photo essay

Ducks win Pac-12 Championship game 51-13


This was absolutely the best game and road trip I’ve ever participated in. A group of six of us traveled south on Thursday to cover the championship game. We left at about 1:30 p.m. and arrived in Pleasant Hill at about 10:30 p.m. We stayed the night at a friends house and left at about 8:30 to drive another hour to the stadium.

We stopped and had breakfast and then to the hotel where everyone’s media pass was and proceeded to the stadium. We arrived a couple hours before they would let us in, so we hung out in the media parking area.

1:30 p.m. rolled around and they started letting the media in. We all headed to the stellar photographer’s workroom and found a place to start getting our gear together.

As the evening progressed, more and more Duck fans began filling their seats. Outnumbering the Arizona fans by quite a lot.

After the introductions of the teams and the National Anthem, the game began. And what a game it was. Some say it was sloppy at some points ,but I feel the Ducks played some of their best all year at this game. Not to say it went flawlessly, they just did not let any mistake last very long.

The defense tore up Arizona, keeping their yards gained very low. Meanwhile, the offense went to work furthering record book stats. I hope everyone enjoyed the game. I hope to be able to cover their last game of the season. Until then, enjoy my pictures.

Sports Workshop – A’s Baseball Game


On June 19, I traveled to Santa Clara, California for a Sports Photography Workshop. I was fortunate enough to have signed in right away as the workshop filled up quickly. The workshop was limited to 16 photographers. The event was hosted by Canon U.S.A. and led by Sports Illustrated photographer Peter Read Miller. Three sporting events were to be covered in the workshop – an International swim meet, an Oakland A’s/Boston Red Sox game, and a high school field hockey game.

The first evening was spent looking at a collection of photos taken by Peter and having explain what makes a good sports photo of various sporting events. Also that first night, a Canon rep went over the features of their 1D X camera which is used widely by wildlife and sports photographers. After the review, we were able to sign up to use a variety of equipment ranging from fisheye lenses to 800mm lenses. Canon had brought enough cameras for participants to use one.I personally asked to use a camera body and a 500mm lens.

The second event was an Oakland A’s / Boston Red Sox game. Here again, I was not familiar with shooting photos of this sport. I would say I didn’t get the best shots but I learned a lot about what to be looking for. The group was told that we were fortunate that the A’s organization allowed this many photographers into the ballpark to shoot the game. Peter has many connections in the sports world and it paid off. We were given quite a list of do’s and don’ts. Being to a major league park shooting a game was super neat. Just watching the activity in the park was cool. One thing I need to work on is taking photos of things other than the action. I have to admit that I was pretty focused on action shots. I need to take more “color” shots. It’s all a learning process. Watching the players warm up and interact with the fans was very interesting. One thing I found interesting was every foul ball, every broken bat, virtually everything regarding the Oakland players is gathered up, cataloged, labeled to be sold later to fans. I stood by the gentleman responsible for this activity. At first, I tried to figure out what he was doing. This was a very enjoyable evening watching and photographing the action. I hope to be able to shoot a few of the Oregon baseball games this coming season.

The workshop ended with Peter critiquing some of our photos. All-in-all, the workshop was well worth the time and expense. I learned a lot about what to shoot in these three sports. What makes a good photo and what doesn’t. I’m new to the sports photography game so I’m looking for any opportunities I can get. I enjoy the activity and the challenge.

Photos: Ducks beat the Cowboys 48-14


Walking through the parking lot turned breakfast tailgater, the smells of bacon, sausage and eggs was thick. I made my way to the East Gate and headed for the photographers tunnel (the cave) and started getting my gear set up. I couldn’t utilize the ethernet cables so I frantically tried to get a wireless signal that was strong enough as well as not intermittent. Then the day was saved the day was saved as Eric Evans let me work off his wireless. Thank you Eric!

After the National Anthem, the game was underway. Wyoming scored first and the Ducks seemed unfazed. Not much time later, the Ducks scored and the momentum had begun. The Cowboys didn’t make it too easy, but they were no match for the Ducks’ defense and offense.

I was hoping to have some images up during half-time, but a card download operator error prevented that. Thank Lexar for image rescue software for recovering my files. I am happy to say that I have a better feeling and workflow strategy to bring to the next game.

I got a few good pictures despite my panic about the deleted files. Overall the game was fantastic and I can’t wait to shoot the next one.

PHOTOS: Ducks vs Michigan State Football


Shooting photos at the Oregon-Michigan State football game was a highlight moment. This game was so hyped and had so much riding on it; it was exciting being on the field shooting the action. Having Game Day in Eugene was a great start to the day. I arrived at the stadium 2-1/2 hours early and had trouble finding a parking spot. Clearly this was a special game.

The temperature on the field was warm but you don’t really notice, there is too much going on. I heard later that temps had reached 111 degrees on the Oregon sideline. We had to carry water with us at all times. The U of O kept the media supplied.

The pregame warm ups are a highlight of shooting a game, it gives me a chance to see many of the players up close and personal. Some of the new recruits were on the sidelines; how could they not be impressed with the Autzen stadium experience. The fans are awesome. Hopefully, the program gets commitments from these elite athletes.

