January 31, 2010

Fixed Bag

I am partly proud because I'm posting twice in one day... but not too proud because today's earlier post should have been posted last night.

Anyways. News of the day:

The interview of Michael Zagaris is now up and available:


And correlating with that... the handle for my Airport International rolling bag came in and with some help from the dad guy we replaced my broken handle. I am back in rolling action!

Big kudos to Think Tank Photo and specifically Daniel Navarette for the timely replacement all under warranty! That is some awesome customer service!

And of course thanks to Mr. Fix It, the 5 minute warranty has expired and handle is still on, very promising!

Cal Women's Basketball vs Arizona State

Covered Cal Women's Basketball vs Arizona State yesterday. It was "kids day" so there were little kiddies everywhere. This was made more overwhelming because apparently Nick Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers, was performing with his new independent project band at Zellerbach right next door. This meant lots of teenyboppers were lined up near Haas (back door to Zellerbach) just hoping to catch a glimpse of him walking off his tour bus.

I would never want to be a paparazzi photographer... but I would like to see Nick Jonas. Game was at 2:30, I usually arrive ~hour early to turn on strobes, get set up, and be sure to catch intros. After waiting with the tweens for awhile, at 2:00 I gave up and headed into Haas... glad I did, because when I left at 5:30 they were still waiting. That's dedication!

This game I tried something different, for the second half I turned off the strobes in the backcourt... the idea was to have the player be lit but it stand out from a darker background instead of a lit court. I like the idea, but I don't think I'll do it again because it really made the differences in white balance funky.

Game was a bummer, with 2:38 left it was 61-57 Cal... final was 63-61, that's rough.

January 28, 2010

San Jose Earthquakes Head Shots

Midfielder - Arturo Alvarez

Headed over to the Oakland Coliseum today to photograph the San Jose Earthquakes. Their 2010 season is set to start March so they gotta have head shots for media guide, online roster, etc. I took head shots while John Todd took some action shots that you will soon be seeing on billboards across the bay area. Pretty cool!

One of the draft picks - Midfielder Justin Morrow

I was in this room that was more or less a hallway and a urinal with some lockers. The background just barely fit in the space. Took a picture of it with my iPhone.

My lil cubby hole I set up in =)

Also, got to sneak a peak in the Oakland A's weight room next door, and how exciting is this... they use the same brand equipment as the gym I go to. So I've concluded, I'm at the same level as a pro athlete ;-)

LifeFitness Machine

Head shots were fun as usual. Never worthy of a prize but a good solid photo that can get used and used for practical purposes. All the guys and staff were really nice.

Defender - Bobby Burling

Now I'm pumped up for their season, go Quakes!!

Goalkeeper - Joe Cannon

In other exciting news, they announced that Mexico will be playing Bolivia at Candlestick on February 24th. WooWoo! Hopefully I can get my credential set and shoot it =)

January 25, 2010

Meeting Michael Zagaris!!

Michael Zagaris and Marc Silber

Today I had a chance to meet legendary photographer, Michael Zagaris, the "Z-man." Marc Silber was interviewing him for silberstudios.tv. My job for the day was to photograph his prints so they had digital files to add to the video clips.

To me, Zagaris is such an idol, and even more so after today. I knew him as the photographer that got started shooting rock stars like the Rolling Stones and then ended up as team photographer for the San Francisco 49ers.

Before I go into detail of the day, let me tell you how it started:
Right as he opened the door to his home, before I had a chance to even introduce myself, the handle of my rolling camera bag broke, it just snapped off. So my bags went falling backwards down the 10 steps of stairs that lead to his house. In that millisecond I thought "oh my goodness, how embarrassing, I'm trying to make a good impression and just drop my gear down his stairs. I didn't have time to dwell on that though, because I tried to save my bag and in that effort, I slipped and I FELL DOWN THE STAIRS!! As my butt slammed onto the ground, I thought, Oh My God, I am mortified! It was like out of an over the top comedy movie... except it was real and it happened to me! I get up, "that was embarrassing" and Michael Zagaris is asking me if I'm ok and helping me pick up my stuff, then says "way to make an entrance"

Seriously... that is my life, that is my luck. Once I knew my gear and person were ok and was alone in the room where I would be photographing his prints, I just had to sit there and laugh at myself... and have been all day.

He comforted me with a story about shooting Lynrd Skynrd, and them being out of their minds on drugs and alcohol and falling over, ripping the canvas and taking down his set up shot... that would make me feel better... except I was 100% sober and am just a klutz. haha!

But moving on to Z-man himself:

Michael Zagaris

His first step in photography was when Eric Clapton asked to look at his images, thought they were great, said they will buy them and he should really be a photographer... then it all is history from there.

