Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Photos from SSA VII

I have been meaning to post images from Sports Shooter Academy but I was swamped last week with test and HW. Since things week is a little mellower I thought I would get my images up.

The images aren’t my best but the experience that I gathered from the camp was priceless. I was able to experience shooting sports that I have never shot before and how to work and interact with athletes. The portrait shots were fun because we had only about five minutes to work with them. So time was pressed. Hope you enjoy the images.

Thank You

As most people have herd the Coolest photography event of the year was this past week in Orange County. I didn’t know what to expect when I showed up for the workshop, but it turned out to be one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. I was able to learn and experience so much in such little time. Us learners were able to work with some of the best in the industry and what they had to teach us was priceless.

If anyone who has ever contemplated taking the class, I would say do it. It is worth every bit of money and time. What they can teach you in 4 days is more than what I would ever learn in a lifetime. And there is still more of knowledge to obtain.

What you put in to the academy is what you get out of it. Not only was I able to leave with loads of information, but also the best part was that I was able to leave with some new photography friends, Even one as far as England. I was also able to leave with new athlete friends from Long Beach State Track and Field team.

It has been a few days now since I have gotten back to Albuquerque and I still can’t stop think about SSA VII. I am still digesting everything from the four days but I wanted to say thank you to all the SSA staff for taking time out of their busy lives to help teach others. What they do is remarkable and I am privilege to be able to be part of SSA VII.

Thank you to:

- Matt Brown, Southern California-based freelance photographer

- Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times

- Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times

- Michael Goulding, Orange County Register

- Rod Mar, Seattle-based freelance photographer (formerly of the Seattle Times)

- John McDonough, Sports Illustrated

- Sean Haffey, San Diego Union-Tribune

- Ronal Taniwaki, Nikon Professional Services

- Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

- Jordan Murph, Sports Illustrated

- Crystal Chatham, Palm Spring Desert Sun

- Shawn Cullen, Sports Illustrated

- Mike Corrado, NPS Manager-Product Marketing)
- William Pekala, Nikon Professional Services General Manager)

And Big Thank you to Nikon for their great support and even with the hard economic times they are able to help support students.


Thursday, April 15, 2010


Sorry it has taken me a few days to post some images from Sports Shooter. It has be a crazy week being home with test, papers, and projects.

But the images below are a photo story of a 4x4 Relay team from Long Beach State. When I shot track and field, instead of looking at angles and what not, I walked up to all the teams’ tents and introduced myself. I wanted them to know who I was and didn’t want them to get nervous when I was around capturing the behind the scenes. I wanted them to feel comfortable with me; I believe that is when you are able to capture the moments.

Unfortunately they were DQ’ed because the last leg didn’t get the baton in time. But Thank you Nathan Alade, Richard Crawford, Nimrod Piggee and Samuel Jeter for letting me come in to their bubble and capture a story of brotherhood.

Monday, April 12, 2010


The alarm went off and it was time to wake up for the last day of the academy. It was nice to get 8 hours of sleep instead of 4 hours of sleep. Tommy and I slowly headed to UC Irvine since we had some time till baseball was going to start. We made a stop to my favorite sandwich play “Lee’s Sandwich”. It is cheep and DELICIOUS.

When I got to the campus I decided to make an abbreviation in the schedule. I ended up shooting woman’s water polo before baseball. It was my first time and that was quit the experience.

After that I headed over to baseball to catch the last ¾ of the baseball game. It was an exciting game with a lot of action going on. I was fun to hear Rod Mar yell when you were shooting home plate while something was going on as well, It helped us tremendously. I had to think about what is going on at home but also what other plays are happening on the course.

After baseball I meet back up with Tommy to see the speed light class. Robert Hanashiro doesn’t carry studio lights when he goes out on assignments. He just uses his speed lights with cool setups. Great tips and tricks that he uses without the use of studio strobes.

After the class I got right to editing since deadline for photos were earlier tonight. Wally Skalji and Robert Hanashiro had a 7pm slide show of their winter Olympics. They had amazing photos. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to shoot the Olympics. Not as easy as it may seem.

After deadlines, of course we went through everyone’s photos and the judges chose the best images of the day. But following was closing out workshop. I was so happy that I was able to attend this workshop. I would one day like to be able to go back. I haven’t really processed what I have learned but I know that it has improved me skills.

After the closing of the workshop it was time for a late dinner. Jose, Tommy , and I headed over the 24 hour Korean restaurant. Of course the food was delicious. On our way out we ran in to the SSA staff across the way and I had to a drive by shooting (drive by with the car and take a picture).

We finally made it back to the hotel and it was 3am. Time for a light night pack and I am headed home mid day.

