Austin Photographer Patrick Meredith

www.meredith-photo.com

Posts Tagged ‘sports

Thursday Night Lights

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Lake Travis running back Andy Erickson carries the ball for a touchdown against Cedar Park

Lake Travis running back Andy Erickson carries the ball for a touchdown against Cedar Park

I had the opportunity to see Lake Travis extend their winning streak to 33 games (the longest in the state of Texas) as they rolled over Cedar Park in Leander last night at the renovated Bible Memorial Stadium in Leander.

The ‘new’ stadium is a really treat to us photographers on the sidelines…They installed new light banks, 8 total, (including 4 for JUST the end zones) and made a new press box complete with wifi.  Now the old lights weren’t terrible by any means (ISO 3200 @ 1/400th f2.8 for darker uniforms – according to my rolladex of Texas stadiums I keep), but the new lights were just as bright if not brighter than the ‘Palace’ in Round Rock.  I’m talking ISO 2000 @ 1/640th-800th f2.8…But maybe I’m crazy for caring about a few stops of light…

Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris reacts to a Cavalier touchdown during their game against Cedar park.

Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris reacts to a Cavalier touchdown during their game against Cedar park.

One of the only things that I don’t like about such bright lights are the big shadows they cast under players helmets and people wearing hats, like Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris above.  The trick is to get low enough on the ground, either by kneeling, sitting or laying down (AAS photographer Jay Janner’s time tested technique) so you are shooting up into the helmet/hat so you can see their face.  A lot of people try to correct for this by just dodging in post, but it always makes your subject look like…well, you dodged their face (above).

Cody Cloud (#31) breaks up a pass intended for Andy Erickson in the first quarter.

Cody Cloud (#31) breaks up a pass intended for Andy Erickson in the first quarter.

Anyhow, the action was good and it was nice seeing a good team of kids playing some football.  Heck, it is always a good time watching some football.

Lake Travis quarterback Michael Brewer throws for positive yardage

Lake Travis quarterback Michael Brewer throws for positive yardage

And speaking of watching some football, it was cool watching Michael Brewer, who replaced Garrett Gilbert at quarterback when he graduated and joined the Texas Longhorns, live up to all the hype I’ve heard and read about on the internet.

Speaking of the Longhorns, I also recently purchased an entire lot of Texas Longhorn photos and films from 1960-1973.  The gentleman was a photographer in Austin that shot and filmed a large number of Longhorn games…I’ve been meaning to give them to the university, but I haven’t had the time to get over there.  Here are a couple of photos from a game in 1960.  If you can find a roster from 1960, please let me know.  I can’t find anything online…

The band plays at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 1960.

The band plays at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 1960.

One thing that really got me is that I was told this was the view of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium looking East, where I-35 looms today.  From what I found on the internet, I-35 was built through Austin in 1962.  I’m kind of jealous of everyone that got to see Austin then…

A Texas Longhorn battles for yardage against a defender during a game in 1960.

A Texas Longhorn battles for yardage against a defender during a game in 1960.

And try to imagine a Texas Longhorn football game with that many empty seats and NO ONE on the sidelines today!  Kind of crazy really…

Colt McCoy eyes up James Kirkendoll in the end zone during a game against Baylor last season.

Colt McCoy eyes up James Kirkendoll in the end zone during a game against Baylor last season.

Kind of amazing just what a few years can do….

Friday Night Lights tonight!  Hopefully the rain will stay away, as I lost my AquaTech Sport Shield at a game last week.  So if you see a blue rain cover made for a camera and a 300mm lens, please let me know! 🙂

What a weekend…

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The 2009 NCAA Baseball Regional Tournament swung through Austin at UFCU Disch-Falk Field this past weekend and I was there to document -every- game, including the history making 25 inning game with the Texas Longhorns vs Boston College.  I shot more photos in the last few days than I have shot in the same time period, even in my full-time staff positions.  I shot over 20gigs worth of photos….I’ve only done a quick edit through about half of that, so I’ve got some more work to be doing over the next few days…

Texas Longhorns vs Boston College Longest game in History

This was the scene around 12:45a.m., near the 2oth inning when Austin Wood was still pitching…The stands were still PACKED with people, which I thought was pretty surprising.  The UT games sold out each night, with attendence well over 8,000 (I believe they said there were 6,832 seats?), including general admission.

Matt Hempel, who works for the UT athletic department, took this photo of me at some point during the 7 hour game.

