Sports Tips & Tricks

Lummi Hands Quilcene a Beating

Congratulation to the Lummi Nation School for advancing to the 1B State Semifinals.

On Saturday I covered the 1B state football quarterfinals at Lummi Nation School near Bellingham, Wash., for The Bellingham Herald. The Lummi Blackhawks hosted the Quilcene Rangers in what should have been a close battle. But, Lummi prevailed soundly defeating Quilcene 40 t0 0 to advance to the semifinals against Neah Bay.

In contrast to the past few weekends of rain, it was a beautiful day for football. The cold, crisp air filled my lungs as I stepped on the sideline. The sunlight warmed my face as I strategized shooting angles due to the Sun’s low position on the horizon. As the Sun was nearly aligned with the field, I would be shooting into the Sun as one team had the ball, and near perfect light when the other team had the ball.

Barely Caught

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) is stopped short of the goal by Quilcene's Eli Harrison (15) during the first quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) is stopped short of the goal by Quilcene’s Eli Harrison (15) during the first quarter in the 1B state quarter-final on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

In one hand was my D300s with 70-200 f/2.8, on my monopod was my D3 with 400 f/2.8. The D3 and 400 I borrowed from the Herald. In my pocket was my 17-35 f/2.8 for pre and post-game features. I wish I had a third body for it though.

Gang Tackle

Quilcene's Acea Such (24) gets tackled by a host of Lummi defenders during the third quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s Acea Such (24) gets tackled by a host of Lummi defenders during the third quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

*** Tip: When I shoot, I tend to be about 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. This gives me a good position for both a downfield pass and the sweep as the carrier comes around the corner. 

But I do adjust this as the game progresses. Some teams just slaughter on the pass, others on the run. It’s not only important to know your gear, but also be able to read the game so you’re in position for the play.

Squeezing Through

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) escapes the grasp of Quilcene's Olin Reynolds (13), bottom, Jarod Smith (22), left, and Andy Johnston (21) during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) escapes the grasp of Quilcene’s Olin Reynolds (13), bottom, Jarod Smith (22), left, and Andy Johnston (21) during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

When the offense is nearing the “Red Zone,” or 20 yard line, I tend to just move straight to behind the goal line. This gives me a good position for either a run or pass play. I usually only shoot with my 70-200 as it allows me to zoom in or out depending on where the play will be.

The One That Almost Got Away

Quilcene's A.J. Prator (10) runs by Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) during the second quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s A.J. Prator (10) runs by Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) during the second quarter of the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

***Tip: Watch the quarterback as they have the ball. Listen to the coaches and teams, they usually will yell to the defense “pass,” “run,” or “sweep.” When the quarterback has the ball, watch where he looks and how they hold their stance. If they set to throw, they will look first which is a clue as to where they will throw. Swing your lens and figure out which receiver will be thrown to.

It takes practice getting used to all the different clues. But once you begin doing it, it comes rather easy. It’s also good to know who the quarterback’s favorite runner and receiver are., who on defense has the most sacks or interceptions, these are all clues to help you get great action shots rather than by chance. Read the paper and other pre-game articles on who to pay attention to.

Interception!!!

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) reaches for the ball to make an interception against Quilcene during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Borsey returned the interception for 60 yards. The interception was called good but was called back due to a Lummi penalty. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) reaches for the ball to make an interception against Quilcene during the third quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Borsey returned the interception for 60 yards. The interception was called good but was called back due to a Lummi penalty. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Almost There

Quilcene's Eli Harrison (15) moves in on Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) as a Quilcene's A.J. Prator (10) graps his feet during the second quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Quilcene’s Eli Harrison (15) moves in on Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) as a Quilcene’s A.J. Prator (10) grasps his feet during the second quarter in the 1B state quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon Nov. 21, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi went on to defeat Quilcene 40 to 0 to advance to the semi-final. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

It was pretty amazing to see Lummi adapt to how Quilcene played. A 40 point rout is impressive. Again, congratulations to the Lummi Blackhawks on their decisive win.

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. Don’t forget to sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
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  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, 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.

Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

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On Assignment: #Sports and #Features from the Week

It’s been a busy week shooting sports and feature assignments: Soccer, Football, and a few Superheroes.

Here are some of my favorites.

Over the Shoulder –

Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash.

That was a lucky shot, but a play I intended to get. I was focused on the quarterback. He was having a hard time finding an open man. As I was photographing him, I saw him turn towards me and then set his feet to throw. I quickly looked over my camera and noticed the receiver break free from the line of scrimmage.

As I was watching the receiver, he turned and then I saw the quarterback throw. I focused on the receiver and when he raised his arms up to catch, I started taking photos.

