Austin Photographer Patrick Meredith

www.meredith-photo.com

Posts Tagged ‘Texas

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! 🙂

One short month to go…

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Colt McCoy directs his offensive line during the University of Texas Spring Jamboree.

Colt McCoy directs his offensive line during the University of Texas Spring Jamboree.

Sunday September 5th.   Sunday September 13th.  Sunday September 5th.  Sunday September 13th.  Repeat with me.

I can’t wait until the football season is in full swing.  The Texas heat *starts* to cool down, everyone is usually in a good mood (unless you are a Chiefs fan) and there is always a game to photograph here in Austin.  High school football kicks off right around that time as well, so my hands should be pretty full.  Not that I’m complaining.

I actually got my first two ‘games’ of the season under my belt a few months ago and just last week.  I went to the UT Spring Jamboree and the Texas High School All-Star game at Darrell K Royal-Memorial Stadium.  Even though I had a huge hit list (2 players I had didn’t play, so that only left 15 or so), it was a lot of fun.  The guys playing looked like they were having a blast as well.

Jelani Johnson, of Hightown, points to the sideline following a play during the 2009 THSCA all-star football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Tuesday.

Jelani Johnson, of Hightown, points to the sideline following a play during the 2009 THSCA all-star football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Tuesday.

And if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you may have noticed that I like to deploy remote cameras at just about every sporting event I’m at.  I was shooting the Texas High School Championships a few weeks ago and had a remote payoff pretty well.

JessiRay Navarrette celebrates after Chandler Geller strikes out to end the 5A State Semi-Final 11-3 in the Bulldogs favor on Friday in Round Rock.

JessiRay Navarrette celebrates after Chandler Geller strikes out to end the 5A State Semi-Final 11-3 in the Bulldogs favor on Friday in Round Rock.

I was shooting the dugout as the final batter struck out, but my remote captured the follow through and celebration.  This photo ran the entire front page of the sports section of the Austin American Statesman.

I also shot my first basketball game in a really, really long time last week.  I had a few photos run in the Houston Chronicle as well as onlinechron

That and a gallery over at TexasSports for the soccer coverage a post down or so.

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I’ve got a concert to shoot tonight and a big feature story tomorrow…Hopefully all goes well.  I’ll be sure to show you all the results after they are published!

Copa Aztex: Cruz Azul vs. Tigres

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Cruz Azul vs. Tigres at Mike A Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas

Finally getting around to updating again, and I have a few photos and some other bits to post about today.  I shot the Copa Aztex Cruz Azul vs. Tigres at Mike A Myers Stadium in Austin last night.  It was a blast, as there were a ton of people, good soccer and some decent shots to be had.  I’m not 100% accustomed to shooting soccer in decent lighting, so after the sun went down, it was a treat.  The stadium is also just north of downtown Austin, so me and another photographer made use of the great skyline to set the stage for a few photos.

Cruz Azul vs. Tigres

Above we have the Texas State Capitol making an appearance and below the Frost Bank Tower seems to loom over the players (just wish some better action would have taken place right there…).

Cruz Azul vs Tigres Copa Aztex Austin Texas

While the game was fun to watch and photograph, I didn’t really understand how it ended.  Official time ended with the score 1-1 and I thought they would go to penalty kicks to decide a winner, as one team had to take home the Copa Aztex trophy.  But instead they did a coin toss, which Cruz Azul won.  I was hoping to get some jubo/dejection shots from penalty kicks, but the Tigres had a plane to catch back to Mexico….I did manage to snap a photo after Cruz Azul tied the game 1-1…

Copa Aztex Cruz Azul vs Tigres Austin Texas

You should be able to view an entire gallery from the game over at TexasSports, so check them out if you want to see some game action shots…

I’ve also had a huge number of photos run all over the place, including these following snips…

ESPN.com - A friend alerted me that ESPN had picked up a number of my University of Texas photos from my stock site and had them online.

ESPN.com - A friend alerted me that ESPN had picked up a number of my University of Texas photos from my stock site and had them online.

NCAA.com - - They picked up a number of my photos of Boston College and Army from the Super Regional baseball tournament a few weeks ago...

NCAA.com - - They picked up a number of my photos of Boston College and Army from the Super Regional baseball tournament a few weeks ago...

I’ve also started to get back into the swing of shooting more film on my days off.  I picked up a Rolleicord TLR a few weeks ago and I am finally getting a roll of it developed as I type this.  I’ve been out with my Nikon F, Holga, Pentax Spotmatic, Diana and a number of other cameras shooting everything I can.  I had forgotten how expensive shooting film can be.  Now I just need a film scanner…On the same topic, I have also built a couple of a couple of pinhole cameras to play around with.  Through searching the internet, I found a couple of pretty cool techniques to make pinholes out of tin cans and matchboxes where you can use 35mm film…MatchBoxPinhole & AltoidPinHole.  Nothing new or groundbreaking, but something fun to do while I’m out exploring Austin.  I actually took a few shots of Mike A Myers Stadium last night with the matchbox camera.  Hopefully something will turn out.