Austin photographer Patrick Meredith

I felt like a zombie around the 16th inning.  I had to put my cameras down for a few minutes and take a rest.  Looking back, I guess it was pretty cool being there to witness the great pitching and horrible hitting, but at the time, I just wanted the game to get over.  Following the Longhorns 3-2 win, I still had to shoot the press conference.  I didn’t get home until after 2a.m.

I had to be back to the stadium by 10a.m. to set up remotes, get my pregame stuff and eat 5 more hotdogs, but I didn’t get there until 11:30a.m. for the noon game.  I slept right through my alarm, but I managed to wake up and grab some photos from the days game.

Boston College baseball 2009 NCAA Regional

The heat, for the entire weekend, was in the lower to mid-90’s, with a heat index around 100.  The field was so hot it made it almost impossible to sit in the photo wells, so I shot a lot of photos from the stands, such as the one above and below.

Army vs. UT baseball 2009 NCAA Regional

EVERY game was good and full of action…unlike a lot of games I’ve covered over the last couple of years.  Things always get better in the post season, as these guys seem put a lot more into playing.  Every throw has just a bit more ‘umpfh’ and the players are diving around everywhere.  Lots and Lots of jube…

Army baseball 2009 Austin Regional

Even the coaches weren’t immune from the celebration/dejection bug, as they tend to be.  I’ve got some great shots of Coach Augie that I still haven’t edited yet that I plan on posting at some point…

Boston College vs Army 2009 NCAA regional

As the heat of the day began to wear off, I slowly made my way back down to field level to shoot some action from eye level.  In a majority of baseball fields, there are HUGE ads that distract your eye away from the action.  Disch-Faulk Field is one of the exceptions though…There are two ads that I can think of (both are bright red…), but there are no ads on the outfield walls, which is pretty unusual and makes your photos that much better.

Eagles Boston College 2009 NCAA regional

And the typical pitcher shot.  I don’t know how many pitches I photographed, but I lost count after the first two days.  I need to get stalking through the rest of the photos I have on my harddrive and get them online, so I’m out of here.  I was hoping this weekend wouldn’t be so crazy, but it looks like the Austin Aztexs have two games and I’ve already gotten multiple calls about covering UIL State Tournaments as well.   Oh boy….

Blog time

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Where to start……..

Well, I shot a few games of baseball this past week…..

Michael Torres dives for a ground ball during the Longhorns 5-4 win over Texas A&M on Sunday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin.

Michael Torres dives for a ground ball during the Longhorns 5-4 win over Texas A&M on Sunday at UFCU Disch-Falk Field in Austin.

It was blazing hot, with temperatures in the mid 90’s….But with the new artificial turf, it seemed like it was well over 100 degrees anywhere near the field.  Lucky for myself and all the other photographers, there are plenty of places to shoot from off of the field.  Not only is it slightly cooler, but it cleans up your backgrounds nicely….So please be nice and courteous to the fans who have paid for seats and those needing a place to sit.

Brandon Loy reaches back to pull in a pop fly in the infield.

Brandon Loy reaches back to pull in a pop fly in the infield.

In my ever expanding quest to bring my clients the best/different images, I’ve started employing multiple remote cameras at nearly every sporting event I cover.  I started using remotes about 2 years ago at high school baseball games and have used them at multiple events since, including basketball, soccer, and NFL/NCAA football and horse racing, to name a few.

For example, here is an image I shot with my hand held camera from above:

University of Texas second base baseball

It has the typical second base action.  A runner sliding, the second baseman throwing and at least a face.  Very typical and kind of boring.     With a remote camera on a low position shooting second from a different perspective, it gives us a totally different image.  See the remote here (complete with yelling fans):

Remote cameraFor this day game I used a Nikon D1H, a Nikkor 300mm, 2 magic arms, 3 safety cables, 1 Pocketwizard PlusII Tranciever, 3 superclamps and one Pocketwizard remote release.  Shooting at such a close angle, it gave me a  nice tight frame at second base, which allowed me to use this older camera so I could make use of all the megapixels it provides.  University of Texas second baseballAs you can see (if you scroll back up to the image from above), I can capture multiple angles on the same play.  Pretty neat stuff really.  But what if we added a third camera pointed at second base from the outfield?

UT remote camera

I mounted a Nikon D2H with a 400mm attached using the exact same setup above (2 magic arms, 3 superclamps etc) to the TV scaffolding pointed at second base.  I fudged this one up a bit, as I missed focus on second base by about 1 foot.  Nothing like back focused images.  So we’ll skip the examples from this one, but it is in the works.  Instead you can pixelpeep a picture of Augie from the dugout.