***TIP: Watch the quarterback for a pass play and pay attention to where they look. This will give you a second or two to find the receiver and get the shot of them catching the ball or not.

Zipping Away

Addison Jager, 7, of Belingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. Coordinator Michele Medlen of Bellingham says over 200 people registered for the fundraiser. She said about $5 thousand was raised that goes to hospital caregivers and staff in need of financial assistance. Medlen said the monies raised are a source of financial support for hospital caregivers and employees in times of financial stress due to illness, injury, tragedy or death of a family member. Medlen added that the goal of the race was to

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Addison Jager, 7, of Bellingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash.

It was just a fun run so my feature experiences kicked in. I saw the kids playing and knew I could get some decent features for the online gallery. I panned for this shot to get her sharp with the blurred background.

Missed Opportunity –

Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

This was an unexpected play by everyone. The running back, Taran Lambert, was caught at the line of scrimmage, but then he somehow broke through and bolted. Drew Krause saw this and dove to stop him to no avail.

Continuing to follow the action when it seems it’s over gives you an opportunity to capture good action.

Foul Play –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian's Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome's Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian’s Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome’s Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. A foul was called on the play resulting in a score by Sehome. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you when shooting soccer is: Find a pair that are just aggressive towards each other and follow them as you shoot the game. You’ll get good images from it.

Missed it By That Much –

Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter.

When I shoot football, I pay attention to field position and how strong the teams are. As the teams approach the “Red Zone,” I position my self near the goal post and switch to my 80-200 for versatility. That way I can get the corners plus when the team runs the ball down the center.

Squalicum had a good running game going, but failed to capitalize on several red zone opportunities. Had I stayed at the sideline like a lot of photographers do, I would’ve missed this photo.

Not This Time –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome's Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome’s Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

In addition to shooting the action, I also had a few players on each team I needed to photograph. Sydney Gospodinovich in one of the best goalkeepers in the Northwest Conference. I shot from midfield so I could get some good action shots of her.

A Friend to Carry You –

Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash. Bennett says the

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash.

As part of any feature hunt, look for fun images. I liked this moment because it says it all.

Attempted Interception –

Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the socre 27-13.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the score 27-13.

Another photo I would’ve missed had I stayed on the sideline. Lynden was in the Red Zone so I switched to my 80-200 for the versatility. I kept my eye on the quarterback and when he dropped to throw and looked right, I focused on Jordan Wittenberg. I began shooting when he turned around and lifted his arms. I just wish you could see his face, but this also shows how well defensiveman Joe Daniels plays.

For more photos from these shoots, visit my galleries:

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

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, 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.

Catching the Pitcher: Tips for Better Baseball Photography

It’s always fun to shoot baseball. Especially high school baseball.

And with that, I heard a huge collective “Ugh.” I like photographing it because it is a challenging sport to shoot. You have to read the game, read the players, understand basic strategy, and mostly have fun.

Eye on the Ball:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Bellingham pitcher Brad Johnson tosses to Ferndale  in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham pitcher Brad Johnson tosses to Ferndale. Shooting through chain link fencing can be tedious, but if you position your lens dead center, the distraction is minimal.

But the most important part of shooting baseball, or anything for that matter, is to PAY ATTENTION!

In baseball, moments are incredibly fleeting. A few times I have chatted with others only to miss great play. So don’t get distracted. Pay attention to the game, only chat between innings and team changes. Keep on your toes.

The “V”:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Ferndale pitcher Kyler Schemstad (18) pitches to Bellingham during the second inning at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Ferndale pitcher Kyler Schemstad (18) pitches to Bellingham during the second inning at Ferndale High School. Position yourself so the pitcher’s body is framed by the batter.

To photograph the Battery, the pitcher/catcher/batter/umpire combo, you have to be mobile. No sitting in the bleachers, no staying in one spot along the fence, you have to move. In fact, you may have to shoot from the 3rd base line, as well as the 1st baseline.

Off the Tips:

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Meridian Trojan boys against the Brewster Bears at Meridian High School in Bellingham on April 2, 2014. Meridian lost 5-4.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Meridian Trojan boys against the Brewster Bears at Meridian High School in Bellingham. A hard photo to capture is getting the ball just as it leaves the tips of the pitcher’s fingers.

Don’t be afraid to shoot through the fence. If you position your lens properly in the center of the square of the chain link, the distraction is minimal or non-existent. If the squares of holes of the fence are small, you’re just going to have to use the largest aperture possible. Using f/2.8 or f/4 is best to decrease the effect.

Sideview:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  The Ferndale Golden Eagles host the Bellingham Red Raiders in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – The Ferndale Golden Eagles host the Bellingham Red Raiders in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School. Notice how the face is visible in the left-handed pitcher’s windup?

