Podcast: EP1 – Demystifying sports photography

Welcome to our first ever episode of Big Lens Fast Shutter.
(Left click to listen here and right click to save it to your computer.)

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Our podcast starts with Ryu and Syd introducing themselves and explaining how and why they decided to start “Big Lens Fast Shutter”.

Our best and worst shoots this past month.

We introduce…: Ryu Voelkel and Sydney Low
Ryu and Syd talk about their journey in becoming a sports photographer.

Master Class: Why sports photography is mystifying
We talk about the why sports photography maybe mystifying for photographers.

You Win
Our monthly competition for our readers and listeners, no winners this month… obviously…
Goto our flickr group page for competition rules http://www.flickr.com/groups/biglensfastshutter/

Far Post, Near Post
Our reader’s question for the month. This month, it’s “Can you recommend a starter budget sports photography kit?”

Ryu recommends this Canon kit:
Rebel T1i (500D) $549 (info: Adorama, B&H)
70-200mm f/4L $675 (info: Adorama, B&H)
Monopod Under $100 (info Adorama, B&H)

Syd recommends this Nikon kit:
Nikon D3100 $596.95 (info: Adorama, B&H)
D5000 Nikon refurbished $450-485 (info: Adorama, B&H)
Nikon 70-300 zoom $469.95 (info: Adorama, B&H)
Monopod Under $100 (info Adorama, B&H)

GAS of the month
Our Gear Acquisition Syndrome for the month is:
The Luma Loop and Press Fashion now bomb photo vest

Big thanks to:
Jingles by Specer Griffiths
Icon by Arvin Bautista

*Please Read Below*
Big Lens Fast Shutter is funded solely from the pockets of Ryu Voelkel and Matt Cohen. If you think the information we give you about sports photography is making you a better sports photographer and as a result a well balanced human being, please show us your appreciation by supporting us on Patreon and send some of your hard earned dollars/euros/Brixton pounds our way. People who donate will be mentioned on our next show unless you want to remain anonymous. Thank you for supporting us and may the force of sports photography be with you, always.

12 thoughts on “Podcast: EP1 – Demystifying sports photography

  1. Hey guys, nice job with your first podcast. Looking forward to seeing it on iTunes so that I can automatically get the newest one. I thought you picked some great topics to talk about and I’m already looking forward to hearing you interview some other sports photographers. You guys have a great rapport for two people who have never met, keep it up. My last GAS was similar to the Luma Loop, but I went with the Black Rapid dual strap because I wanted to be able to carry two cameras to an event. Strap systems are great for really quick access to your camera and providing some rest to your arms and shoulders when you’re not shooting.

    1. Let’s see if Jobs and co. will make it their priority to put us up on iTunes.
      We are just trying to make sure we don’t try to step on each other’s toes, but honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better co-host. Saying that if a sultry female co-host came knocking… :)

      I’m not an expert with Black Rapid so hopefully Syd will come and comment on this. As for the Luma Loop, I’m currently a happy user, but for some reason I am slightly getting annoyed with the camera not being in one position when it’s resting at your side. It kind of twirls a bit too much. Maybe I’ll get use to it in the future.

    2. Hey John,
      A photographer friend of mine loves his double R Strap. I think it’s much better than the single because the single strap keeps slipping or changing position on your shoulder. This means the buckle stop isn’t able to do its job in stopping the camera from swinging too far back. But with the dual strap there’s no shoulder slip.
      Send us a photo of how you looking with the strap on – I’m sure our listeners and readers would like to know.
      I’ll give you an update on how I like the Luma in the next podcast.

    3. John, I’m on the lookout for a strap that will allow me easy access to my 2nd camera when I’m seated and holding my 400mm on a monopod… Very specialised but it’ll be very useful!

      1. Hey John – I’ve got this too! I found that I couldn’t get the chest plate secure enough so it wouldn’t slip around with the camera on it.
        Also, it’s weird (and uncomfortable) sitting down with it with a camera attached. In shooting football, I’m often seated on a low camp stool, on the ground or on a bench, and need to have second camera at arms reach so its’ often just on the ground. Couldn’t get the Cotton Carrier to work. It’s probably more suited to photo journalists who are walking around a lot.

      2. Syd –

        I thought you might be sitting in a chair, if not, the BlackRapid single strap might be just what you’re looking for as you can change the length of the loop very easily and could have a camera sitting up under one arm while shooting with the other. It also has bumpers on it so that you can control how far back it goes on your hip. There are a few holster type out there that might also work for you, depending on how you’re seated. I looked for months and what finally sealed it for me was a shop employee wore one all day at this store that I was taking a class at. He had a fall frame camera with a decent sized lens and he never looked uncomfortable all day. I went into my local store the next day and they let me try on several. I think that’s the most important thing, try stuff on!

  2. I have a question I would like to ask.

    I have seen a lot of your pictures where I believe you use flash to isolate your subject like


    Do you have any tips on how I can use flash photography creatively? And to also give an isolation impact on the picture.

    Another question I would like to ask is how do you work with lighting from the stadiums. I’ve seen in many of your picture, your manipulation of lighting is very well executed.

  3. Lamergod,

    The technique I use is what Dave Black (http://www.daveblackphotography.com/) has been using for years. I copied his method and tweaked it. You do need a flash gun, preferably with iTTL so that the camera will communicate with the flash giving you the best exposure possible. You need it because you will be using the flash “off camera” ie not in the hotshoe.

    So if it’s Canon, better go with a Canon flashgun and so forth. I have 2 x SB800 (Nikon) which I have asked Michael Bass (http://michaelbass.blogspot.com/) to create me a bracket to hold two of them together. But in your case it will be a bit of an overkill, so just get two rubber bands (thick ones) and band them together. If you only have one, just hold it in your hand.

    You need to find out if your camera has a commander unit built inside. If so, all you have to do is to goto the setting and make it “talk” with your flashgun. If you don’t, you need to buy one. There are lots of different options out there, but make sure you get a radio signal and not infrared. The Nikon SU800 which I use is crap outdoors. Infrared works well indoors, but not outdoors where it can’t bounce the signal.

    You also then need to set your exposure compensation around -1 to -3 depending on the location to darken the background. You then need to set your WB to a cooler colour, around 3000. You should use an orange gel on your flashgun to get the warmer colour on your subject.

    To summarise, you need a flash gun that “talks” (iTTL or Canon equivalent) with the camera so that you can use it off camera. You also need an orange gel for your flash. That’s about it for starters. Let me know if this all makes sense.

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