A friend of mine, Dusty (who takes some wild photos and has a traveling studio) just posted a video of some bike riding.  Although it looks like it was filmed by an 8 year old with a $20 pocket camera at some points, there is some great riding in there.

photos by Austin Photographer Patrick Meredith http://www.meredith-photo.com

Houston Dynamo down Austin Aztex 2-0

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Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall celebrates with Dominic Oduro, who scored the first of 2 Dynamo goals, after defeating the Austin Aztex 2-0 in Austin.

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall celebrates with Dominic Oduro, who scored the first of 2 Dynamo goals, after defeating the Austin Aztex 2-0 in Austin.

I got to see the Austin Aztex take on the #1 ranked Houston Dynamo last night at Nelson Field…Another pretty fun game with roughly 4,000 people in attendance…including a huge crew from Houston and the Texian Army.  Pretty awesome seeing that big of a crowd traveling with their team…

A Houston Dynamo fan cheers on his team amid heavy smoke produced by a smoke bomb during the Dynamo's 2-0 win over the Austin Aztex.

A Houston Dynamo fan cheers on his team amid heavy smoke produced by a smoke bomb during the Dynamo's 2-0 win over the Austin Aztex.

More to come…

Written by patrickmeredith

July 2, 2009 at 4:00 am

A few photographs…

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So I’ve been a little busy shooting sports here in Austin.  I shot 7 baseball games last weekend, 4 softball games, 1 baseball game, 3 normal assignments and a soccer game this weekend.  A little bit of work, but a lot of fun.  I also managed to shoot a roll of film on my Rollei as well, so hopefully some good stuff to come…

Austin Aztex vs Charleston BatteryAs I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, I’m the official photographer for the local USL-1 soccer club, the Austin Aztex.  They hosted #1 Charleston Battery for a two game homestead…They lost 0-2 the other night and tied 1-1 this afternoon.

Michael Torres Texas Longhorns baseball

I also shot the Texas Longhorns 10-4 win over TCU at UFCU Disch-Falk Feild the other night.  Michael Torres was on fire the entire game.  After he smacked his first home run and got another hit, I positioned myself up high to get a reaction shot if he crossed the plate again.  Lucky for me, he hit a 3 shot homer to seal the Longhorns win and I got a decent frame.  I usually shoot these shots pretty tight with a 300mm, but I switched to my D2H with the 80-200mm and shot it a little loose.  I like how Torres is jumping off the plate…

And I also nabbed a cool shot of Conner Rowe hitting the outfield wall while making a catch.  Kind of a wild story with how I captured it….

Connor Rowe UT baseball

…I have been having problems with my D300 (I need to send it in, but I can’t find the time off!), and it somehow got switched into an auto bracketing mode…I had no idea what was going on with the camera, as the exposures were off the charts…It would only fire a three shot burst and I thought my camera was toast.  I went ahead and did the green button reset and it started firing normally again.  BUT…My 300 stopped focusing!  Then I heard the crack of a bat and I saw Rowe running across the field…I pulled the camera up and tracked him across the field using manual focus and fired off 2 frames.  It ended up running in the Statesman today, but it was one heck of a crop.  I’m surprised it worked at all.  Sometimes you get lucky….(My 300 still focuses, but what I didn’t realize was that when you do a camera reset, it changes the focusing buttons all around…Took me another five minutes to figure that one out…ouch 🙂 )

Chance Ruffin

And why not another photo?  Pretty typical pitcher shot, but I’m digging it.  Gotta love the umpire/weird background.  I’m still amazed at the detail you can pull out of these D300 files…I guess it isn’t that abnormal, as I came from the D2H…anyway…

UIL State Baseball Austin Texas 2009

I also spent a good part of my Friday/Saturday shooting the 2009 UIL State Softball Tournament held in the UT softball stadium..I can’t remember what it is called at the moment.  McCombs Field?  That’s my guess anyway.

UIL State Softball Tournament

And in my effort to try and bring new images to my clients, I strayed away from the flock of other photographers there and headed to the outfield to shoot the batters and get a new view on the bases.  Nothing exciting happened for the 2 innings I was out there, but it was nice to shoot by myself and have the breeze whipping past me on the big scaffolding.  It wasn’t nice trying to climb up a sketchy ladder with three cameras/lenses strapped to my body though.  And speaking of…

Austin Sports photographer Patrick Meredith

…From one of the 2 remotes I set up at the Aztex game tonight.  At least I got one fantastic shot…..woooooooo

more to come……

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