Behind the Scenes Photographs

US Womens Open 2013 Friday 1932

Another article in WomensGolf featured three of my sports photographs: The article was about the behind-the-scenes anatomy of broadcasting a golf tournament. Fortunately, I captured some photos that fit the bill for this article.

US Women's Open - Tuesday Practice round

I like to photograph more than just the obvious. Don’t get me wrong, the action is the main stage and certainly what I enjoy shooting the most. However, there are plenty of additional images to be captured at just about any event. Close-ups, equipment, game-used gear, fans, media personalities, and like for this article: a cameraman and television broadcaster, can all make for interesting subjects.

U.S. Women's Open

Michigan vs. Penn State Softball

in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

I spent the last two days photographing some incredible games on the softball field at State College. These women sure know how to put a game on the field and the action was incredible! The first half-inning ended with a failed attempted steal as shown in the photo above.


in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Penn State face the two-seed, Michigan, in a matchup that was sure to be a test. Penn State matched up very nicely in this first game. This is exactly why the games need to be played. On paper, this matchup did not look like much, but the fist game was way more than some scribbled prediction on a flat piece of paper.

in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Efforts like this make for some mighty long-lasting memories. Penn State should be proud of its softball team and players who played this weekend. It was a memorable experience for all of us fortunate enough to be there in person!


The Importance of Keywording


I know, it’s a pain. You get finished with a long shoot and then completely edit the photos for submission. So who has the time or energy to sit there and enter keywords into all the photos?

I learned the importance of captioning photos through working as a freelance photographer with The Pocono Record. Editors need to know exactly who the players are in the photos and a brief description of what is happening. Captions are important!

Keywords are important, too!


This past week I was asked to submit some sports photos I captured back in 2013 and 2009. They needed to be full resolution images, so I could not just send the images that were in my portfolio because they were not large enough. Fortunately, I have a strategy to keep the original names of my photos wherever I use them–galleries, portfolios, etc. This is extremely helpful when I have to backtrack and locate an image that someone saw on my website. As long as I have the original name, I can go into my database and locate the original file, make any necessary corrections, and then export the file in the size needed for my client.

Keywords can help locate photos more quickly. For example, if I had all my photos of Juli Inkster keyworded with her name, then I could find any photo of her in my database very quickly. My problem is, I get too busy and forget or ignore this necessary step. Then, like yesterday, I was forced to go through tons of photos to find the exact one I am looking to locate. Geez, I wish I added keywords when I added these photos to my database!

What about you? Can you quickly and efficiently locate photos on request? What strategies do you utilize to assist you? Do you realize the importance of adding keywords to your images?



Women’s Golf Photos Getting Published!

US Women's Open - Tuesday Practice round

Some of my golf photographs will be seeing the light of day and getting more exposure! Thanks to an agreement with WomensGolf, some of my photos will be featured on their website. Just this morning, the first article to feature two of my photographs was published.

US Women's Open - Tuesday Practice round

You can view the article where these two photos were published here:


Portfolio Worthy Photographs

I capture plenty of photographs in the games that I shoot. However, only a select are worthy to be included in a sports photography portfolio. I believe showing action is an important aspect of a portfolio worthy photo. The photo above was the one that got me noticed by the newspaper I freelance for now over three years ago.

MBKB160220 0479A

Showing the emotion of an athlete is also important to me. Sports are full of emotions and our job as sports photographers is to show this emotion in our photographs. A photograph without emotion tends to be lifeless and boring. Bring emotion into a photograph and it just seems to come to life!

FB 2014-09-27 3-15-42C

I also learned that showing the face and eyes is critical for a photo to come close to being great. The eyes often reveal some of the intense emotion in an athlete. The old saying is “the eyes are windows to the soul.” Well, to me, the eyes are a key element in a great portfolio worthy photograph.

PV Baseball 2009-09-05-128

A great photograph tells a story. The action is this photograph shows the catcher putting the tag on the baserunner while the umpire is looking on before calling the out at the plate! What a story it tells! It also helps that some additional elements like emotion and eyes are included in this action shot.

I know that not every photo I capture will be portfolio worthy, but I am finding that the more I keep these key elements in mind while shooting a game, my success rate increases. I am capturing more quality, winning photographs these days. I attribute this to practice, practice, and more practice. I am not quite there yet, but someday I plan on having a perfect day from behind my camera!

