down to 2 pocket wizards I had to adjust.  Luckily, I could put the SB800 into slave mode and was able to fire the SB600 from the pocket wizards.  Having to adjust your plan means working smarter and still making things work.  I didn't get punched in the face but seeing gear go down still hurts a bit.  

Nikon D3s f/3.5 1/160 ISO 200 50mm

Nikon D3s f/3.5 1/160 ISO 200 50mm

Nikon D3s f/4 1/60 ISO 200 50mm

Nikon D3s f/4 1/60 ISO 200 50mm

Nikon D3s f/5.6 1/250 ISO 200 50mm

Nikon D3s f/5.6 1/250 ISO 200 50mm

The Golden Pavilion | Kinkakuji in Kyoto

Kinkakuji (The Golden Pavilion) is a Zen Temple in northern Kyoto whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.  The temple is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond with hills and gardens at the rear.  When coming here for photography be aware that they do not allow tripods or monopods.  Temple security is very diligent in looking for people breaking the rules especially in this location.  There is, however, a large wooden fence just at the edge of the pond. I was able to rest my arms and camera on the ledge.  You will have to be patient as you fight through the crowd of DSLR and selfie stick carry tourists to get a good spot.  Best to get here when the temple first opens.

Nikon D3s 24mm f/8 1/320 ISO 200

Nikon D3s 24mm f/8 1/320 ISO 200

Crowds at Kinkakuji - iPhone 6 plus

Crowds at Kinkakuji - iPhone 6 plus

One of my favorite ways to explore a city is by bike.  It is a great way to get around quickly and still have the option to easily stop and check out a location.  I make use of bikes a lot especially in a city like Kyoto.  For a few dollars you can pick up a mamachari bike outside of most train stations or any busy areas.

Nikon D3s 16mm f/22 1/20 sec.  Following my friend Rich on our mamachari bikes.

Nikon D3s 16mm f/22 1/20 sec.  Following my friend Rich on our mamachari bikes.

Jeep in Aruba

My plan is to post images on a weekly bases with a short write up of where, why and how the images was made.   Lets see if I can really do it on a weekly basis.

The image above was made in Aruba while on vacation.  My wife and I had rented a jeep the previous day to head out to the natural bridge and pools along the north coast.  The day the jeep was due back I headed out before sunrise to grab some morning light.  There were a lot of places that grabbed my attention from the previous day.  Parked the jeep along the coast with a goal of making my own Jeep ad.  I was shooting with a Fuji X100s with the wide angle converter.  For a tripod I used a gorilla pod and some strategically paced rocks.

North coast of Aruba | Fuji X100s  ISO 200 19mm f/16 .5sec

North coast of Aruba | Fuji X100s  ISO 200 19mm f/16 .5sec