Today, I learned more of his incredible story of living the life of drugs and rock n roll of the 70s.

But, in his office hangs an incredibly moving poster. A photo of Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The photo is not by Zagaris but written on it is:
To my brother,
The Z Man,

The challenges are dynamic...
The struggle, therefore is perpetual-
And there are no final victories!

Dr Harry Edwards
"Olympic Project for Human Rights"
Mexico City Olympics

Incredible! Surrounded by rock stars and super stars who talk about the revelations they've made, drug induced or not. But this shows that he was living the life of awareness!

Such a cool dude!!

And here's the link to the video:


January 24, 2010

Men's Basketball vs Oregon State, Cal Swimming, and SF Tourism

What a busy day!!

Woke up early yesterday for Cal Men's Basketball vs Oregon State at 11am! Tracing backwards, arrive 10am, leave 9:30am, wake up 8:30am... on a Saturday! Had a jumbled schedule where I shot intros for Men's Basketball then headed immediately over to Swimming next door because it was senior day. Then Michael Pimentel and I swapped at half and I finished covering Men's Basketball.

I'm only contracted with GBS to shoot Football and Basketball so it's fun to shoot the less commercial sports. Cal Aquatics is such a great program. There are countless Olympians on both the men and women's team, including Gold Medalist Nathan Adrian. Former Cal Bear (and Dancing With the Starts contestant!!) Natalie Coughlin still trains at Cal and attends their meets. Didn't shoot any of the actual meet, but got to photograph the warm ups and introductions.

Cal Men's Basketball was exciting because Oregon State head coach is none other than brother of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, Craig Robinson. The awesome thing was he has his own secret service guy!! What a life, huh? You sign up for this secret service government job, and you get to go to College Basketball games!

Glad to see Jorge is back, even if he had little playing time and has to wear a giant brace.

Was a clear day, so here's some shots of the view from the top of the roof at Haas.

After both games I met up with my mom and her bestest buddy since kindergarten who was visiting. I drove them around the bay for a touristy day.

They are both trouble makers who had me drive around Treasure Island in places designated as "Evacuation Zone" where all the bay bridge construction is going on. Pretty cool to check out though.

My favorite shot, below, was just through the fence. I like how the bar splits the bridge but frames the city.

January 22, 2010

BKC: Cal defeat Oregon 89-57

What an awesome day! There are many things to be excited about. Some things are still "mums the word" but I will be able to share soon =) (email me if you are dying to know, just can't make 100% public)

Received an email today that ISI would like me to be "at the helm" of the coordinator/editor position for the upcoming MLS/WPS/US/International Soccer Season. This is a position I held last season May - November, though I continue to shoot for them still. It was great and I learned SO much about the photography (specifically sports) industry. It set me up working with some incredible photographers across the US. ISI guys I got to work with include:  Matt Brown, Howard Curtis Smith, Andrew KatsampesJose Argueta, Michael Janosz, Trent Davol, Wendy LarsenEric SalsberyRichard McEnery and many others! (If you aren't mentioned here it's because I couldn't find a link to your site, email me and let me know =))

I enjoyed coordinating the photographers and games. The bit that did not work for me was uploading. I had to grab photos off the FTP, edit captions, edit images, and then upload to the site and push out. I always want to do an excellent job and it stressed me out when uncontrollable elements (slow photogs, slow internet, slow site) interfered with my ability to do so. And sometimes being "on the desk" kept me from shooting! I finished out my contract, but expressed at the end I did not wish to continue. This season 80-90% should be able to upload direct!! I'm very happy that my effort was valued and that with new negotiations I can continue to be really involved in ISI. It's a GREAT company that is really the only reason I was able to step into this industry and has given me incredible opportunities that I can't figure out what good thing I did to deserve!

Jamal coming off the court

The third exciting bit was Cal Men's Basketball vs Oregon. Though it wasn't an intense back and forth to victory, the blowouts (89-57) are still enjoyable.

Nikola... if I tried to lean that much I would definitely fall over

guy came flying off court and scuffed up Jorge's shoe... not ok ;-)
why is Jorge still on bench? hope he's healthy soon

there's a new player!!

Nikola and PC being goofy

Fellow GBS shooter Michael Pimentel went up on the catwalk and got some INCREDIBLE shots. Check em out at: http://www.goldenbearsports.com/albums.php?albumId=762

Also exciting: my video from the Marc Silber show has now been posted:

I made my sister watch it first to let me know if it was even safe to watch... she laughed through the whole thing yet said it was good? I called my parents to watch, they said it was good... but that's taken with a grain of salt considering I could be picking my nose and they'd would say I did a good job.

