Swimming

Photos of the Year: My Favorites from the past 12 months.

2014 turned out to be a good year for me. Not only have I shot more Getty Images assignments, more newspaper assignments, but I’ve also had the privilege to photograph many sporting and news events, a wedding, and a few portraits.

On top of that, I also went out of my way to practice more landscape photography shooting at night, using ND filters to get 4 minute exposures in daylight, and getting out of my comfort zone hiking into remote places.

These are my favorites from the year. There are more on my site in the gallery 2014 Year in Photos – My Favorites from the Year to view more exciting images from the year 2014.

Get Outta My Way:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5) during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5) during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

Incoming Storm:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Long exposures of incoming storm over Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday October 28, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Long exposures of incoming storm over Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday October 28, 2014.

Don’t Get It In Yer Eyes!!

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Natalie and Codey's wedding and reception at the Edgewood Inn in Woodland Park, Colo., on Saturday afternoon Dec. 13, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – The flower girls getting prepped for Natalie and Codey’s wedding and reception at the Edgewood Inn in Woodland Park, Colo., on Saturday afternoon Dec. 13, 2014.

 

That Low Sinking Feeling:

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Bellingham High School senior Christian Amano of Bellingham, Wash,. lands in the pit during his attempt at the long jump druing the NWC Track & Field competition at Civic Field in Bellingham. Amano ended 8th overall with a distance of 18 feet, 11 inches.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Bellingham High School senior Christian Amano of Bellingham, Wash,. lands in the pit during his attempt at the long jump during the NWC Track & Field competition at Civic Field in Bellingham. Amano ended 8th overall with 18 feet, 11 inches.

Squalicum Harbor at Sunset:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Sunset at Locust Beach and Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening July 15, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Sunset at Locust Beach and Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening July 15, 2014.

Mt. Baker & Refinery:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Mount Baker is illuminated by the setting Sun as the lights at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., turn begin to illuminate the petroleum plant.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Mount Baker is illuminated by the setting Sun as the lights at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Wash., turn begin to illuminate the petroleum plant.

Rain? What Rain?:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Valerie Snelling of Bellingham takes in the surroundings during the Fairhaven Steampunk Festival at Fairhaven Village Green in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday afternoon July 19, 2014. Snelling says this was her first time dressing in Steampunk fashion and began working on her costume at midnight. Hundreds enjoyed the sights of individuals dressed in Steampunk Victorian costumes, live entertainment, food and vendors .

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Valerie Snelling of Bellingham takes in the surroundings during the Fairhaven Steampunk Festival at Fairhaven Village Green in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday afternoon July 19, 2014. Snelling says this was her first time dressing in Steampunk fashion and began working on her costume at midnight. Hundreds enjoyed the sights of individuals dressed in Steampunk Victorian costumes, live entertainment, food and vendors .

Keeping His Eye on the Ball:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Lynden wide receiver Scooter Hastings (88) concentrates to catch a touchdown pass as Hockinson defensive back Quentin Sills (20) attempts to interrupt the play early the second quarter in the Class 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon November 22, 2014. Hastings touchdown and resulting extra point a 21 to 7 lead over Hockinson. Lynden defeated Hopkinson 52 to 28 to advance to the semi-final.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden wide receiver Scooter Hastings (88) concentrates to catch a touchdown pass as Hockinson defensive back Quentin Sills (20) attempts to interrupt the play early the second quarter in the Class 2A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon November 22, 2014. Hastings touchdown and resulting extra point a 21 to 7 lead over Hockinson. Lynden defeated Hopkinson 52 to 28 to advance to the semi-final.

Faceplant:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Hannah Scarth of Arlington, Wash., dives head first into the Holee Kow mud pit during the 3rd annual Mud to Suds race on Saturday morning August 16, 2014, at Hovander Park in Ferndale, Wash. Nearly 2000 people ran the 2.5 mile course negotiating 22 obstacles including mud-filled pits, hay bales, and a soap foam tunnel. The event raised funds for the Girls Scouts of Western Washington.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Hannah Scarth of Arlington, Wash., dives head first into the Holee Kow mud pit during the 3rd annual Mud to Suds race on Saturday morning August 16, 2014, at Hovander Park in Ferndale, Wash. Nearly 2000 people ran the 2.5 mile course negotiating 22 obstacles including mud-filled pits, hay bales, and a soap foam tunnel. The event raised funds for the Girls Scouts of Western Washington.

