It is every photojournalist’s fantasy is to become invisible like a fly on the wall when capturing images from News, Sports, Entertainment and Feature events. The Sony a9 with it’s silent, 20 frames a second capture and groundbreaking Autofocus sensor make this a reality.
On Golf course greens and press conferences to feature stories where the sound of a DSLR’s Mirror and Shutter mechanisms can distract or break up an intimate moment. The a9 is making a silent statement and finding its way into the hands of the Worlds top photojournalists and sports photographers.
I hope you enjoy these galleries containing some of my favorite images from covering sports and news events with a Sony Alpha a9.
The US Open Tennis Championships is by far the United States’s biggest tennis tournament, returning each year to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in August. Players at this Grand Slam event compete for over $50 million dollars in prize money. A hard court tennis tournament dates back to 1881 to its roots as the U.S. National Championship, for which men’s singles was first competed. Since 1987, the US Open has been chronologically the fourth and final tennis major comprising the Grand Slam each year; the other three are the Australian Open, the French Open and Wimbledon.
At the 2017 US Open Tennis Championships the men’s singles tournament concluded with Rafael Nadal defeating Kevin Anderson in the final, while the women’s singles tournament concluded with Sloane Stephens defeating Madison Keys in the final.
The Total Eclipse
To photograph the Total Eclipse I went camping with Dennis Walker the owner and creator of Camera Bits and Bob Russell head of customer support to camp with them at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, Oregon. Camerabits are the producers of Photo Mechanic the photo industry leading downloading and browser software. I have been using Photo Mechanic as the anchor for my digital photo workflow, and hanging out with these two guys is always fun and a challenge as they are math whizzes, brainiacs, and camera/computer wizards. Around the camp table, they not only assembled a solar charging table that could outfit an army but a pile of Solar Eclipse reading matter that made my brain hurt. I gleaned a few geekoids during our evening talks:
• The Sun is 93 Million miles away
• The Moon is 22,000 miles away
• The speed of the shadow created by the moon on the earth moves at Mac 2 (1750 miles per hour)
• We have about 90 seconds to capture the total eclipse.
• We would use filters that allow 1% light transmission through (that’s 1/1,000 of the of the total light amount)
But the most important thing was to take off the White Light Solar Filter during the Total Eclipse time and replace it right after to continue photographing the eclipse. I figured after our evening chat that I need to focus on the moon and I had about the same time as it takes to run nine 100 Meter dashes consecutively to get the important picture. It was a great event made even more remarkable by hanging (and geeking) out with Dennis and Bob, I hope you enjoy this little selection of photographs from the event.
Sony a9 70-300 with a White Light Solar Filter
Sony a9 100-400 with a 2 x teleconverter with White Light Solar Filter.
Solar Eye Glasses, Tripods, cable releases, and a comfy chair and jacket.
IAAF World Track and Field Championships
The IAAF World Track and Field Championships held in London, England was one of those sporting events that will be remembered for years. It was full of dramatic and sometimes controversial performances and the end of an era for Trackies favorites Usain Bolt and Mohamed Farah. Mohamed Farah affectionately called Mo by the home town crowd won the Men’s 10,000 Meter in the 2012 Olympic Stadium to win the Gold medal. In the Men’s 5000 Meter Mo failed to win the race and a chance to repeat his wins in the Men’s 10,000 Meter and 5000 Meter Gold Medals as he had done in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The big story was that of Usain Bolt and his final World performance in the 100 Meters. When the Final Gun went off the legendary Usain Bolt could only manage a 3rd place finish behind the USA’s Christian Coleman and winner Justin Gatlin. While Gatlin had won the race in 9.92 seconds all the cheers and accolades where for Usain Bolt as it was his last 100 Meter race.
In the closing days of the World’s everyone anticipated that Team Jamaica anchored by Usain Bolt in the Men’s 4X100 Meter Relay would be a clear winner, and that Bolt and Jamaica would have their Gold. But when Bolt took the baton on the final leg of the race he pulled up with a painful leg cramp, hopped and then rolled down onto the track and had to be helped to the finish line by his team mates. It was a sad end to a Sprinters career whose performance on and off the track was not only legendary but inspirational.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) motto “As Real As It Gets” is one of the most accurate descriptions of a sporting event there is. A fast growing sport mixed martial arts (MMA) under the UFC started in 1993 from its home base in Las Vegas, Nevada promoting mixed martial arts fighting around the world to a fast growing audience.
The UFC has grown into a tightly controlled and organized fighting championship where both men and women compete and are required to know various fighting disciplines to compete at the highest levels. An Elite UFC athlete may be trained in many forms of martial arts, including karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports. The photography here was from the UFC’s July 2017 events in Las Vegas.
The US Open
For the first time in the U.S. Open Golf Championship was held in Wisconsin and welcomed the world’s top golfers to play in the 117th Open Championship. The United States Golf Association (USGA) has tested past notable champions including Bob Jones, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Wisconsin’s own Andy North and Tiger Woods.
This year Brooks Koepka added his name to this exclusive list of champions with a four stroke finish over the field with a final round of 67 to win one of the most prestigious titles in Golf. Erin Hills became the sixth public access course to host the US Open championship attracting more than 200,000 fans.
The Rookie School
The Reno Air Racing Association has run a Pylon Racing Seminar (PRS) for over ten years from the Reno-Stead Airport north of Nevada known as The Rookie School. This unique event attracts pilots from all over the world to learn, practice and qualify for National Championship Air Races in Biplane, Formula One, Jet Class, Sport and T-6 Classes of aircraft.
The four-day event with Seasoned Veterans and Rookies to air racing is essentially the Top Gun school of air racing with instruction from some of the greatest race pilots of all time. Lead by Air Boss Greg “Shifty” Peairs a former Top Gun pilot and instructor pilots learn to fly the pylons at 50 feet above the desert floor at extreme speeds. During the school, new and experienced pilots will complete Ground School, Reno Pylon Race Simulation Flying and a check ride by the FAA Certified Race Class Check Pilot.
The ultimate goal of the Reno Air Racing Association for the Pylon Racing School is to assemble the most experienced, skilled, trained and race-certified pilots to compete at the National Championship Air Races which happen every September in Reno.
The Falkland Stampede
Is one of Canada’s oldest Rodeo started in 1919, just after the war, and has grown over the years to a three-day rodeo professional event. Originally founded to celebrate the end of World War I, the residents of Falkland, British Columbia, and surrounding area planned a large picnic. And on March 24, 1919, in a field in the northwest corner of this small village, they gathered.
Falkland’s little rodeo turned professional on 1969, and as the years passed, the attendance of the Stampede grew, and the following year it was decided to expand the Stampede into two days. Today the three-day Falkland Stampede ranks among the top twelve Stampede in Canada. Thousands of people from all over the world have come to Falkland to take in this jam-packed; family fun filled Stampede where Professional Cowboys participate for prizes worth over $50,000.
Back in 1919, no one could have ever dreamed this gathering would become the Falkland Stampede and a piece of British Columbia history that today still has a small town feel.
America’s Greatest Race
The Kentucky Derby known as America’s Greatest Race held at Churchill Downs has conducted thoroughbred racing continuously since 1875. The twenty horse race is rich traditions such as sipping mint juleps, donning beautiful hats and is often referred to as “The Run for the Roses.” Also known as the most exciting two minutes in sports it has been running uninterrupted, even when coinciding with profound historical events like The Great Depression and World Wars I & II.
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