Ball is on the Wrong Side
The ball is on the wrong side of this player. When shooting sports, you seldom have any control over the time of the day, the lighting conditions the game is being played under and the direction the players are facing. And direct, mid-day sun is one of my least favorite situations. Your job as photographer is to make the most of the situation.
560mm f/4.0 1/1600s ISO 320
Christmas Cactus Flower 1.4x
I get many questions asking how to get more magnification from a macro lens. If that lens is the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM Lens, the Canon EF 1.4x II or III Extender is a great answer.
252mm f/11.0 1/160s ISO 100
Banzai Pipeline Wave
Banzai Beach on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, in the winter, is the best wave photography beach I have been to.
The beach is beautiful and the waves are huge with great shape (perfect for surfing). Like clouds, no two waves are the same. The challenge to capture just the right wave framed perfectly under the right light (many clouds this day) could content me for days.
The orientation of the waves to the beach (and the wind on this day) is great, but to get deep into the waves, I used a 700mm focal length. Taking advantage of the lighter weight of the 500 L II Lens, I was shooting handheld and rested on my knees - for hours. A drop-in circular polarizer filter was used.
700mm f/8.0 1/800s ISO 500
Taking a Knee
You know who will be taking this ball.
By positioning myself properly on the sideline, I had a clean background (with the flag as a bonus) for this shot that resulted in more background showing than expected.
420mm f/4.0 1/2500s ISO 320
A girl protects her face as a soccer ball is being kicked in that direction. This shot utilized the Canon EF Extender 1.4x III for a 560mm of focal length and an f/4 max aperture. This is a great combination for capturing sports action.
560mm f/4.0 1/640s ISO 200
Girls Soccer Action
A defender approaches the offender in girls soccer action. Here are some aspects of this shot that I like: The bright colors lit by a lightly-cloudy sky give the image some pop. I have the ball, the subject's face and the added drama of a competing player - ideal for sports action photography. I also like that the background is heavily blurred but has recognizable objects in it including the goal.
The Canon EF Extender 1.4x III was used for this shot. The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II Lens pairs excellently with this extender.
420mm f/4.0 1/2500s ISO 200
Layers of Blue Waves
I watched and photographed a lot of huge Banzai Pipeline waves on this afternoon in Oahu, but I especially liked what I saw as this one was setting up.
Each of the three waves in the frame has a noticeably different color and only the backmost wave is breaking. A strong wind put a lot of the breaking wave's spray into the air. Of course, that strong wind made 700mm handheld framing a challenge.
700mm f/8.0 1/800s ISO 250
Airplane Over Harvest Moon at 1680mm
I decided that, with a clear sky, I was going to stack a pair of extenders to the back of my Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II USM Lens and capture the "Harvest Moon" (the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox).
Stacking a Canon EF 1.4x Extender with a Canon EF 2x Extender requires a 12mm extension tube to be mounted between the two – to make the fit possible. The result is 600mm x 2 x 1.4 = 1680mm = Wow!
While you should not expect amazing image quality from this setup, the tight angle of view delivered by 1680mm is quite amazing. So tight that tracking the moon through the frame is a constant task. And, avoiding vibrations is a challenge. I opted to use mirror lockup with the 10 second self-timer to make sure that the camera fully settled down before the shutter release.
I was trying different exposure settings and verifying the results on the LCD. During one such check, I saw a black spot on the moon. My first thought was that I had a piece of dust on my sensor. Zooming in revealed otherwise.
I live well over an hour from the nearest large airport. The sky was black and I had no idea that there were any airplanes in the area. Using the 10 second timer, with the narrow angle of view, meant that I was predicting where the moon would be in the frame at shutter release. Not only did the airplane happen to cross the moon at the exact time of the shutter release,, it happened to be in a perfect location over the moon. The timing was divine.
This image is an un-touched and uncropped (but reduced in size of course) conversion of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III RAW file. Photography is so fun.
1680mm f/11.0 1/80s ISO 800