View 336: Street Hockey Kids

Goalie set to defend his team's goal at the Street Crunch game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

Goalie set to defend his team’s goal at the Street Crunch game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV o, 38mm focal length.

I went down to photograph the 2014 Syracuse Crunch Summer Street Crunch Series game last Saturday morning.  For four Saturday’s over the summer, the Crunch are setting up a street hockey rink on Montgomery Street just outside the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. The players are ages from 5 to 14 and had a ball (get it?) playing on a street in the City of Syracuse.

A boy waits for his line to be called at the Street Crunch game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

A boy waits for his line to be called at the Street Crunch game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 250mm focal length, fill flash.

I did get plenty of game action photos but I wanted to share with you today some of the portraits of the young participants in the street hockey game. Kids can be so intense one second and so carefree the next. I think I need to remember to do the same.

A couple of players hanging out between Street Crunch hockey shifts outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 16, 2014.

A couple of players hanging out between Street Crunch hockey shifts outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 16, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/3.5, ISO 450, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

The game was open to all kids, boys and girls.  With the rise of high school, college and Olympic Women’s ice hockey, I see a lot of talented young women taking to the ice and, in this case, street to play the game of hockey.

A young girl getting ready for her time in the Street Crunch hockey game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

A young girl getting ready for her time in the Street Crunch hockey game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 125mm focal length, fill flash.

I photographed this young boy as he was watching the play and waiting for a pass.  The pass did come and he did score.

A young boy watching the play and waiting for a pass during the Street Crunch hockey game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.

A young boy watching the play and waiting for a pass during the Street Crunch hockey game outside the War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, July 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

The game lasted a little over an hour with everyone getting to play in the game and participate in a shootout at the end.  The event is sponsored by McDonald’s and made possible by the parents who take the time to bring their sons and daughters to downtown Syracuse.

There are two Saturday’s left in the series.  Click Here for more information and to sign up your child.

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Mid-Day Waterfall Photography

I hiked out to Taughannock Falls in the middle of the day with the idea of getting a long exposure photo of the falls.  Sounds crazy but I did have a plan. Upon arriving, I set up the Nikon D700 camera and Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR FX Lens on a tripod and used Aperture mode set to f/16.  This gave me a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second at ISO 200.

Taughannock Falls at 1:19PM on a summer's day.

Taughannock Falls at 1:19PM on a summer’s day.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

At this shutter speed, you can see all the people walking on the rocks in the creek and up by Taughannock Falls.  Using f/16 got me sharp focus from front to back.  The water falling looks frozen.

I left all the settings the same and put a 3-stop Neutral Density (ND) filter on the lens. This increased the shutter speed to 1/5th of a second.

Taughannock Falls at 1:19PM on a summer's day.

Taughannock Falls at 1:19PM using at 3-stop ND filter on a summer’s day.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/5s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, 3-stop ND filter.

We start to see motion blur in the people walking on the rocks and the falling water is starting to get the smooth look of long exposure photos of waterfalls.

Back to my plan, I replaced the 3-stop ND filter with a new B+W 77mm 3.0 ND 110 Filter which is rated at 10 stops.  Using this very dark filter, it is impossible for your camera to use auto-focus and just as impossible to focus manually.  Focus your camera without a filter first and then turn off auto-focus before putting the filter on.

Taughannock Falls at 1:24PM using at 10-stop ND filter on a summer's day.

Taughannock Falls at 1:24PM using at 10-stop ND filter on a summer’s day.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 30s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, 10-stop ND filter.

Ah, there is the silky looking waterfall photo I was looking for.  You will notice most of the people have disappeared as they did not stay still long enough during the thirty second long exposure.

Think of the possibilities here for amusement park rides, moving vehicles and fireworks..oh, fireworks!

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View 335: Syracuse Night Photography Tour

Statue of Ben Franklin in Franklin Square Park in Syracuse, New York was the start of the Syracuse at Night Teaching Tour on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Statue of Ben Franklin in Franklin Square Park in Syracuse, New York was the start of the Syracuse at Night Teaching Tour on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 30s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, tripod.

I am a member of two online and local photography Meetup groups.  One, the Syracuse Photographers Association, is an invitation only (just ask!) group which has an active forum and meets regularly for social and photography reasons. The other, Syracuse Area Photography Classes, is run by local photographer Phil Spitze who teaches classes for people wanting to learn how to use their cameras and create better photographs.

In the past, Phil has done mostly classroom sessions.  This year he introduced Teaching Tours. These tours give opportunity for group and individual instruction in fun and interesting places to photograph.  He has done tours of Waterfalls and Zoo Animals so far this year. A couple of weekends back, I attended his latest one: Syracuse at Night.  The subject was night photography and tripods were required. :)

Phil picked the evening of the full moon in hopes of getting photos of it rising over the Syracuse cityscape.  The clouds which stuck around were both aggravating and rewarding as the moon played peek-a-boo with us.

Full moon rising over Franklin Square during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Full moon rising over Franklin Square during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1s, f/11, ISO 4000, EV 0, 75mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

From Franklin Square, our group of six photographers with tripods slung over each one’s shoulders took the Onondaga Creekwalk from Franklin Square towards Clinton Square. We stopped under the Route 690 bridges and practiced using different white balance settings. I liked this one using the Cloudy White Balance under the sodium lighting along the path.

