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February 25th, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Sports Illustrated Photographs the Super Bowl

Yes, the Super Bowl was nearly a month ago and no, our beloved NY Jets did not make it again this year (though Rex Ryan “guarantees” next year will be our year) but we still think you’ll enjoy the below video showing how Sports Illustrated photographers covered the big game.

Remember the days when there were “film” runners? Well, now there are fleet-footed “card” runners helping to move over 11,000 images per hour from 11 Sports Illustrated photographers at the Super Bowl. That’s a lot of photos of men in yellow spandex! See how they handled it:

February 7th, 2011

LeRoy Grannis, Pioneering Surf Photographer, Dies at 93

Photographer LeRoy Grannis, whose images of California surfers in the early Sixties helped popularize the sport and the culture around it, died February 5 at a nursing facility in Torrance, California, the Los Angeles Times has reported. He died of natural causes, according to Grannis’s son, John.

Born in 1917 in Hermosa, California, Grannis began surfing as a teenager, using a longboard made of redwood.  He took up surf photography in 1959, at first as a hobby, then more seriously. He began by photographing the small group of young surfers gathering around Hermosa Beach.  Learning from surf photographer Doc Ball, Grannis set up his own darkroom in his garage.  His work was published in Surfer, Reef and Surfing Illustrated.

As surf writer Steve Barilotti notes in the foreword to the book LeRoy Grannis, Surf Photography, (published by Taschen in 2007), Grannis began taking surfing photos   at a pivotal moment for surfing.   A growing number of Californians were adopting the sport brought to the mainland from Hawaii. Grannis’s photos helped bring the young surf scene of Southern California to the wider world. Writes Barilotti, “Grannis’s photography, especially from 1960 to 1965, caught surfing at a critical juncture between cult and culture.”

Grannis also co-founded International Surfing Magazine, which would later become Surfing Magazine.  He stepped away from the industry in the Seventies.

His photos have been exhibited at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, Bonnie Benrubi Gallery in New York, the Laguna Art Museum of Laguna Beach and elsewhere. He was voted into the International Surfing Hall of Fame in 1966.

February 3rd, 2011

Thomas Hoeffgen Photographs Thierry Henry & the NY Red Bulls 2011 (Video)

Last year, we shared some behind-the-scenes video of photographer Thomas Hoeffgen capturing Rafa Marquez of the New York Red Bulls soccer club as part of our How I Got that Shot feature.

Well, a new season of MLS soccer is almost here and Hoeffgen and his Hasselblad were back in the studio recently to shoot a whole herd of Red Bulls including French superstar Thierry Henry.

Check out the video of the 2011 shoot below. Get Microsoft Silverlight

January 24th, 2011

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Breaks Scott Kelby’s Monopod

©Scott Kelby

“Hey Aaron Rodgers, you owe me $250!” That’s what Photoshop guru and photographer Scott Kelby was saying — with tongue planted firmly in cheek — after the Green Bay Packers quarterback crashed into Kelby on the sidelines of Sunday’s NFC Championship game and broke his Gitzo monopod.

And then I see it—-the bottom half of my monopod is gone!! Ripped off at the stem. So I’m right in front of Rodgers, and I yell, “Hey…..Rodgers….you broke my monopod!” And he looks at me, and I guess he sees my Bears earmuffs, and says “Too bad, Bears fan!” And I said “Hey, you’re buying me a new Monopod!” And he looks at me says, “Yeah, right.” and I’m all “Yeah, we’ll just see pretty boy.” (from Scott Kelby’s Photoshop Insider.)

While the incident with Rodgers did happen — the Packers QB was sprinting for the end zone in the first quarter when he slid into Kelby on the sidelines — the above conversation is, of course, fictitious. Though’s Kelby’s monopod snapped in half, his more expensive gear — Nikkor 400mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, and Nikon D3 — got muddied but survived.

Read more about Kelby’s scrape with the Super Bowl-bound QB here.

©Scott Kelby

January 21st, 2011

PDN Video Pick: Night Surfing a Gargantuan Wave

As Jeff Spicoli of Fast Times at Ridgemont High might say: “Awesome! Totally awesome!”

That’s the reaction we had when we saw this short video clip of big wave surfer Mark Visser dropping in on a massive 15-foot swell in near total darkness in Maui last night. Visser had specially designed LED lights built into his surfboard and life vest and was towed into the wave by a jet ski. Other than that though, he was on his own in the dark while facing treacherous surf that’s known locally as “Jaws.” (Yikes!)