Sideview 2 (from same shooting position):

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  The Ferndale Golden Eagles host the Bellingham Red Raiders in varsity boys baseball at Ferndale High School in Ferndale, Wash., on Monday afternoon March, 30, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham’s Brad Johnson winds-up as he pitches to Ferndale. Shot from the same angle as the photo above, notice how you can’t see the pitcher’s face all that well.

Sideview 3:

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Meridian Trojan boys against the Lynden Lions at Meridian High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Thursday afternoon April 9, 2014. The Lions defeated the Trojans 6-4.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Meridian Trojan boys against the Lynden Lions at Meridian High School. Notice how as the right-handed pitcher releases the ball, his face become more visible.

Every battery is different: different pitcher, different batter, how the catcher and umpire sit. Even how the pitcher throws will affect your choice of position. Again, stay fluid and try every angle.

Shooting the pitcher from the side you need to remember one simple rule: If they throw right-handed, then you won’t get a good face from their right side. Think about when you throw. Your face is covered by your right arm and shoulder. Now add the power as they throw, their head turns towards their left and is further obscured.

You’ll get the windup from their throwing side, but lose their face at the halfway point and beyond. It’s just a matter of what you as the photographer want: do you want the windup? Or the release? Why not both then choose later? SEE EXAMPLES ABOVE

Focusing is critical. But you have to prefocus in front of the pitcher. This does take some practice. Don’t rely on your autofocus.  In fact, watch the pitcher as you shoot. Focus on his front foot as it lands. This is almost the same plane as where his face will be when he/she releases the ball. Again, see the photos above.

In summary:

  1. Prefocus and use manual or lock the focus. It keeps your lens from “hunting.” Sometimes the lens will try to focus on the battery or the background. By using manual, you focus and won’t lose that focus if the camera picks something up while shooting.
  2. If you use autofocus, set your camera so the shutter is not activating the focus. I set mine so the back button activates autofocus.
  3. Use shallow depth of field to separate the pitcher from the battery (batter, umpire, catcher) and background. The basic principle of making your main subject the focus of the photo.
  4. Use a high shutter of 1/2000th or faster. On cloudy days you’ll have to up the ISO. stops any blur as they do move rather fast.
  5. Place your hand at the end of the lens barrel to keep it centered through the gaps in the fence. 
  6. While behind the battery, use the umpire, catcher and batter as a framing device. 
  7. Shoot the pitcher from the first baseline and third base line. 
  8. Pay attention. Don’t get distracted during active play by others around you. Literally, stay focused on the game. 
  9. Have fun and try new things. You just never know.

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. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

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

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.

Covering the Chuckanut 50K Ultramarathon

Saturday was fun. Got a nearly last-minute phone call to cover the Chuckanut 50K Ultramarathon for The Bellingham Herald. The 31.5 mile race was phenomenal to shoot, but a logistical nightmare.

Sandaled Feet:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Jason Loutitt, 40, of Vancouver, B.C.,  ran the entire 50 kilometers in socks and sandals during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Loutitt won 4th place overall with a time of 3:53:58. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Jason Loutitt, 40, of Vancouver, B.C., ran the entire 50 kilometers in socks and sandals during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Loutitt won 4th place overall with a time of 3:53:58.

The race started in Fairhaven, went onto the Interurban Trail where it paralleled Chuckanut Drive, then split into 4 different courses on Fragrance Lake Trail checkpoint, those then wound back to that same checkpoint with the final leg as the reverse of the first.

Around The Corner

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Competitors turn the first corner after leaving the 2015 Chuckanut 50K start at 6th and Harris in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Competitors turn the first corner after leaving the 2015 Chuckanut 50K start at 6th and Harris in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015.

The start was easy. Just waited for the runners to begin coming at me. I did plan on shooting wide while using a flash to light them as it was dark and gray. So I got on the ground and worked a few images.

Setting His Timer:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  David Laney (92) of Ashland Ore., yellow shirt center, sets his time as he leads the pack from the start line of the 2015 Chuckanut 50K at 6th and Harris streets in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won the race with a time of 3:40:27.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – David Laney (92) of Ashland Ore., yellow shirt center, sets his time as he leads the pack from the start line of the 2015 Chuckanut 50K at 6th and Harris streets in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won the race with a time of 3:40:27.

After shooting the start, I drove to Cleator Road and waited for the first group of runners so I can get some on one of the trails. While waiting, I tested out the exposure settings my Nikon SB-810 Speedlight mounted on the paper’s D3s. But I could not find the rear curtain sync. After about 10 minutes, I headed to the checkpoint.