I just wanted to do a shot out to Anson Pham for letting me barrow a car and the whole SSA crew for all the help and making time to help us. Cheers to all of them

SSA Day 3

The alarm is going off and I took a looked out side the hotel window and it was still dark outside. Only getting 4 hours asleep, I was up at 5 am to head to Huntington Beach to shoot some sunrise surfing.

On surfline.com the reports were 1-to-2 swells and that was not looking good. Jose, Tommy and I showed up and there were already people in the water. It was overcast so I wasn’t sure if the light will break threw. As the minutes past I noticed the swells getting bigger and bigger and the surfers were slowly starting to show up. A predicted bad day turned in to a great day.
At 8 am the light started to go flat so we headed back to the hotel. Since Tommy and I had some time to kick it, we decided to take a field trip in to little Vietnamese town and get some delicious food. It was Tommy’s first time and it was a great treat for him.

After the delicious lunch we headed to U.C. Irvine to shoot track and field. I chose to shoot track and field in the after noon because I knew when the sun set, the light would golden. When I got there I wanted to do something different. I wanted to capture the behind the scenes of the athletes. Since I was hanging around the tents of the teams, I ended up getting to know some of the athletes. I worked my self in to a 4x4 relay team which ended up becoming a photo story that turned out really nice.

Track and field was over and it was time to edit. We all headed back to the hotel to edit and we all knew it was going to be a late night since everyone was so tired from waking up early. Everyone was exhausted and hungry by the time we were done and it was 12ish. Phil, Tommy and I headed up to In and Out Burger since I hadn’t had my In and Out yet and Tommy had never eaten their. Of course the food was delicious but it was time for bed.

I had another long and busy last day ahead of me with baseball at UC Irvine and a Speed Light class after.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Day two was another good day at SAVII. I started out the day with a portrait shoot with Matt Brown as the instructor and a gymnast model at Cal State Fullerton Kori Underhill. He showed us things to look out for, such as space ships (overhead lights), back grounds and other details that can kill a shot. After Matt showing us some tips he put us on the spot with only five minutes in setting up lights and using our model.

We broke for lunch and headed to Cal State University, Long Beach for another shoot with some women AVP players. But before that I had some tasty …tasty Hawaiian food.

After lunch, my roommates and I headed over to the fields to set up. The girls practiced around and did same routines to help us think more to anticipates shots. (Rod Mar: use your brains). There practiced was structured to help us. After shooting the girls, we were able to use them for portrait shoots. Everyone had great ideas and everyone is very helpful on being human tripods. Again its always nice to see what kind of creative minds people have.

We finished with plenty of daylight and many headed back to the hotel. But Tommy, Phil and I decided to stay around and shoot Rugby practice and just linger and find interesting shots of people playing sports on the field.

Light was starting to get dimmed so we packed up and headed back. We still had critiques and edits, and then slideshow presentation of our work from the day. During the slideshow presentations all the instructors chose the best non-student photo and student photo of the day and thanks to Sammy’s Cameras, they offered some cool prizes.

Critiques ended close to midnight and most of us had to be up at 5 a.m for surfing at Huntington Beach or Newport Beach. Another great day to start in four hours and I need to get in my power nap. Thanks to the AVP Athletes and Kori Underhill for being patient with us and letting use them as models. And Also Captain Ron with Nikon for letting us use his AWESOME GEAR.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Today or Yesterday or whatever was the first day of the Coolest Sports Photography camp of the year, Sports Shooter Academy VII. We started with orientation in the morning and built our schedule for the week. I am super excited for the upcoming week and the events I am going to cover.

After building our schedule we broke for lunch and then attended one of three class workshops. I went to Fullerton College with Matt Brown and Jordan Murph and they showed us some cool relay tricks with multi maxes on a baseball field.

After breaking from our remote class, my roommates and I took a trip over to Sammy’s :D, I wanted to buy EVERYTHING. We got back to the hotel, had dinner, and at 8pm we gathered again for the SSA Annual Contest judging. Being able to witness that was a new experience. You get to see what they look for in a shot and their reasoning’s on why they chose the winning shots. It is always interesting to how people critique an image.

After a successful day one, I have already broadened my knowledge. And of course I wanted to thank Bo Aye for lending me a car and coming down at 11:30pm to fix it LOL. I owe him BIG TIME.

Its bed time for me and I have a busy day tomorrow. Nikon gear check out in the morning, portraits shoot with a gymnast and Matt Brown, and beach portrait shoot with Robert Hanashiro with some AVP players.

Images of my first day. Top is the evening then scroll down to the morning.