FC Dallas vs New England Revolution

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Life has had me in it’s firm grip and between work, family, activities and projects, I’m left with little time to shoot. I finally sprang for a new telephoto zoom lens, so I thought I’d put it through it’s paces. What better could there be than some night action (sports!) photography and some FC Dallas Futbol? I took the Canon 7D and the 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM to the FC Dallas Game on Saturday night, where they played New England. Needless to say, I’m pleasantly surprised with the performance of the lens, in spite of the fact that it is not a fast lens, the quality of photos exceeded my expectation, regardless of the noise I had to remove due to the high ISO setting required. I’m going back soon to see more FC Dallas games, so I’ll try the 6D next time.

Here are some highlights of the evening:

Queen for a Day

A happenstance capture of the most coincidental of moments…and an XTC song comes to mind of the same title, thus the inspiration for the caption.

Canon EOS 6D, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM @ f/4, 1/800, ISO 100

Canon EOS 6D, EF 50mm f/1.4 USM @ f/4, 1/800, ISO 100

Capturing Rare Things

I set my alarm for 2am this morning in order to capture this rare moon phenomenon known as “the Blood Moon”. I didn’t expect it to be so difficult to capture a good shot, but I had the holy trinity of camera limitations working against me: Superzoom lens, f/6.3 @ 500mm and a lunar eclipse (no light!), which meant some crazy long shutter speeds at a reasonable ISO setting. My first few shots were terribly blurry and at 2am out of a dead sleep, things don’t come quickly in the brain. A few seconds of pondering and the light went off…duh…15 seconds captures a lot of motion. I had to resort to cranking up the ISO and more than I would have liked, but it allowed me to get the shutter down to around 1 second and with some post processing, I got the worst of the noise out and things came out okay. The best shot was obviously the full moon prior to the eclipse.

I had hoped for better, but hey, every new subject and environment is a learning opportunity. What did I learn? I don’t get paid enough to buy the glass I really need!

Outdoor Adventures

This set of photos is from a trip last weekend to the frigid winter of the central Appalachians to commence a now annual event with some lifelong friends. We have coined the moniker “Man Weekend” (somebody just said it and it stuck, as cliche-ish as it is). Every year for the past 5, we’ve gathered in some rustic outdoor location to spend a long weekend hanging out and catching up. We do this mostly in memory of a fallen member of our circle, who’s life was cut short a few years ago in a cycling accident involving a motor vehicle.

This year’s spot (and for the last 3) was the Red River Gorge. This little gem of a recreational area is on the northern edge of the Daniel Boone National Forest, in central Kentucky. It’s a beautiful area, filled with geologic formations and deep forested valleys full of wildlife. It’s a hiker’s and climber’s paradise with literally hundreds of miles of trails and seemingly infinite climbing spots. There are very sparse accomodations in the way of rustic cabins with rather spartan appointments, inclusive of minimal heat and hot water, but it makes the adventure a bit more real. It makes for a great getaway and “reset” from life – chuck some things in a bag and go literally “off the grid” for a few days. There is no television, cellular service or wifi once you enter the 1/4 mile long tunnel into the gorge just outside of Slade, Kentucky, so once in, you’re a bit of a captive audience to nature and the environment. I loaded up my iPad with books and magazines, took a fair amount of camera gear and spent the 4 days hiking and shooting with my longtime friends. When we weren’t hiking, we ate simply, yet well and spent the remaining hours of the days playing cards, telling and reliving the same old stories from days gone past (remember that time on the spring training camp when Travis…). We simply enjoyed the camaraderie that we once had and all miss since life and it’s complexities got the best of us in some ways.

This was an exceptionally good year, in spite of the fact that the weather was atrocious (highs in the low 30′s and lows in the teens) because for me, this year served as a bit of a “detox” of my recent diet and gave me time to ponder a great many things – most notably how unique our friendships are and the importance of maintaining them.

Here are some of the better shots I captured over the weekend. Enjoy!

Bokeh-licious

It’s been a while since I last posted. Life sometimes has a way of “getting in the way” and that’s where I’ve been the last few weeks. With the holiday season upon us, I took the opportunity to experiment with my latest lens – the perennial favorite of a great many photographers – the Canon 50mm f/1.4. I purposely blew out the focus to get that beautiful round bokeh of which this lens is more than capable. I cannot wait to further exploit this lens. Happy Holidays! -GW

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM,  f/1.4, 1/200, ISO 800

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM, f/1.4, 1/200, ISO 800

World Endurance Championships (WEC) at Circuit of the Americas

It’s been a couple of weeks since the event and since I posted the first day of racing – the American LeMans Series at COTA, Austin, Texas on September 21, 2013. I took a ridiculous number of photos at the weekend’s event and it’s taken me this long to get though them all.

This set is exclusively from the Sunday Main Event – the WEC 6-hour endurance race. I found some good vantage points throughout the day and captured over 1300 photos. These represent the best ones either from a composition, technical or artistic perspective.

Click “Event Photos” at the top of the site, or the link below.

WEC Six-hour Endurance Race – The Main Event

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 135mm, f/4, 1/6400, ISO 400

Canon EOS 7D, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM @ 135mm, f/4, 1/6400, ISO 400

New Window on the World

I made investment in a new tool this week – a longer telephoto lens to use in those cases where I need something longer than 200mm. I’m finding more often, a need for longer focal lengths, whether it’s at the weekly soccer matches, the race track, or out in nature capture things from afar. Here is my first workout with the new beast – the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM – (eventually I am certain they will manage to incorporate the entire alphabet in the name of a lens).

Tonight’s subject – the waxing gibbous moon in the southern sky, high overhead at 12 o’clock. I’m anxious to get out early and catch it coming up over the horizon at the next full moon.

Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM @ 500mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO 200

Canon EOS 7D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM @ 500mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO 200