It’s hard to assess the game while looking through a lens so I watch the replay at home. It’s hard to tell how far a runner gets up the field or low long a reception was. The only info available is on the jumbotron screen.

Shooting sports is still relatively new for me and I learn something new every week. The field of view is narrow through a 400mm lens and once in a while I lose track where the action is going. I’m working to perfect looking over the viewfinder to see where a pass is headed or who has the ball after the snap. I’m starting to get to know some of the photographers and I also learn from looking at their work. I’ve posted quite a number of photos from this game. Let me know if you’ve got a favorite.

I am anxiously awaiting next Saturday’s game against Wyoming. It may be another hot one so I hope there’s plenty of water on hand…and lots of action.

Photos: Oregon Ducks vs. Fresno State – Lacrosse


I attended and shot my first ever Lacrosse game on March 15. I admit I did not know any of the rules or strategy of the game and, while entertained, I realize I really need to do a review of the rules of the game to make it easier to shoot.

The face off after each goal was interesting, I have included several photos of this face off routine. It appears very aggressive and the level of concentration is very high.

There were three refs calling the game and I had a difficult time figuring out why a play was called, to me the infraction wasn’t evident. It could have been body contact which is not allowed in women’s Lacrosse. When play was stopped, the players froze right where they were and didn’t move until given the all clear. I noticed when a time out was called, the girls dropped their lacrosse sticks right where they were and ran to the sideline. When the time out was over, the girls returned to the field and play started right where they had been before the time out. It will be fun learning more about the game.

The girls clearly have to be in good physical condition as there is a lot of running in this game. There was quite a bit of back and forth behind the goal waiting to find an open player in front of the goal. There were not many errant balls the entire game, the ball control was impressive.

It was a beautiful afternoon and I enjoyed shooting my first Lacrosse game. I enjoyed watching the introduction of the Duck players as they ran under the outstretched sticks of the non-starters. Oregon played a strong game against Fresno. Oregon scored on their first four trips on offense.


PHOTOS: Oregon Ducks vs. Arizona State Basketball


Ducks : 98 – AZ State: 90

It’s hard to believe this is the second to last game of the season. Being new to basketball photography, I have found it to be fun and exciting. A person gets to know the players and what to expect from them during the game. Lexi Petersen plays hard every moment she is on the floor. As a result, she is the player I have the most shots of laying on the floor. If you play hard, expect some conflict. The next player to hit the deck most often would be Jillian. She is quite a player.

Jillian Alleyne driving the baseline for a shot. Photo - Dave Peaks
Jillian Alleyne driving the baseline for a shot.
Photo – Dave Peaks


It is neat to have experienced her stand out year as an Oregon player. She has had a record setting year. It was amazing to photograph numerous games with her having record setting nights on the floor. And, she will be just a junior next year. Another player with an outstanding year is Chrishae Rowe. She is quite a player and scorer. Such talent and she was just a freshman this year.

Love wanting to shoot but puts the brakes on. Photo - Dave Peaks
Love wanting to shoot but puts the brakes on.
Photo – Dave Peaks

It will be sad to say goodbye to the seniors. Ariel Thomas will be miised. She is another outstanding player. Danielle Love will also be missed in the post position. I didn’t get to see Chynna Miley play much but she was a lights out shooter during the pre-game shoot around. There is some excellent talent returning next year. Drea Toler looks to be an exciting player at the guard position. She is fun to watch dribble and drive to the basket.
It was an exciting basketball season and I was fortunate to be a photographer and witness a record setting year by a couple of Duck players. Thanks girls!

Photo Feature: Yellowstone Park in Winter


I took a short pause from shooting Oregon basketball to travel with a photography group to Yellowstone Park to shoot landscapes, thermals, geysers, and wildlife. What an awesome journey it was. The weather cooporated as we only had one day of snow and mid-day temps were in the mid 30’s. We had a couple of days when we started out in – 12 degrees but that didn’t slow the group down in the slightest. (Note: the group that came in behind us dealt with -30 degree temps and significant snow).

Photo - Dave Peaks
Photo – Dave Peaks

The group stayed in West Yellowstone and ventured into the park at 6:45 every morning. Most days, we were the first snow coach at the gate. You must have a guide to enter the park in the wintertime. I would venture to say we had the best guides and leaders for a photography adventure. Our Photography leaders were Bob Harvey and Diane Kelsay-Harvey located in Ava, Missouri. They own and operate Nature Photography Adventures. They have been photographing Yellowstone Park in the winter time since 1987. They take three to four groups a year into Yellowstone during the month of January.

Photo - Dave Peaks
(nope, not Eugene) | Photo – Dave Peaks

Our day would start off driving along the Madison River looking for signs of wildlife. On our first morning out, we saw a small herd of Elk standing in the middle of the river. We were told this is a sign predators were near by. The predators were most likely wolves. We drove on because many of the scenery photos need to be taken before mid-day. In the early morning, there is steam rising up from the river plus the steam from nearby thermals. In addition, because of the super saturated steam from the thermals, there is a lot of rime ice on the trees and animals. The rime ice will be gone by afternoon. We were presented with so many photo opportunities early in the day it would be hard to post them all here.