Pretty in Pink:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Care Nelson of Victoria, B. C., runs along the Interurban Trail during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Care Nelson of Victoria, B. C., runs along the Interurban Trail during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015.

At the checkpoint, a group of 100 supporters and spectators cheered each racer as they ran by. I liked the camaraderie so I stayed and shot the cheering.

“You Paid for This?”

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Trudy Marino of Ferndale, left, cheers runner Benjamin Perri of Seattle as he nears the first checkpoint at the intersection of the Interurban and Fragrance Lake Trails during 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Marino says she was waiting for her friend Jesse Lenley as he was competing in the ultra marathon. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Trudy Marino of Ferndale, left, cheers runner Benjamin Perri of Seattle as he nears the first checkpoint at the intersection of the Interurban and Fragrance Lake Trails during 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Marino says she was waiting for her friend Jesse Lenley as he was competing in the ultra marathon.

After about half an hour, it was time to head back to the finish line. There was a good hour and a half wait until the first runner finished. His finish was not as fast as his other races.

Exhausted!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  First place winner David Laney of Ashland Ore., left, is comforted by his girlfriend Jana Suddock, right, as a medical technician asks questions about his condition after he completed the course with a time of 3 hours, 40 minutes and 21 seconds in the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 and continues to hold the course record he set in 2013. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – First place winner David Laney of Ashland Ore., left, is comforted by his girlfriend Jana Suddock, right, as a medical technician asks questions about his condition after he completed the course with a time of 3 hours, 40 minutes and 21 seconds in the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21.

One this I make sure I get: reaction. Whether that reaction is good or bad, I try to get it. Plus, I look for congratulatory moments.

First & Second

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  First place winner David Laney (92) of Ashford, Ore., left, is congratulated by second place winner Andrew Benford (410) of Flagstaff, Ariz., after the two completed the 2015 Chuckanut 50K  in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 followed closely by Benford with a time of 3:40:34. Laney continues to hold the course record he set in 2013. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – First place winner David Laney (92) of Ashford, Ore., left, is congratulated by second place winner Andrew Benford (410) of Flagstaff, Ariz., after the two completed the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 followed closely by Benford with a time of 3:40:34.

So a big tip for everyone out there: Learn your camera settings and what buttons to push. I’ve never used flash on the D3 so I was in the dark as to where to set the rear curtain synch. If I had cell service, I would’ve googled it.

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. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings.

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 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.

A vs B: Making Deadline. Did I Choose Wisely?

On Saturday evening I covered two final matches in the 2A Northwest District varsity girls’ basketball tournament. As I was covering this for The Bellingham Herald, meeting the tight deadline was imperative.

One minor problem: I had a 9:30pm deadline with one game starting at 6pm and the other promptly at 8. This meant I had to come up with a plan and execute it without a hitch. But that’s for a later blog.

A: What I Sent to the Paper

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls' basketball tournament final against Burlington-Edison  at  Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Saturday evening Feb. 21, 2015. Lynden defeated Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 to win the district title with both teams advancing to the regional playoffs.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls’ basketball tournament defeating Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash. INFO: Nikon D3s with WB set on fluorescent light, and shutter at 1/250th, 17 to 35 f/2.8 set at 5.6.

 

With this, I had my edited images to the paper for the first game by the time the second game started. I also had the online gallery posted. I shot the first half of the second game, worked on my images, then uploaded my 5 edits from the first half.

It was 9:10 and the game was still going so I called the paper to let them know Lynden was ahead and that I was going to shoot the reaction of them winning the District Title.

B: The Second Choice

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls' basketball tournament final against Burlington-Edison  at  Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Saturday evening Feb. 21, 2015. Lynden defeated Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 to win the district title with both teams advancing to the regional playoffs.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Emily Holt (25), center, and the rest of the Lynden Lion varsity girls react to winning the 2A Northwest District girls’ basketball tournament defeating Burlington-Edison 67 to 55 at Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Wash. INFO: Nikon D3s with WB set on fluorescent light, and shutter at 1/250th, 17 to 35 f/2.8 set at 5.6.

At 9:15 the game ended. I rushed onto the court and began shooting. After a few minutes the celebration calmed down so I went back to my workstation, ingested the images, then chose one for sending. I made the deadline with 4 minutes to spare.

Sometimes in the stress of making a deadline, we can choose the wrong photo. I think each of these has their merit.

The strengths of A are: You can see all their faces, it’s a little cleaner, it’s easier to read, and overall a touch sharper.

The strengths of B are: The raised arms show celebration, the girl is framed by the arms, the couple in the back hugging (which I missed in the first edit), and the overall excitement.

If you were an editor and had to choose which one to put in print, would it be A or B and why?

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. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings.

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 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.