Head Coach Augie Garrido, center, watches the Longhorns game against Texas A&M from the dugout on Sunday.

Head Coach Augie Garrido, center, watches the Longhorns game against Texas A&M from the dugout on Sunday.

You can see some more images from the games HERE.

In the middle of the heat wave, I also took some time off and went to Barton Springs here in Austin.  If you’ve never been to the natural pool in the middle of downtown, I can’t understand why.  It may be the ‘scene’, but you can’t beat the cool, deep waters.

Barton Springs Pool
Of  course I couldn’t resist bringing in a camera, so I packed up a D1X with a 12-24mm in the backpack for the bike ride there.  This is a friend of mine properly using the diving board.  I’m terrible at diving, but I can do a pencil like no other.  Like Deep Eddy (see last post), Barton Springs is full of speedos and banana hammocks….

Barton Springs Pool Austin Texas

For some reason I felt like this photo needed an ‘antique’ feel so experimented a little bit using Photoshop CS3.  Classic hair, classic suit.  I just wish I could muster up the courage to wear one of these myself.

Josh Hamilton fumbles a ball in center field in the bottom of the 9th inning, allowing Round Rock's Brian Bogusevic to move to third base.

Josh Hamilton fumbles a ball in center field in the bottom of the 9th inning, allowing Round Rock's Brian Bogusevic to move to third base.

After shooting UT, I traveled up to Round Rock to catch the Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton play a couple of rehab games with the Redhawks.  Hamilton looked awesome and is playing in the majors again.  He did make a big error in the outfield in the bottom of the 9th, allowing the winning run to advance to third base.  In the last inning, I positioned myself near the outfield to grab a photo of Hamilton as he was joking around with another player…I ended up getting a couple game telling shots…

Brian Bogusevic (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Brian Bogusevic (23) celebrates with teammates after scoring the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Before I went to see the Express, I shot the Austin Aztex vs Puerto Rico Islanders on Friday.  It was pretty nice, as the game started with a little bit of daylight.

Austin Aztex

I also set up two remotes behind the net, but didn’t come up with anything in the 1-1 tie game.  One of these days this season maybe….

aztexblog1

Let me know if you saw me sitting on the sidelines, as they broadcasted the game on FSN.  Come out and see the Aztex play this Sunday.  The games are pretty fun and the fans sit very close to the action…

I also shot some NCAA Div-1 golf and the UIL State Golf Tournament as well.  The NCAA Tournament was held at the University of Texas Golf Club in West Austin…Granted I haven’t been on a lot of courses, the UT club was hands over heels the best course I’ve been on in Austin…Just wish my shoot had gone a little better.  I broke a 12-24mm lens and a memory card, containing my first two hours of shooting, became corrupted.  Yikes.

Cory Whitsett, of Houston Memorial, lets his club fly after teeing off into the trees on the 18th hole during the 2009 UIL State Golf Tournament in Austin, Texas

Cory Whitsett, of Houston Memorial, lets his club fly after teeing off into the trees on the 18th hole during the 2009 UIL State Golf Tournament in Austin, Texas

It was pretty fun being on the course again, as I usually only shoot golf a few times a year….Mostly during the UIL State Tournament and a couple other random times throughout the year.

Ryan Eibner (center), of Conroe, putts on the 10th green as Houston Memorial's Greg Rochna looks on

Ryan Eibner (center), of Conroe, putts on the 10th green as Houston Memorial's Greg Rochna looks on

Before I broke the 12-24mm, another photographer asked me, “What are you going to do with that thing?”  In an effort to prove I could get something, I spent a few holes shooting with it.  I didn’t get anything great with it, but heck, no other photographer there got this shot.

I also just got back from a trip to Missouri to see some family.  Amelia and I drove her car, packed to the gills with junk and 2 dogs, the 9 hours north.  We took a dip in the pool one day and wished we had brought coats the next.  Got to love the weather up there. The dogs enjoyed the big ‘ol yards up there though…

Blue Heeler dog

Hank enjoyed eating all the flowers and running around like a madman the entire trip.

I’m off now…time to eat some dinnnnnner.

photos by Austin photographer Patrick Meredith www.meredith-photo.com

Express open 8 game homestand

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I haven’t had the chance to photograph the Round Rock Express, a AAA affliate of the Houston Astros, since last season and last nights game was a treat.  They recently rebuilt the press box, and the new facilities (and beverages) are not only a welcome change, but also very, very nice.  From the TV room, you can get right behind home plate for a view of the very well manicured feild.

