May 132015
 

“The Calm Before the Storm” photo copyright Krista Baldwin

“The Calm Before the Storm”
Being able to travel the country with the NHRA drag racing circuit lets me have the opportunity to shoot some amazing shots of the drivers and the crewmembers. This shot is of my grandfather, Chris “The Greek” Karamesines. He is a legend in the sport by being the first to 200 mph in 1960 and he is the oldest active driver in Top Fuel at the age of 83. These cars accelerate to speeds of 320 mph in just under 4 seconds. I try to convey that moment right before a run down a drag strip that you recollect your thoughts and calm your mind. This moment is very crucial because you do not want your mind to wander away when you are about to go 300 mph. It is mostly a focusing tool that I and many other drivers use right before we have to go down the quarter mile. In just a manner of minutes the driver sits with a 10,000 horsepower machine and the driver is in control of this rocket that they are strapped to. Personally during this time I do my yoga breathing and close my eyes. This really helps to bring your hear rate down because you do not want to be so excited that you do not concentrate on what you need to be doing. Making this image is more difficult than you think. Every driver has their own routine and as the photographer, I have to be in the right spot at the right time to capture this exact moment.  I didn’t really change the photo except for a little bit of a tighter crop just to zero in on the driver and a touch of saturation.  Since I took my time to compose the shot, I do not need to change much of the image.

This photo was shot in Gainesville, Fl. At the Gator Nationals with a Canon Eos Rebel T3 with an 18-55 mm lens (kit lens). It was ISO 400, 55mm, f/13, and a shutter of 1/160. Like I said before I brought up saturation just a touch and a tighter crop. I want the colors to really shine through and make it feel that it is “busy” and the driver is just waiting in the calm before the storm so to speak. When you are sitting in the seat strapped with a 5-point seat harness, there is a lot of commotion happening around you. Cars are going down the track, your crew is making last minute adjustments to the car, and the other drivers are also just sitting there. It’s a powerful moment and that is why I chose to display this image.

About the Photographer:
As being the granddaughter and daughter of Top Fuel pilots, it is not crazy that I want to get my time to drive as well. I currently drive a front engine Nostalgia Eliminator 1 dragster that goes 180 mph under 8 seconds down the track. Being a driver, it has increased my interest to photograph more intimate things with the driver rather than just shooting the car. I want to show the audience that it is not just driving a really fast car; it’s about taking your life at stake and doing something that you have passion for.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at http://youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/3rd-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/Please take a minute to leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section below – the student would love to hear from you!

May 092014
 
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Photo copyright Kelsey McHugh

As an Exercise Science major, I can be very stressed and overwhelmed at times. During the middle of my 2014 spring semester, I needed a break from school and my Dad needed a break from the heat.  My Dad planned on coming up on a Saturday to spend the day with me. He receives emails from NAU saying what is going on and saw that there was a lacrosse game the day he planned to visit. Around the same time my Dad was coming up I had an assignment to write a “How to Article.” Even though I had no experience with lacrosse, I decided to write about it for my article. My senior year of high school I developed a passion for sports photography and thought the lacrosse game would be a great photo opportunity.

I have never played or watched lacrosse before so I was not sure what I was getting myself into. My Dad and I got there at the tail end of their warm-up and started setting up the camera. I started out with my Nikkor 70-300mm lens because I was not sure where the action would be and I wanted to give myself some flexibility with what I could photograph. Since my Dad is also passionate about photography, he rented a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens for me from Tempe Camera. I had never really used a fixed lens before so I was a little intimidated when I first used it. After snapping a couple of shots, I wished I had started with that lens.

The fixed lens allowed me to open up my aperture to f/2.8, decrease my ISO to 200, and overall produce sharper images. Originally I was worried the lens was going to bring me in too close to the subject and I would have no room to work with when photographing. It turns out; some of my favorite images from the day were the close up action shots. You can see the intensity in their eyes, sweat dripping from their face, and capture the passion of the players.