Photo - Dave Peaks
Photo – Dave Peaks

I will start with some of the landscape photos and create other posts to show photos of thermals, and wildlife. This is my first trip into Yellowstone and some of the conditions made it difficult to get stunning photos. I will certainly be going back another year and I now have some experience under my belt. This is my attempt to show the beauty of Yellowstone in the winter.

Photos: Oregon Ducks Men’s Basketball vs. Cal Bears

Cheerleaders celebrating a free throw Photo - Dave Peaks
Cheerleaders celebrating a free throw | Photo – Dave Peaks

I was impressed with the athleticism of the players.  They can flat out move and jump.  I was at the game early and watched the team warm up.  They were having a mini dunking contest and I saw one 360 dunk.  It was also nice to see football player Arik Armstead warming up with the team  His 280 pound frame should come in handy down the road a bit.

Justin Cobbs looking to score Photo - Dave Peaks
Justin Cobbs looking to score
Photo – Dave Peaks

It was disheartening to see the team lose this game.  In the end, there were too many turnovers and too many missed shots under the basket.  They lost numerous balls due to poor handling under the basket.  If the team can improve their defense, they should be able to improve their record.  There were several sloppy passes that were intercepted by the Cal players.  In spite of the problems, Oregon stayed with Cal through most of the game.  In fact, Oregon took the lead momentarily in the second half.  But, Cal then took over the game and won going away.

Mike Moser putting up some defense Photo - Dave Peaks
Mike Moser putting up some defense
Photo – Dave Peaks

It was nice to see the Pit Crew out in force and they were vocal as usual.  They are entertaining to watch.  I hope that many of these same Pit Crew members will come out to support the women’s team.

Richard Solomon with a dunk Photo - Dave Peaks
Richard Solomon with a dunk
Photo – Dave Peaks

This was my first basketball game in Matt Knight arena.  I was a big fan during their tenure while at the Pit.  It was good to get back to seeing the Oregon men’s team.  They have some good talent on the team and just need to gel.

Oregon Ducks Women vs. Cal State Northridge Basketball


Oregon Ducks vs. Cal State Northridge – the Oregon girls came out a little rusty after the break for the Christmas Holidays.  Put that on top of a Matadors team that had some good ball handlers.  The press by Oregon wasn’t as effective as it has been in previous games.  But in spite of turnovers by Oregon and numerous layup opportunities by Cal State, Oregon managed to have comfortable lead from the onset of the game.  Coach Westhead gave hand signals for the players to slow it down a bit.  The girls can try to play so fast, they get out of control and make a negative play.

Cal State player going in for a layup Photo - Dave Peaks
Cal State player going in for a layup
Photo – Dave Peaks

Chrishae Rowe had a hot hand from the start of the game as did Jillian Alleyne.  Jillian is a force in the paint – both in scoring as well as rebounding.  Cal State played hard but does not have the talent of Oregon.  Like I mentioned, Cal State has some excellent ball handlers.  They made quite a few layups during the first half especially.  In the second half, the Cal State guards drive the lane and kicked the ball out to their three point shooters.  This plan started working good and they were able to basically stay with Oregon.  The only problem was, Oregon had built a 20 to 30 point lead so it was too little too late.

Rough play under the basket Photo - Dave Peaks
Rough play under the basket
Photo – Dave Peaks

Looking forward to watching Oregon open the Pac 12 season down at Stanford and Cal.  Hopefully, the girls continue to play hard, fast, mostly controlled basketball.  The team will turn a few heads this year and finish in the upper bracket.

Alleyne grabbing one of her many rebounds Photo - Dave Peaks
Alleyne grabbing one of her many rebounds
Photo – Dave Peaks

Photos: Oregon Ducks vs. Portland State Basketball


My reaction to the game against Portland State was WOW!!  The team came out and played hard from the onset of the game.  The defense was intense tonight.  They were in full court press most of the evening which is what allowed them to run away with the game from the tip off.  They created numerous turnovers which led to points.  The girls played an exceptional game tonight.

Drea Toler driving towards the hoop.  A real spark plug on the floor
Drea Toler driving towards the hoop. A real spark plug on the floor

It was great to see some of the players that don’t get a lot of minutes during tight games get a chance to see the floor.  They continued the excellent play of the starters.  The bench enthusiastically cheered when one of the subs scored a basket.  That was great to see.

Katie Gruys going up for a hoop.
Katie Gruys going up for a hoop.

I do hope that the size of the Pit Crew expands in the upcoming games.  They provide a lot of spark for the girls.  Next Friday, the Pleasant Hill Middle School basketball players will be in attendance.  They will bond with the U of O players after the game.  I believe there will be a shoot around and intermingling with the Duck player.  Nice to see that kind of support for up and coming players.

Shot attempt by Allie Brock of Portland State
Shot attempt by Allie Brock of Portland State

If the Ducks play the remainder of their games with this fire and intensity, they will come away with some W’s.

Halftime activities showing us the stars for the future
Halftime activities showing us the stars for the future