The stunt was part of a documentary series Visser is working on called “9 Lives.” Luckily he didn’t lose one of those lives during this spine-tingling night ride. (More details at Transworld Surf.)

January 3rd, 2011

Photographers Discuss Best Sports Photos of 2010

©Mail on Sunday/ZUMApress

In mid-December we postulated that this Morry Gash AP photo of Lebron James unleashing a tomahawk jam while Dwayne Wade soars underneath like an airplane might be the best sports photo of 2010.

Now, The Wall Street Journal is weighing in with its list of the five top sports images of 2010 and along with including Gash’s photo it includes commentary from the photographers on the stories behind the shots.

According to photographer Mark Pain, who captured the comical shot of Tiger Woods driving the ball right into his lens, the Cigar Guy in the image who become an Internet cult figure, was nearly edited out of the picture.

“The ball came straight toward me, hit the camera in the lens, bounced onto my chest and landed between my feet,” said Mark Pain, a Mail on Sunday photographer. “One of the loveliest things about the photo is the expression of the spectators. It’s, like, ‘Wow, that guy’s gonna get hit!’” As for Cigar Guy? He was almost cropped out. “He very nearly didn’t get his moment of fame,” he said.

December 16th, 2010

Lebron Dunks; Wade Soars…Sports Photo of the Year?

©Morry Gash, AP

Some are calling it the sports photo of the year and it was captured, like many great images, partially by chance.

AP photographer Morry Gash’s photo of Lebron James dunking while his partner in crime on the Miami Heat, Dwayne Wade, soars underneath like a pterodactyl, was shot early on during a December 6th match-up against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Heat would go on to win 88-78 in an otherwise uneventful game.

Even when you look at the video of the dunk, shown below, it seems like a rather nonchalant, if commanding, sequence by the Heat. Gash’s image though shows the swagger and the domination of two of the Heat’s controversial superstars.

So how’d Gash get the wide-angle shot? Well, he was actually just focusing his Canon 1D Mark IV on Lebron at the time.

(more…)

November 11th, 2010

Photographer’s $11K Nikon Rig Trashed in Drag Race Mishap (VIDEO)

This’ll bring a tear to the eye of any photographer. Mark J. Rebilas recently lost his Nikon D700, 400mm f/2.8 lens, and Pocket Wizard set-up to an out-of-control dragster speeding along at 250 miles an hour.

Luckily for Rebilas, the camera rig was set up remotely so he was nowhere near it when the race car went sideways.

Unluckily for him, $11,000 worth of gear was scattered in pieces all over the track.

(Via PetaPixel from f stoppers.)

August 26th, 2010

Canon Lens Mug Guy Gets a Nikon DSLR Birthday Cake

To paraphrase George Costanza, worlds have collided!

Nikon-cake Microsoftie Josh Weisberg, the guy we wrote about earlier this year who rose to fame when he secured a coveted Canon lens mug at the Vancouver Olympics (sorry, that original post was destroyed when our blog went down), recently celebrated his 40th birthday with, get this, a birthday cake in the shape of a giant Nikon digital SLR.

Josh’s friend Mia made it for him, basing it on an old D200 he loaned her. (Ok, so maybe he’s not a Canon guy, after all.)

Josh reports that the entire cake is edible, including the printed labels which are made of edible ink; the plastic on the LCD panels; the lens; and the back cover which are made of sugar.

Happy birthday Josh! And maybe for your next one Mia can make a cake shaped like a Canon lens mug. Talk about worlds colliding.

Nikon-bday-cake-2

August 16th, 2010

Leica Limited Edition X1 “Le Mans” Camera? We’ll Pass

We're a fan of the classic 24 Hours of Le Mans car race and classic Leica cameras, so add the two together and you should have a winner, right? Um…no.

Leica-X1-lemans Leica's special limited edition Le Mans version of its X1 digital camera — reviewed here last February — is underwhelming to say the least. Basically it's a Leica X1 with what looks like a sticker placed on top.

The Le Mans X1 was released back in June to commemorate the race and has a limited edition run of 50.

Not clear if all 50 have sold out yet but it's still up for sale at the Leica Store Paris.

On the bright side, the mark-up for the Le Mans version of the X1 is pretty slight. It's selling for 1590 Euros which converts to about $2035. So, in other words, that Le Mans sticker adds about $35 to the list price. Oh, there's also a version sold with a leather case for 1690 Euros or approximately $2163.

We say skip it and save up your pennies for something more extravagant like this gold-plated Leica MP.

(Via Leica Rumors.)

Leica-x1-limited-edition-le-mans 

Leica-X1-case