Under the Route 690 Bridges on the Onondaga Creekwalk taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Under the Route 690 Bridges on the Onondaga Creekwalk taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 15s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 75mm focal length, tripod.

The next stop was Clinton Square.  A very popular place people enjoy all day and into a hot summer’s evening.  I found this group of young women talking as the water fountains and Soldiers and Sailors Monument looked on.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

The tour lasted a couple of hours and I did the last shot.  I know but I just had to get a motion photo of the cars moving north and south on Salina Street past Clinton Square. Yes, I had to.

Cars going up and down Salina Street and leaving light trails over a long exposure as they passed the Onondaga Savings Bank building and Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.

Cars going up and down Salina Street and leaving light trails over a long exposure as they passed the Onondaga Savings Bank building and Clinton Square taken during the Syracuse Area Photography Classes Teaching Tour: Syracuse at Night on Saturday, July 12, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

If you live in upstate New York, give these two Meetup groups a try.  If you live elsewhere, check out MeetUp.com for photography and other groups in your area.

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View 334: The Stanley Cup

Fans of the Stanley Cup show their appreciation during the viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.

Fans of the Stanley Cup show their appreciation during the viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 120mm focal length, cropped, flash.

Is it possible to have a love affair with a sports trophy? Fans of the NHL sure do have an attachment to the Stanley Cup, the league’s championship trophy.  LA Kings Captain and Ithaca native Dustin Brown brought the Stanley Cup to a viewing event at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014. Dustin Brown is a two time winner of the Stanley Cup as the LA Kings won it in 2012, too. Hundreds waited for hours to get a chance to have their photo taken (including Yours Truly) for a small donation to go towards Ithaca charities.

Fans of the National Hockey League and Ithaca native Dustin Brown wait in line for a chance to have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Fans of the National Hockey League and Ithaca native Dustin Brown wait in line for a chance to have their picture taken with the Stanley Cup.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, flash.

The Stanley Cup was on display for over two hours and there was still a long line of people when they cut it off.  Dustin Brown only had it for one day and there was another event he and Stanley needed to get to. My party and I did get to pose with the Stanley Cup before it made its exit.  First was big LA Kings fan, TJ, who is also a Syracuse Crunch season ticket holder.

LA Kings fan, TJ, posing for his photo with the Stanley Cup at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.

LA Kings fan, TJ, posing for his photo with the Stanley Cup at Cass Park Ice Rink in Ithaca, New York on July 5, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 50mm focal length, flash.

Then is was my turn.  My wife and I felt justified on touching the Stanley Cup as both our teams had won it in the past: Anaheim Ducks (once) and my Montreal Canadiens (24 times).

Waited a couple of hours for this.  Thanks to Dave Burbank Photography for all his hard work and this photo.

Waited a couple of hours for this. Thanks to Dave Burbank Photography for all his hard work and this photo.

The Stanley Cup which Dustin Brown brought to Ithaca is one of two official cups the NHL uses.  The other one is on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.  There you do not have to wait as long to have your photo taken with it.  You can also see the original Stanley Cup given by Lord Stanley of Preston which, is kept in the vault at the Hall of Fame in a walk through display along with all the retired rings.

To be there with a Stanley Cup winning player was very special.

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View 333: Fireworks Season

The days leading up to and after the July 4th holiday in the United States of America is, what I call, Fireworks Season. Cities, towns and villages big and small celebrate the birth of their country with patriotic displays featuring fireworks. I attended the following shows over the last couple of weeks.

The City of Syracuse decided to combine their annual July 4th Fireworks show with the Syracuse Chiefs AAA baseball team.  The city bought out the general admission seating at the NBT Bank Stadium and gave the tickets away to anyone who wanted them.  This amounted to the first Sold Out game of the season for the Chiefs.  While the home team lost in extra innings, the fireworks show afterwards was spectacular.

Fireworks explode over the NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York after the Syracuse Chiefs baseball game on July 4, 2014.

Fireworks explode over the NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, New York after the Syracuse Chiefs baseball game on July 4, 2014.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/2s, f/8, ISO 3200, EV 0.

The above photo was taken hand held as the stadium rules do not allow fans to bring in tripods or monopods.  I did brace myself against a cement wall and set the upper ISO limit to 3200.  Using the Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens helped as it is very light and easy to keep stable.

My home town of Baldwinsville ended their Seneca River Days celebration with fireworks over the river.

Seneca River Days fireworks show over the Seneca River in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, June 14, 2014.

Seneca River Days fireworks show over the Seneca River in Baldwinsville, New York on Saturday, June 14, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 22.7s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

Here is another one from the LEON Day fireworks show I shared with you last week.

LEON Day Festival at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York on Thursday, June 26, 2014.

LEON Day Festival at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 9.8s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod, cropped.

The last two were done the more traditional way with a tripod, cable release and using my camera’s Bulb mode.  Click Here for my Fireworks Tutorial detailing the technique. There is still plenty of summer left with more fireworks shows to photograph.  Enjoy!

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