Friday, April 17, 2015

USA gymnastics 2015 Men's State Meet Level 6 & 7 - Michigan

 As you can imagine, sports photography would be challenging even if you knew what you were doing and comfortable with your camera. Am I either one of those? No. But, I do know about gymnastics and feel a lot more comfortable with my camera than I did even a few weeks ago. Of course I had to pick one of the most difficult sports to photograph but as a gymnastics coach how could I not! 
         We arrived early, well before the meet started to get our bearings and figure out where we thought we would want to start. My fellow student, Angelique Harrison, was so kind to come with me and this was a first for both of us. I used those first minutes trying to get the ISO adjusted since once that is correct, you don't have to mess with that again. 
          Once the gymnasts started to warm up, that was my chance to work with shutter speed and f-stop. Thank goodness I had time to practice since these routines are very very quick and they move even quicker. I set the camera on continuous mode so that all I had to do at the beginning of a tumbling pass was focus, point the camera, press that little button and pray. Yes, I coined a phrase for that day. Point and pray. But I was amazed at how many were actually in focus. The lighting was adequate in the gym, so setting the ISO was not a nightmare.  It was amazing how the adrenalin pumps trying to get that perfect shot. 

USAG Men's State Meet hosted by FlipSpot Competitve Club at Oxford High School in Oxford, MI. Dylan Kasin from Olympia Gymnastics Club on the mushroom which for Level 6 is the step before the pommel horse.

Frank Rhoades, level 6, from Olympia Gymnastics Club on the mushroom.

Coach Brandan Ulewicz from Olympia Gymnastics Club comforts level 6 gymnast Gage Gjorgje after a not so spectacular performance.

Helen Larson watches her son Owen Larson, level 6, on the floor exercise with her youngest son Brendan Larson from Troy Gymnastics.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Crazy/Beautiful.....The price of being an Actor and the artistic mind

        Being an actor and stepping into your role is not always easy and the mind of the actor is often chaotic with unshed tears and emotions. The best actors pull from these emotions and even better actors push those emotions deep down to transform into their role. Happy to sad. Sad to happy. Happy, sad to crazy and back again. No wonder actors crack at astounding rates.

        What is even harder is to photograph this transformation in 3 pictures or less. One day, I will catalog the whole process. The night before, Chloe Blake and I stayed up late, talking through some of these emotions and she was gracious enough to let me in. We each sat in an easy chair across from each other and I snapped away through the pauses in our conversation about our anxiety and depression. Who wants the world to see your inner demons through the lens? She did and I will always be grateful.

April 8, 2015. April Chloe Hite deep in thought about the different struggles of Depression and how it affects her life as a mother, daughter and actor. This was shot at The Inn at The Hampstead in Glen Arbor, Michigan 

April 9, 2015. Even though the environment was posed, the struggle is real for April Chloe Hite. With depression and anxiety comes medication, coffee to combat the bone-deep tiredness from the medication. The life of an actor can be a series of generic hotel rooms that only serve as a place to read lines and sleep until the next scene.  

April 9, 2015. Always multitasking, one-half of her face is done, interrupted by the phone. A metaphor for her life.

April 8, 2015 April is never without her lashes.

April 8, 2015. The transformation is complete, but which picture is the most beautiful?
The headshot is taken outside next to the ski-lift machine house at The Hampstead in Glen Arbor, Michigan.