But the MOST exciting part of today... I grabbed pizza with two of my favorite bay area photographers, Kyle Terada and Jose Carlos Fajardo. And look what Kyle brought me!

It's no secret Memo Ochoa is my favorite soccer player. Goalkeeper for Club America (at least until he goes to Europe) and for the Mexico National team. I won't go into detail, but yeah... this made my day!

January 20, 2010

BBC: Cal Baseball Head Shots

CRAZY weather today!! Hope everyone stayed safe and at least relatively dry... or was able to dry off later!

I had a cool opportunity to work with Marc Silber this morning. He's a bay area photographer who hosts an online show of photography tips and stories to help photographers, amateur to pro, learn how to advance their photography. Sponsored by SanDisk, silberstudios.tv, interviews people like Annie Leibovitz, Chase Jarvis and Ansel Adams grandson, wow! So he needed a photographer to shoot, not a full episode, but a little 3 min tip clip on shooting sports! Though I'm much better behind the camera, I love to share the passion for sports, so I got on the other side for a bit. Was an awesome experience and I'm excited/nervous to see the final product. Maybe I won't share the link because I'll be embarrassed by my man voice (accentuated by the cold I'm battling) and my general awkwardness in front of the camera

I left Silber Studios and headed directly to Berkeley through the rain to shoot Cal Men's Baseball head shots. After my site scouting at the batting cages, the SID was pretty set on the club room. But we only shot head shots so it wasn't too terrible. It started hailing and there was thunder and lighting so I figured it was not a safe idea to be outside with my flash on A GIANT METAL POLE! So I used on-camera flash. Least ideal situation, but Murphy's law really applied today.

On a cute note, after I packed up and was heading out the door, pitcher Kevin Miller walks in. I asked if I had already shot him or if he was just coming in... he apologized and said he was just entering. I didn't mind because I was running ahead of schedule so I asked him to hang out for a bit while I set up and it gave him just enough time to explain his day. Someone dropped a 10lb weight on his foot and he broke 2 toes, after recently being excited that he was finally healthy after hip surgery, then his class schedule got messed up, he's on the waitlist, which is manual, then he went to his car and had a flat tire, had to call his girlfriend to go wait with the car while AAA came, and he ran, in the rain, to head shots. I am SO GLAD I did not give him a hard time for being late! Poor guy, can't catch a break!

Team photo will have to be rescheduled :-(

January 19, 2010

Site Scouting

Tonight I am testing the feature on my iPhone that allows me post with the blogger app. I am currently over in Berkeley just finished scouting a site for Cal Baseball team photo tomorrow. Looks like it's going to be wet. The SID recommended a balcony off Haas Pavilion but with 38 guys on the team, don't think a 5ft balcony will be condusive to a team photo. So I checked out their batting cages because they are covered, long, and though not beautiful, do provde context. I think it's going to do the trick. We'll see how tomorrow works out!

Hope all the California folks are staying safe and dry through all this stormy weather! Loved the lightning and thunder!!

- posted from my iPhone

January 17, 2010

Cal Women's Basketball vs Washington State

Yesterday I headed to Cal to shoot Women's Basketball vs Washington State. I headed over early because marketing needed some shots of the court to use as a background for different designs. It was cool to get some shots of an empty Haas Pavilion.

The women beat WSU 75-68. Was a pretty exciting game. A little too exciting for me, I was trying to get a wide angle shot, so I was sitting right next to the basket and 3 girls came flying off the court and onto me. I kind of wrapped up in the fetal position to protect camera and then they all had to get up and untangle themselves off of me. So embarrassing! Even the referee had to ask if I was ok. Thankfully there were no injury's to the girls, my camera, or myself.

The women are great this year though, a lot of new players. Eliza Pierre and Layshia Claredon are going to be GREAT players at Cal. Starting freshman and playing with such heart and flair, gotta love it.

One of my favorite things about shooting Cal Basketball is turning on and off the strobes before each game. I get to go up on the catwalk. At first it was a little intimidating and spooky looking down, but now it's no big deal and just like walking anywhere else. To get to the strobes, I have to take the elevator up to the top, then go up a set of stairs to the roof, walk around to the side door that leads to the catwalk. What's so great, is from the roof, on a clear day, you can see all of the city. Every time I go up there, I always walk around the side, check out the view, or just feels the breeze and see the fog, breathe it in, and head back into the gym. Next clear day I'll try to remember to bring my camera with me. Until then, here's a look:

Sorry this post is a lil long and late. Will try to continue with day-of posts!