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.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

2009 Southern California Special Olympics Summer Games

This last weekend was the 2009 Southern California Special Olympics Summer Games held at Long Beach State University and I was given the opportunity to be a part of it. About a month prior I sent a request to the Assistant VP of Communications & Marketing to be a photographer for the Special Olympics. To be honest I was very surprised when I received a reply saying they would love to have me and gave me instructions on registering. So I immediately completed the on-line registration and applied for both the morning and afternoon shift for Saturday (13th) and Sunday (14th). Again I was quickly informed that I was assigned to those four shifts.

A few days prior I was given instruction on checking in and receiving my assignments. It was indicated that they needed someone to cover the golf venue, as that event usually doesn't get much if any coverage. Most photographers tend to gravitate towards the track and aquatics. I let my contact know that I would cover whichever venue they needed coverage at.

On the night prior I prepared my equipment and put it aside so I would be ready to take off in the morning. All works out as planned as I get to Long Beach State early and check in. I then began walking around to become familiar with the events and area. It was during this that I discovered I left my phone at home. I still had an hour before opening ceremonies so decided to quickly drive home and pick it up. It was a good thing this was being held close to my house. It took me about 30 minutes to drive home, get my phone, and then return. By the time I arrived for my second time they were beginning the orientation for the photographers. I was told that I would be covering the golf venue. Now I've never shot golf before, but with all of my sports photography experience I knew that I could handle this assignment and give them some great shots of these athletes.

Now before I headed off to the off-site golf venue I was able to attend the opening ceremonies, which were held on the track field. For the opening ceremonies they had various law enforcement personnel from Southern California lined up and had the athletes march in between them. I spent this time walking around getting various shots of the athlete's and police. Once all were in place various dignitaries gave their speech to open the games.

Now we begin my day with some of my shots. As I said, opening ceremonies were held on the track field. They had all of the athletes march in between two rows of law enforcement officers. During this I walked around taking various shots of the participants and officers.

The colors were posted by the Beaumont Police Department, who did an outstanding job.
This young lady, Miss Wheelchair California, had the sweetest voice. She sang the opening song prior to the official start of the Olympics.
The torch was transported in by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who flew it in by helicopter, with an officer repelling down with the torch in hand.

The torch was then brought onto the field with an escort of Law Enforcement Motor Officer, with the Los Angeles Police Department in the lead.As they ran past me I was able to take some nice shots of the torch.
This is the lighting of the Olympic flame.
Once the games officially started I headed out to cover the golf venue. Again I will say I have never shot golf, but have covered a wide range of sports in my time as a sports photographer and knew that I could capture some nice shots of these athletes. My thoughts and what I live by is that all athletes should have great quality shots of them in action and I hope after you view these shots you will agree that I have accomplished that.

One of the volunteers helping the athlete's brought his son and how could you not take this shot. I mean, just look at him and the open hill of grass. This is what every kid lives for, to just run and be free.

I loved this last shot. I was able to capture the dirt flying up, the bend of the clubs shaft, and the ball in the shot. The only thing lacking is a clear view of his face.
I stayed until the golf event was complete and then headed back to the university to see what other action I could get. I went to track and was able to cover the last few races before todays events came to a close.

This first shot is of the fast pace walking event. You can just feel her determination as she races to the finish line.
This was followed by the wheelchair events.
And then lastly the 4x100 relays. In this first shot this male athlete was beginning to lose his shorts, which he was holding on too. This didn't faze this athlete one bit. He just continued to run and had a blast doing it.

A quick shot of some fans in the stands.

Let me say thanks for taking a look. Feel free to leave any comments. If you ever have the chance to participate in the Special Olympics, which take place all over the country, please do. It's a life changing experience you won't regret.

Friday, June 12, 2009

El Dorado Park

I recently had two days off this week and decided to hit El Dorado Park to simple get out and see what I can see. The bird activity was pretty quite with limited options. I did manage to grab a few shots, but not what I was looking for. Even though I didn't get what I wanted, I was happy with my results for the day.
I used my 300 f/2.8 along with my 1.4x attached.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Yankee Baseball

The vast majority of my work with baseball is from parents requesting me to capture their child in action during a game. This request was made by the parents of the two kids you see pictured below. When I'm asked to shoot these kids I will try to capture them in various stages of the game and types of action. I will also try for some personal candid shots.

When I'm hired for these types of jobs I make sure the parents understand the amount and quality of the action shots I obtain depend solely on the players involvement in the game and how much action they are actually involved in. Additional a players position will and can affect what type of shots I can obtain.

Both of these kids pitched during the game and the first also catched. During this game I positioned myself around the dugouts on both the first and third base side. When taking the direct shots of the pitchers I positioned myself behind the catcher and slightly to the side.

I used both my 300 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8. My cameras were set to aperture priority with an ISO ranging from 500 - 100, depending on how much cloud cover I had at the time.

Below you'll find various shots of each of these kids.

I really liked the look of the picture above and felt it was a great candiate for some playing with Lucis Arts.