This is why I chose this image. It captured everything I want in an action shot. You have the main player in focus with the opponent breathing down his neck slightly blurred. This draws your eye immediately to the NAU player. Another aspect I love about this photo is that you can clearly see the ball in the players lacrosse stick. After photographing this image, it reminded me why I love photographing sports. It is exciting and a challenge; shooting hundreds of frames to finally capture that perfect moment.

I capture this photo with my Nikon D300S, a Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 lens at 1/1250, f/5.6 and an ISO of 200.

About the Photographer:
My name is Kelsey McHugh and I am an Exercise Science major with a photo minor. My love of photography began with my father and has carried on throughout the years. Throughout my photography career I have gone from landscape to sports action shots. I continue to challenge myself to try new techniques and practice till it is perfected. Continually I am inspired by my surroundings and look for photo opportunities to arise. I strive for capturing the defining moment where the light is just right and all aspects of a composition come together.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/its-back-the-2014-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project/.

Apr 302013
 
DeAngelo_Anthony_Blog

Photograph copyright Anthony DeAngelo

The inspiration for this image came from the subject I chose to photograph. I decided to photograph hockey in Flagstaff. I had a number of different ideas that I wanted to shoot, however, the idea that stood out most in my head was to photograph a hockey player, a native of Flagstaff, in a downtown Flagstaff environment. I wanted to create an image that many hockey players, especially those native to Flagstaff, could understand and appreciate. Every hockey player growing up is raised with a hockey stick and a puck or ball but at some point doesn’t quite know how to skate. Hockey players learn to hone and develop their skills on the streets with nothing but a stick and a puck. With this image I wanted to depict just that and I felt as if the alley was a perfect choice. I shot the subject downtown at night because I really liked the effect it created in the photo. The harsh shadows and the emphasis the lighting placed on the subject really stood out to me. It gave the image a dramatic feeling and really helped to emphasize the environment around the subject. By looking at the image there is no doubt that the subject is standing in an alley. This also reminded me of one of my favorite childhood movies “The Mighty Ducks.” One of the main characters in the film is discovered shooting pucks in an alley with nothing but a stick. The character is later introduced to the ice for the first time where he ends up becoming a valuable player to the team. Again it continues with this idea that all players begin by shooting pucks and developing their skills off the ice and on the street.

This image was shot with a Nikon D5000 camera and a 55mm lens. I shot this image with an ISO of 400, an aperture of f4.5 and a shutter speed of 1/3. This photograph is one of my earlier photos, however it was definitely a photo that helped to spark my interest in photography. For post-processing techniques, I used Photoshop Lightroom to lighten the exposure to get rid of some of the harsh shadows throughout the photo.

About the Photographer:
My name is Anthony DeAngelo, although I go by the name Rocky. It is a name I have gone by ever since kindergarten and a name I plan to have changed legally. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah but was raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota and moved to Arizona five years ago. My childhood in Minnesota helped to shape who I am as a person and why I ended up at Northern Arizona University. If it weren’t for my love of the outdoors and winter I would have probably ended up at Arizona State University. As far as photography goes I would say I am just starting out and just dabbling for the fun of it. I chose photography as a minor because I felt that it would be a great accent with my advertising degree. However I really learned to appreciate the art of photography and found that I love to shoot everyday things as well as difficult things, like my favorite subject, hockey. As a player for the NAU IceJacks I have access to many things that not all sports photographers have access to. A lot of the images I take are all images that I have taken while wearing skates in the middle of practice. By having this privilege I feel like I can capture many fascinating and difficult images that not many others can. I also feel like this helps to separate me from other photographers my age. I would say that my goal as a photographer hasn’t quite manifested into a professional one however with time and experience I’m starting to consider and believe it is something that I could possibly pursue when I graduate.

To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction on our April 15 post at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/introducing-the-nau-photography-students-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project.