The Round Rock Express take the field Tuesday night at the Dell Diamond, where they hosted the New Orleans Zephyrs in the first of eight consecutive home games in Round Rock.

The Round Rock Express take the field Tuesday night at the Dell Diamond, where they hosted the New Orleans Zephyrs in the first of eight consecutive home games in Round Rock.

The Express will be hosting the New Orleans Zephyers every night this week until Monday, with games starting roughly at 7p.m.  It was a lot of fun being on the field again, and the action was great on Tuesday.

Round Rock's Mark Saccomanno, right, and teammate Matt Kata collide while going for the ball during their match up against New Orleans at the Dell Diamond on Tuesday.

Round Rock's Mark Saccomanno, right, and teammate Matt Kata collide while going for the ball during their match up against New Orleans at the Dell Diamond on Tuesday.

The background kills me on this photo, but I love what is happening. No one was injured on the play, but I can’t say that for the next photo…

Round Rock's J.R. Towles gets hit in the face with a baseball after it bounced off the bat in a game against New Orleans on Tuesday in Round Rock.  Towles was reported as being ok, but did not return to play.

Round Rock's J.R. Towles gets hit in the face with a baseball after it bounced off the bat in a game against New Orleans on Tuesday in Round Rock. Towles was reported as being ok, but did not return to play.

So wild.  A single frame.  If you are viewing it 100%, you can see the baseball making an indention in his cheek.  He took it like a champ, but sat out the rest of the game.

Round Rock's Alberto Arias delivers a pitch during their match up against New Orleans at the Dell Diamond on Tuesday.

Round Rock's Alberto Arias delivers a pitch during their match up against New Orleans at the Dell Diamond on Tuesday.

And since the games start around 7p.m., the light has just gone to a golden color.  There are a few select spots on the field where slivers of the setting sun shine through the stadium and cast a perfect glow…One of these spots is about a foot long and situates itself on the pitcher for about 3 minutes before being blocked by a sno-cone vender in the hallway where the light shines through.  I still haven’t found a way to harness it yet, but I’m looking….

You can see more of my take from last night over at www.statesman.com in the sports section.

Written by patrickmeredith

April 22, 2009 at 4:21 pm

And finally….

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So I’ve spent the last week lounging around my house.  Not because I wanted to, but because I twisted my ankle something terrible at a softball game last weekend.  It swelled up so bad within the first few minutes that I had to take my shoe off.  The EMT’s on scene didnt have any Aleve (or Advil, etc) or any bandage wrap.  I hate to think what would have happened if something major would have happened.  !!!

Anyhow, I’ve been shooting a little here and there, most noteably at SXSW this past week.

I got to sit through a number of terrible films, terrible bands and terrible light shows throughout the two weeks.  I also got to see a couple good films, a couple good bands (including Cory Branan) and one good light show throughout the two weeks.

I usually make it my goal to go to other locations if there are other photographers around because I don’t enjoy getting the exact same shot as everyone else around me.  I took this theory into my SXSW shooting, but it was impossible in some situations.

I got an assignment to cover a party at one of the bars downtown and made my way upstairs and found myself behind the counter of the open bar.  Free booze=absolute madness.  People were lining up and screaming…yikes…

SXSW_Austin_Texas_Patrick_Meredith

I also shoot the film/interactive portion of the festival and saw a couple of neat shows.  The photo below is right before the start of a flick at the Paramount Theatre on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.  I think it’s funny how no one ever wants to sit in the front row…

SXSW_Film_Festival_Paramount_Meredith

I also got to shoot some more University of Texas baseball the other day.  It was super cold  in Austin for some reason and rain loomed all afternoon.  I set up two remote cameras a couple of hours before the first game and ended up with no useable shots from either camera.  A nice lesson there!

Here is a pretty typical shot of Chance Ruffin.  I would love to get a camera looking down on the mound from above the pressbox.  Nothing but that new green turf and the mound….A guy can dream…

Chance_Ruffin_Texas_Longhorns_Baseball

And in other news, I have accepted the role of becoming the official photographer of the Austin Aztex, the local professional soccer team.  Their regular season starts next week.  You will be able to see my photos on their website, here and hopefully one in my portfolio some day.

Austin_Aztex_soccer_Texas

I also started to get my photos on my Photoshelter website.  It has been a long time coming, but I’m finally getting it done.

And last but not least…Are you intersted in purchasing some Leica camera equipment?  Take a look at what I’ve got up for grabs HERE.


<H6>All photos/text by Austin sports photographer Patrick Meredith www.meredith-photo.com</H6>

Written by patrickmeredith

March 28, 2009 at 3:16 am