do :: or :: diso, a monthly sports photography magazine, is now live

My latest project a monthly sports internet magazine called do :: or :: diso is now live.  Visit it and subscribe for free at http://disosports.com.

My goal is to offer a monthly, short, to the point, on-line magazine of sports photography, post processing techniques for sports photos, insight, and the occasional interview.  Each month, if you subscribe, you will get an email to your inbox of the magazine cover advising that the new issue is out.  Just click on the cover and you are transported to the article.  This month’s article is about three post processing techniques to add light back to the image to better reflect what your eye really saw at the match, game, or event.

Many thanks to Jason Lillie for helping make the design idea in my head a reality on the web and to Tom Bol, Cindy Akehurst, and Lisa Thompson for their critiques.

As it turns out, there are so many moving parts to launch this kind of project:  (a) how to make it look less like a blog; (b) how to keep it relevant and informative; (c) who is the target audience: (d) how to send out a mailing ( I settled on Mail Chimp ) ; and my favorite (e) how to pick a logo.  Here is the evolution of the logo:

cool, but too dark:

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creative, but a little bulky

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getting closer

 

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loved it, but  . . .

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. . . here was the winner, by my buddy Alex Peak

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The first post is up and after all the planning, the copy was easy.  Now for the hard part – creating content every month!  I am taking guest author pieces ( :

thanks for stopping by my blog. . . Mark

 

diversions from sports photography – Tokyo at New Years 2014

The wonderful thing about making images is that I can decide to shoot sports and I can decide not to. When I decide not to, I call those moments temporary diversions. A diversion might be a trip or an idea or a model or an assignment. Fulfilling a dream, my family and I spent 11 days, including New Years, in Japan. By day and night we walked and road the trains, soaking in the city, the culture and the people.  I found the people there fascinating and returned with many images of the Japanese people living their lives. In particular, New Years (this year the year of the Horse) is a time of great celebration. I shot no sports, but came away from the trip with the belief that in Tokyo, people compete for space,  love to shop, and during the holiday time, they dress up, hit the streets, and thoroughly enjoy seeing and being seen. Mostly, I did the street photography “shoot and scoot” thing, as we tried to see as much as possible.  Here are a selection of Tokyo folks on New Years day and January 2 browsing, keeping order, shopping, touring, interacting, and relishing life.  And now, back to sports!

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Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Mark

sports photography and the human spirit

The time fast approaches when we remind ourselves each year of our desire to achieve the long shot of peace on earth and goodwill toward each other.  I am just a lowly  sports photographer in Kansas City and have come to believe I can affect this long shot goal in only minimal ways.  So, I choose to use my camera as a reminder that sports can be a forum to compete without politics, where victors and vanquished can coexist without loss of life,

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and where differences can be resolved by finite measurements of skill,

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strength,

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speed,

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strategy,

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and a little luck.

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My camera offers no insights into mayhem and insanity and filibusters and politics, but rather just glimpses into the human spirit.

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Somewhere, mayhem and insanity and politics each purport to intersect with something as fundamental as the human spirit in ways that make no sense.  But in sports, understanding and appreciating that spirit is so much less confusing and images of the spirit are so much more sincere and genuine than the evening news images, and at least in the moment of competition, it all makes sense.

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For me, sports is the plan; roll out and throw the pass into the flat; trust your teammates; follow the plan.  Make it so.

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If you follow the plan, just maybe, they (who are also we) will too.

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Ok — enough of my deep thoughts.  The tree has now arrived at Rockefeller Center,

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and from a distance the world below seems so peaceful . . .

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So, thanks for visiting my blog today and this year.  Hopefully you have enjoyed my images.  Have a very satisfying December.  Look for new things from this blog in 2014…  something that I hope to call “Do or DISO”

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Be safe.  Mark

making sports images, all summer long

As Labor Day winds to a conclusion, my blog looks back over a busy summer of photographic exploration.  My goal this summer was to add different sports to the portfolio, and add I did:  along with the stalwarts of soccer and softball, I added roller derby, boxing, skateboarding, swimming, track and field, gymnastics, triathlon, and a little dance fantasy.  Here is a sampling:

Colorado state championship tournament in Colorado Springs:

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swimming at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs:

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Product shoot for Combat Brands, LLC, owner of Ringside Boxing brand boxing, MMA, and fitness gear:

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 Roller Derby, Kansas City:

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Rugby 7s (an Olympic Sport at the next summer games):

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The Kansas Relays Track and Field Invitational at the University of Kansas in Lawrence:

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The Kansas City Triathlon just before the rain and lightning started:

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University of Missouri – Kansas City Ladies’ Softball (Bobby Knight calls it the most exciting game in college sports):

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A little dance magic courtesy of Taylor Barber:

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The Ringside 13th Annual Amateur Boxing Tournament in Independence, Missouri (1200 boxers from all over North America descend on the Kansas City metro and compete for 4 days) thanks to John Brown, founder of Ringside Boxing:

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A little late night practice for one of Kansas City’s budding gymnasts:

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and, soccer, soccer, soccer:

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. . . and some of the loyal fans at Sporting Park  here in Kansas City:

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take care, have a good fall, and thanks for stopping by my blog  . . .  Mark

shoot rugby

Rugby has not been featured at the Olympics since the 1924 summers games.  But, the seven-a-side version will be played in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro. “7s” (as it is called) is played with 7 players per side instead of 15 and features shorter matches.  7s tournaments are traditionally summertime events (sometimes called festivals) and are known for having more of a relaxed atmosphere than fifteen-a-side games.

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Here in Kansas City, the Kansas City Blues (and of late, the University of Missouri- Kansas City club team) – sponsor 7s tournaments.   The Blues are an interesting example of Rugby in the states.  The team is made up of men from all walks of life. The active roster boasts a range in player’s ages from 19 – 41, consisting of students, doctors, lawyers, sales professionals, corporate executives, teachers, and more. The Blues lead a very demanding lifestyle, adding 2 practices a week and outside training to their busy work schedules and families.

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The 7s competition is spirited with teams ranging from organized (like the Blues or UMKC) to college rugby clubs, to employer-, or bar-, sponsored teams.  Several photography challenges are presented in shooting summertime rugby.

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The field is large so it is hard to cover all the action from one end zone or the other, even with my 500mm f / 4 lens.  That lens is great to cover half the field, is very fast and the focus is sharp and precise.

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That lens, however, is too big when the action gets close so I usually have a second body with my 70-200mm (either the f / 4 or the 2.8 should be wonderful).  The 70-200mm is also good to roam the sidelines and shoot across the width of the field into the action rather than navigate length of field shots.  The Rugby action is fast enough at times that it warrants shutter speeds of at least 1/1000th second and the glare is substantial enough, that care should be taken to shoot with the sun behind and consider use of a polarizer filter, or adjust for glare in post processing (I like the polarization filter in Nik Color Efex Pro).  I usually shoot shutter priority, no slower than 1/1000th second, and ISO 400 to 640 depending on the light to achieve f stops in the 6.3 to 9.0 range.

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Like most sports, for me, shooting the action is great, but capturing the emotion is better.  For emphasis, I love the new radial filter in Lightroom 5 to provide a highlight on the primary subject in the shot and a slight vignette to the rest of the framed shot.

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Google Rugby in your town and go out and give it (photographing a tournament) a try!

Thanks for reading my blog . . . . Mark