About Me

My photo
Long Beach, California, United States
Welcome to my blog. Looking through my posts you will find that I love and have a passion for photography and although my expertise so to speak is in Sports Action, I have been getting into wildlife and senior portraits. No matter what I'm shooting I want to bring my client the best possible shot I can and give them / you a photograph that you will cherish for a lifetime. If your looking for someone to capture your child in action, to show the intensity and emotion in which your child plays, look no further. Just drop me a line (e-mail) at homerkenpo@aol.com. I cover most areas in Southern Califoria.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Girls Varsity Soccer "Lakewood vs Wilson"

Lakewood and Wilson, what can you say. These two teams go at it hard when they meet and I can always expect some great action. Now wheather I capture that action is a different story. Wilson is pretty much the #1 team in CIF and our girls (Lakewood) lost against them during their first meet. Lakewood was up 1-0, but late in the second half Wilson came back hard and put two goals on the board to win the game.

Well this game was no different. Wilson started by scoring first and it wasn't until late in the first half that Lakewood answered with a goal of their own. Lakewood kept the tie until late in the second half when Wilson had the opportunity to take the lead with a penalty kick. Lakewood's goalie is great and I enjoy watching her and capturing her in action. She's not afraid to get dirty or take a hit. She made a great dive but was unable to block Wilson's kick. Great game to watch.

This will be my last varsity season game, as I need to get some shots of the Jr. Varsity team for their banquet. Lakewood will more than likely make the playoffs and I'll be there getting the action, but until that time I'm finished.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Mpix 2007 "Photograph of the Year"

Mpix is a website I frequent not just for their outstanding photo services but also their forum, where I have become know as the unoffical sports expert. Don't get me wrong, I'd never claim to know all there is to know about sports photography and there are a few other's on the forum who take outstanding action shots, but I've been there longer and have helped out many who have had questions about photographing sports action.

In the later part of 2007 the forum put together a photo contest for the best photo of 2007. There were eight catagories, with two being "Sports" and "B&W". Originally I thought I wouldn't enter, but then at the last minute I entered two pictures. One in "Sports" and the other in "B&W". The pictures were posted on a website, which was put together by one of the forum members, who by the way did an outstanding job. While pictures were up, members of the forum could vote on their favorite for each catagory. There were eight entries in "Sports" and I believe 34 or 36 entries in "B&W".

Well, during the first week of this new year they posted the winners and I won first place in both catagories. I am very honored to have been chosen by my peers as having the best in both catagories. All photo's entered into the contest will be made into a coffee table book, with the winners having a special place in the book. I look forward to seeing this book.

This shot won first in the b&w catagory. During a winter storm here in Southern California we had some high surf. Now I don't normally shoot surfing but have gone out and shot some kite surfing in the past. I thought with the high surf it would be a great opportunity to get some surf action, so I went to Seal Beach along the east side of the pier. Conditions were not the best once I arrived. If I shot some action down the beach then the lighting was great, although I wish I would have brought my 1.4 converter for some added range, but if I shot the action directly in front of me I had terrible back lighting. This was taken from one of those. I had some bad blown out areas and some dark areas mixed in. The picture was somewhat hazey with a dull color. Looking at the shot I tried a few things to save it and ended up with this. I converted it to b&w, increased the shadows and contrast. End result, a very cool shot.

"Over the Top"
This shot, which won in the sports catagory was taken during a high school track meet. Since my son competes in the shot put and discuss I attend all of the meets to get various track action and hopefully make a bit of money in the process. This girl is one of the better pole vaulters for the school I was shooting for and I tend to watch her, as I know I will get some great action. For this shot I was sitting on a bench on the opposite side of the track. I didn't have the beast at the time and was using my 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens. One of my favorite shots I took that year with track.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Girls Varsity Soccer "Lakewood vs Jordan"

What a day to shoot some soccer action. We've been having some nice rain these last couple days and I didn't think this game was going to happen, but we had a reprieve. The sky looked terrible but no rain, so I decided to hit the school and see if the game was on. Sure enough the game was on. The girls were out there all bundled and huddled up to keep warm and once I got out of the car to get my gear ready I became very aware why. "It was Cold", I felt so bad for those girls.

Well, the rain kept away throughout the game giving me some nice opportunities for some nice action. I had to shoot at higher ISO's but that's just not a problem anymore.

For this game I shot at aperture priority (f/2.8) with an ISO of 200 to 1000. I just keep my shutter speed at or above 1/1000.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


A co-worker and friend of my wife's has three daughters who are in cheer and they had a competition this last Saturday & Sunday. I had nothing going on Sunday so I thought I go out and take some pictures for her and her daughters.

I knew I was going to get there somewhat late and that seating would be limited so I only brought my 300 f/2.8 to provide me with the added range I thought I'd need. As it turned out even with the crowd I wasn't too far away. So since I had the beast with me and they were just a bit too close to get the action of cheer, I thought I concentrate on the expressions the girls display during their routine.

I shoot all of these with the camera set on manual, ISO 3200, f/2.8, and 1/250 to 1/320. I am very pleased with the noise level and look of these. Enjoy.

Here's a shot of the three girls. I really like this shot and I'm sure their mom will just love it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lakewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs Millikan

Had my first soccer night game last night, and here I am thinking I was finished with night games "Wrong". The game, which was the Lakewood Lancers vs the Millikan Rams, started at 5pm. The sun was just going down below the tree and house tops giving me all shade with a bit of light., but like the football games at the start of the season, the sun went down fast.

As far as action shooting goes, I think I do a great job capturing the emotion and action of sports, but boy do I suck with white balance. I really need to learn how to set a custome white balance.

Well I guess now you know that I like using my beast (300 f/2.8) and I didn't let you down. When I started shooting my camera was set at aperture priority (f/2.8) with an ISO of 640, which quickly jumped to 800. Before the first half was over I was shooting at 3200 ISO to keep the shutter speed up around 1/1000. By the end of the second half I had the flash on. With the flash I still shot at ISO 3200 but switched the camera to manual and set the sutter speed to 500 and by the time the game was over I was shooting at 1/320, which did give some motion blur. It's all about changing and paying attention to your settings. If only I could learn white balance better.

Lakewood Girls Varsity Soccer vs Compton

"Nothing but headers"

The Lakewood Lancers played against Compton last Tuesday and really womped on them (11-0), which is pretty high for a soccer game. Now I origianlly wasn't going to shoot this game due to working but I was having a real bad day at work and took off a little early so I can make it. Glad I did. Compton didn't have a good team so all of the players had a chance to play giving me the opportunity to get shots of some players that don't get a lot of game time.

Noting unsual here, used the beast and had the camera set at aperture priority (f/2.8).

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Long Beach "All-City Finals" Track

This last Saturday was a perfect day to be outside shooting some action. Now it did start off a little cool, but that's expected during this time of year. This track meet was the Long Beach Middle School's All-City Finals, which was cancelled on two prior occasions due to rain.

For this meet I decided to try something different. I already had the pictures I needed for the middle school I shoot for, so I thought I'd use a lens I normally wouldn't use on a track meet. I used my 24-70 f/2.8L . I was looking for a wider shot and different perspective. It worked out alright for the running events and high jump, but I was not happy with the long jump shots, which I ended up deleting.

I also tried something I haven't done much of and that's getting a motion blurred effect. Not sure if it worked, but I rather like what I ended up with.

I've done this once before and wanted to do some more. Since I wasn't getting what I wanted with the lens I decided to use I went ahead and played a bit. I'd have to say that I do like the effect and hope you do also.