Sports Photography Art & Goals

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Sometimes I never know which sports photographs are going to catch someone’s eye. I believe there are certain specific qualities that need to be present in a good photo. My sports photography goals aim to capture the special moments in a game, tell the game story, and bring the game to the fans in a unique and captivating way. I also am a photojournalist, so Photoshopping the heck out of an image is not ethical. I try very hard to capture quality photographs in camera. If I don’t, then I just missed that special moment.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Nevertheless, there are artistic images to be captured during a game. Sports photography is an art even though we are tied to telling the story with photographs in an accurate and non-manipulated way. I enjoy this challenge immensely!

I never arrange photographs by staging players, balls, or equipment. Instead, I capture what I see on the field exactly as it is during a game. The photojournalist in me requires this standard. Portraits are something different entirely and there is definitely a unique art in that type of sports photography.

I prefer the challenge of reporting the game in photographs, capturing the story and essence of each game. There are many similarities in games, but each and every game unfolds in a different way. I feel my job is to capture each game story with my camera to help tell the story of each specific game. An example of one similarity is the scoreboard. Every game unfolds on the scoreboard, so each game has a scoreboard, However, the numbers are different as the game’s scoring unfolds. Each field has a different scoreboard, too. Photographing the scoreboard tells a unique aspect of each game.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

I hold myself to a high standard of sports photography. In fact, I take my motivation from a baseball concept: the perfect game. A perfect game in baseball is a rare feat, but one which every pitcher dreams of completing! A perfect games consists of no hits, no runs, no walks, no hit batters, and no errors. In short, it is perfect! So in my sports photography I aim for a perfect game, too. To me, a perfect sports photography game includes capturing every action shot of all the key plays during a game in perfect focus, telling the story of the game as it unfolds, capturing the emotions of the players both winners and losers, recording the coaches interaction with the players and their reactions with umpires, showing the fans’ as they cheer, and meet all my deadlines for the game. These high standards drive and motivate me to do my very best in sports photography. It is a challenge I enjoy with all my heart!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Sequence Shots

The new Nikon D5 shoots 12 frames per second. It produces a very cool sound when you stand on the shutter and shoot away! Timing, however, is my preferred method for shooting sports. Even after watching a batter for a few times I can often tell when they are going to swing or not. I certainly take the situation and the count into consideration, but subtle twitches and slight movement are very telling. Sometimes, however, it is nice to lay on the shutter and shoot a sequence of shots to capture the play. These sequence shots were taken on Saturday, April 16 as Penn State Softball defeated Maryland. Third Baseman, Shelby Miller, knocked down a ball in front of her. She had to take a couple steps to pick up the ball and throw it to first. It was a bang-bang play and Miller threw out the baserunner by half a step. It was awesome! Here are the sequence of shots that I captured. I love Miller’s expression after the play was over. She was like, yeah, just another routine out!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.



Penn State Softball Wins Against Maryland Again!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The Penn State Softball Team continued their winning ways on a beautiful Saturday afternoon against Maryland. It was a sellout crowd, which smashed the attendance record for the most spectators watching Penn State Softball!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

This time they started out in front with a 2-run first inning. They never looked back and posted a 4-0 shutout victory.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Alyssa VanDerveer socked a homerun for the teams fourth homerun in two days. There was no doubt about this one!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The team is gaining momentum as they approach the final stretch of the season. This timing is perfect before the Big 10 Championships, which will be hosted at Penn State University for the first time!
on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

ESU Lacrosse Defeats Edinboro

L160402 2294 ESU’s Lacrosse Team played a well-executed and strong game against Edinboro University this afternoon. The Fighting Scots scored first, but that lead was quickly erased by a follow-up score by the Warriors.

L160402 1581

It was Senior Day after all, and this team would not be denied. Quick movement and strategic plays were the order of the day, as one goal after another was racked up on the scoreboard.

L160402 2216

All these photos were captured with my new Nikon D5. To say it is sweet is a gross understatement. I am still getting used to shooting with it, but it is an incredible camera. I am using the Sony XQD card and it keeps up incredibly well. Today, I ran it through some of my sports photography paces and it kept up with me every step of the way!

L160402 2299

First Sports Photos from My Nikon D5

BB160331 0293Well, today I had the opportunity to put my new Nikon D5 through a real test. I photographed the Millersville v. ESU baseball game for the university today. The sky was partly so I did have to keep adjust some of the camera settings and I am still learning the new camera, too.

BB160331 0812

Overall, I am extremely happy with the results. The frames per second speed is phenomenal. I still prefer to time many of the shots, but having the rapid fire ability is helpful to capture the ball in the frame a little more consistently.

BB160331 0231

I still have a ton to learn about the settings on this camera. The learning curve will be a little slower than I’d like at first. The focus settings, for example, are extensive with a variety of options. I need to narrow down what will work best when tracking a player through a play on the field. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the functionality and performance of this new D5. So far, it is even passing my exponentially high expectations!