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2016 Masters


One thing that I like shooting is golf.  It is very easy to shoot golfers since there isn’t a lot of movement, you can angle yourself to get a perfect shot, and there is normally plenty of light.

It’s not just golfers though, if you can get on a nice track you can shoot some great holes.  Golfers always want picturesque views of their favorite holes, their favorite courses, or memorable shots.

Of course it’s tough to get any good shots of a place like Augusta since they are so hardcore on not letting any cameras or cell phones on the grounds.  Other Tour events are not so stringent though.  Especially during the practice rounds you can get out there and the players are typically fairly relaxed.

So I always pay attention what is going on in the PGA Tour.  This week is the Masters and the defending champion Jordan Spieth is one of the favorites at 17/2.  The favorite though is Jason Day at 13/2, just slightly ahead of Rory McIlroy at 8/1.  View the complete Masters odds at Boyds Bets.

Personally I’m a big fan of Jordan Spieth.  He was even runner-up to Bubba Watson back in 2014 and I think he will be right there in it again this year.  The kid has talent that’s for sure, but he also is so mentally prepared for each round.  Plus, he seems like a genuine nice guy.  Someone who has a tenacious desire to be the best in the business.


That’s why he’s the favorite at the US Open in June too.  He won last year in Seattle when Dustin Johnson kind of blew it down the stretch.  Rory is also up there at 6/1, Day at 8/1, but then Fowler (16/1), Scott (16/1), Rose (18/1), and DJ (18/1) seem to be a tier below.

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of golf.  I did like it when Tiger was dominating the sport and setting all kinds of records.  There really has never been and might never be any one as good as he was in his prime.

However, now we have a stable of phenoms.  All the best players are in the thirties. Unfortunately, none of them have really had a great head-to-head battle in a major yet.  Rory has won his in going away fashion.  Spieth was the Masters going away and got help from DJ in the US Open.  Day won in a blowout at the PGA.

I’m hoping that these players will continue to stay healthy and compete at a high level for years to come.


Tips on Photographing Sports

1. Camera Settings

When you are photographing sports you want to make sure your camera is setup for burst mode to keep up with the movements of all of the players.

Have the focus mode to AI servo made.  This is best for continuous movement and panning.

Ensure your focal points are active.  This will give you the optimum chance of focusing on who has the ball.

Aperture Priority mode helps deal with a really fast game.  You need to pay attention to exposure rather than having to worry about toggling the shutter speed yourself.

2. File Format

For the file format I always use .jpg instead of RAW.  You are taking a lot of shots so you want maximum buffer speed.  When shooting soccer parents who purchase the photos are more worried about capturing a quality moment over the quality of the image.

3.  Lens Setting

You must have a image stabilizer on your lens.  Mode 1 is only for still subjects so it won’t perform as well as Mode 2.  Have the focusing distance range set to 3m to Infinity for the fastest focusing possible.

4.  Sun Position

Make sure the sun is to your back when shooting.  This means that you are going to have to move around the field in order to capture good shots of all the players.

When the sun is at your back it will ensure you have maximum shutter speed without worrying about exposure on the faces of the players.

A good idea is to shoot one team during the first half and then in the second half switching which team you shoot.  Typically the teams switch sides at halftime so this allows you to get both squads.

5.  Get Their Face

The best shots in soccer all include a players face.  If you see their back, then it’s not going to turn out as good.  It’s really important that their eyes are in the shot.

6.  Include the Ball

The second thing you want in every shot is the ball.  This really gives a nice reference to what the player is doing in the photo.  Everyone would rather have a photo of them with the ball in the frame.

7.  Wear a Photographer Vest

A noticeable vest in either yellow or orange will help you stand out.  This will help parents pull you aside if they want something specific and you can try to accommodate them.  It does get a little annoying at times but it definitely helps to increase your sales.

What To Know Before Becoming a Pro Photographer

Do you want to give your own photography business a go?  Yeah!  I’m happy for you, but I also want you to be prepared for what’s to come.

You’ll have your ups and downs.  You’ll make bad decisions.  You will have to endure negativity.

But, if you are like me, you’ll love it.  You’ll love your clients.  You’ll love the stress and excitement of shooting someone’s important day.  You’ll love the accomplishment you feel when sharing images.

Here’s what you need to know before going out on your own.

Image the Worst Case

Imagine what is the worst thing that could possibly happen in any situation.  Then be ok with that outcome.  If you can do that then you know what you are risking.  You can temper your emotions if things go sour.

What’s the worse thing that can happen going out on your own?  You fail.  You have to go back to working a “real” job.  You might lose some money.  More than likely you will be fine.  Your kids will be fine.  Hopefully your spouse is supportive of you giving something you care about a go.

Mistakes Happen

You are going to make mistakes.  The key is always to learn from them.  The only real bad mistake is one that you make more than once.  Learn your lesson, take your medicine, and move on.  If you don’t make any mistakes that means you are not pushing yourself as much as you should be.

Make Decisions

Trust me, the worst thing you can do is be inactive.  If you have a decision to make go with your gut.  Of course you want to be informed, but once you have all the information required make a decision and run with it.  There are few things in life that you can’t back out of.  There are few decisions that are permanent.  Realize that and don’t eat up too much time on every single decision you are faced with.

Not Everything is Exciting

Sure a wedding day or a big sporting event can be exciting to shoot.  But, it’s just as important when you sit in front of the computer and work on your images.  Not everything is going to be fun.  It’s not all exciting.  Some of it is grinding work.  But you have to do it.  If you don’t think you can handle that then you aren’t cut out for this work.

Can you handle that kind of self-discipline?  Can you still grind it out when it’s not fun?  If you need someone holding you responsible then going out on your own might not be the best decision.


© 2016 Maksim Kalanep. All rights reserved.