Teaching Art:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Senior instructor Amy Hill of Bellingham, Wash., demonstrates a brush stroke technique while teaching a class at Uptown Art painting studio on Bellwether Way in Bellingham, on Friday evening December 5, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Senior instructor Amy Hill of Bellingham, Wash., demonstrates a brush stroke technique while teaching a class at Uptown Art painting studio on Bellwether Way in Bellingham, on Friday evening December 5, 2014.

Out of the Trap:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - John Milkotic drives from a sand trap at the 9th green during the final day of the 40th Bellingham Amateur Golf Tournament at Lake Padden Golf Course on Monday Sept. 1, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – John Milkotic drives from a sand trap at the 9th green during the final day of the 40th Bellingham Amateur Golf Tournament at Lake Padden Golf Course on Monday Sept. 1, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

A Head Above

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Whatcom Community College freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above Shoreline Community College jufreshman defensiveman Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last minute second half goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Whatcom Community College freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above Shoreline Community College freshman defensive man Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last-minute second half goal.

Piping:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Bellingham Pipe Band member Gary Griffiths practices in the men's locker room during commencement services for graduating Western Washington University students in Carver Gymnasium at Western Washington University on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham Pipe Band member Gary Griffiths practices in the men’s locker room during commencement services for graduating Western Washington University students in Carver Gymnasium at Western Washington University on Saturday morning June 14, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash.

Vampire’s Delight:

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - The partial solar eclipse and the cross at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Walnut Street in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday afternoon Oct. 10, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – The partial solar eclipse and the cross at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Walnut Street in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday afternoon Oct. 10, 2014.

Getting Energized:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Ian Murray of Canmore, Alberta, hydrates prior to the start of the mountain biking leg of the 2014 Ski to Sea Race on Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Ferndale, Wash.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Ian Murray of Canmore, Alberta, hydrates prior to the start of the mountain biking leg of the 2014 Ski to Sea Race on Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Ferndale, Wash.

The year 2015 is looking to be another fantastic year. I hope to continue my personal projects as well as take on more assignments and clients.

I am now booking for the upcoming wedding season, family and senior portraits. Send me an email at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or check out my wedding and portrait information pages.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

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The 2014 October Challenge Swim Meet

Sometimes, the most seeming disorganized event can be the pearl in the oyster when it comes to images. Case in point, the 2014 October Challenge Swim Meet in Bellingham, Wash., at the Arne Hanna Aquatic Center on Saturday Oct. 11th.

The Bellingham Bay Swim Team sponsored meet featured over 300 swimmers in five teams from the Pacific Northwest. Swimmers in high school and below competed in many different events.

Butterfly:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Cole Avery, 17, of Bellingham, Wash., competes in the 200 yard butterfly during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Avery ended with a time of 1:57.16 winning the event.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Cole Avery, 17, of Bellingham, Wash., competes in the 200 yard butterfly during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Avery ended with a time of 1:57.16 winning the event.

The first thing I did was find and introduce myself to one of the hosting coaches. It’s a good idea to let them know you’re there and shooting. Make sure you get a roster and list of events from the coach. You need to keep track of the races you shoot and the competitors names.

Warming Up:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Swimmers warm up during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Over 300 swimmers up to age 18 from four swimming teams in the Pacific Northwest participated in the competition.The annual event is hosted by the Bellingham Bay Swim Team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Swimmers warm up during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham, Wash.

What I usually do is take a photo of the scoring board before the event starts so I know what event and heat number is competing. Then I focus on the faster swimmers to see who is more aggressive. Those are the ones that will get you a good facial expression as they are trying harder.

Breast Stroke:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Rowan King, 15, of Bellingham, competes in the 200 yard breaststroke during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Over 300 swimmers up to age 18 from four swimming teams in the Pacific Northwest participated in the competition.The annual event is hosted by the Bellingham Bay Swim Team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Rowan King, 15, of Bellingham, competes in the 200 yard breaststroke during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hanna Aquatic Center in Bellingham, Wash.

As I shot, I circled the name of the competitor I concentrated on then verified the name with the coach when I had a few moments. I also shot the scoring board after each event to get the time. And then when it switched I shot another. Doing that bookmarked the series of images so I could get the correct identity of the event and swimmer.

Cheering:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - As their teammate Rowan King, 15, approaches the edge, Cole Avery, 17, of Bellingham, left, and Kean Rouse, 16, of Ferndale, cheer him on as he competes in the 200 yard breaststroke during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – As their teammate Rowan King, 15, approaches the edge, Cole Avery, 17, of Bellingham, left, and Kean Rouse, 16, of Ferndale, cheer him on as he competes in the 200 yard breaststroke/

Here’s a few tips:

Get Low: Don’t be afraid to get a little wet. Lay down at the edge of the pool where the swimmers turn around. Laying down gives you a better angle to capture the faces as they swim. Except the backstroke swimmers.

Protect Your Gear: This may sound like common sense but keep your camera bag and extra gear to the side away from the pool and away from the swimmers. Make sure your bag is closed. I inadvertently left mine open and a swimmer who had just finished, began to drip water in it. They were unaware. Luckily, just a few drops made it in. But keep it closed, covered, and on a shelf away from spectators and swimmers.

Breaking Through:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Rowan King, 15, of Bellingham, Wash., comes out of the water as he competes in the 200 yard breaststroke during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Over 300 swimmers up to age 18 from four swimming teams in the Pacific Northwest participated in the competition.The annual event is hosted by the Bellingham Bay Swim Team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Rowan King, 15, of Bellingham, Wash., comes out of the water as he competes in the 200 yard breaststroke.

White Balance: Due to the fluctuating color balance, like in High School football stadiums, leave set it to automatic. This is to get a more correct exposure meter reading and make it easier to keep your colors “accurate” during your workflow.  When shooting, you’ll notice the color change frame to frame as you scroll through your images.

Exposure. Most my images were exposed about 1/3 to 2/3 under. I wanted a fast shutter speed and the pool was dark. It was cloudy out and the windows are on the north side of the pool so it doesn’t get direct sun. So to keep a reasonably fast shutter, I underexposed a touch.

Backstroke:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - McKenzie Pham with the Bellingham Bay Swim Team compets in the 200 yard backstroke during the 2014 October Challenge swimming competition at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center  in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 11, 2014. Over 300 swimmers up to age 18 from four swimming teams in the Pacific Northwest participated in the competition.The annual event is hosted by the Bellingham Bay Swim Team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – McKenzie Pham with the Bellingham Bay Swim Team competes in the 200 yard backstroke.

Aperture: Keep it around f/4. You want a little depth of field but not too much as you want to keep your shutter speed fast. But don’t forget to get creative and play with slow shutter speeds.

Lenses: I used both my 80-200 and 17-35. The wider focal lengths for features and the longer for competition shots. With the exception of a few shots when I first arrived, I avoided using  the wide lens as that meant getting close to the pool and increasing the chance my gear will get splashed.

******  Waterproof Housing: Although I wanted to, I was not able to use my underwater housing. I have a Ewa Marine U-BFZ100 that I like to take so I can get a few underwater shots. However, as the officials don’t allow being in the pool, usually I lay on my belly, and stick the camera as far down into the water as possible. But the design of the pool dictates that and this pool’s sides were not conducive.

Example of an Underwater Shot

©Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography - Aspen High freshman Keely Roberts approaches the middle of her 6th lap during the 500 yard freestyle of the Tri-Met at the Aspen Recreation Center in Aspen. Roberts won with a time of 6:53.13.

© Paul Conrad/Pablo Conrad Photography – Aspen High freshman Keely Roberts approaches the middle of her 6th lap during the 500 yard freestyle of the Tri-Met at the Aspen Recreation Center in Aspen. Roberts won with a time of 6:53.13.

 

 

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, and just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Follow me on Pinterest

Paul is a Seattle-based photojournalist specializing in news, sports, feature, travel, and portraiture. He also photographs weddings and portraits in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Skagit County.

He is available for assignments in the Pacific Northwest. Contact him at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or (206) 450-8632 for availability.