CFP Championship Game – Oregon / Ohio State


My final photo essay for this football season.

It was my honor to be at the inaugural CFP Championship Game in AT&T stadium.  It has been a thrill to be on the sidelines for every game Oregon played this year except the Colorado game when I was sick.  What an experience it has been to cover a Heisman winner and to watch him play at such a high level.  There were so many stars on this years team and they have set the bar high for teams coming behind them.  This football season fulfills one of my bucket list line items.  I thank Kelly Asay for giving me this opportunity.  I hope people have enjoyed some of the photos I’ve posted in my photo essays.  I will go into the off-season and work at getting better.

My experience at the National Football Playoff game at AT&T Stadium…  This stadium is amazing.  Everything about it is grand.  I’ve done my camera setting checks on the field and systems appear to be go.  Only 4 hours to game time.  The bus ride to the stadium was pretty neat – a 4 car police escort.  Check in at the stadium included having all of our bags on the ground in front of us while a dog niffed every bag.  Then our bags were searched and we were all wanded. Once inside, we are pretty much left to go where ever we are permitted.  Grabbed a bite to eat in the media area and headed to the field.  I’m amazed every time I walk onto the field.  There are so many media people of all sorts at the game.  It’s very busy on the sidelines.  Neat to be part of the crowd.  It’s very difficult to get shots that don’t include people of some sorts.  ESPN has a large contingency of photographers, TV, and video shooters.

Shooting during the game was fun.  The end zones were for kneeling only and space was usually at a premium.  I normally will be found at the end of the field where Oregon will score.  Unfortunately, there weren’t many opportunities to get action shots except for Ohio State when they started a drive.  I will not attempt to critique the game but I will say it became eveident early on that Oregon was struggling to get momentum going.  I wish Arik and Marcus all the success in the NFL.  I hope their dreams come true.  They have given us so much throughout the season.  Mahalo.

David Peaks – Civil War 2014


I had an opportunity to shoot the Civil War football game at Reser Stadium Saturday evening.  That was my first visit to the stadium and found the upgrade to be very nice.  The afternoon started out with a rain shower but we were able to be under cover.  By game time, there were clear skies but it got pretty cold as the game went on.  I was shooting with a new photographer to me, BJ Miller.  She was fun to shoot with and I’m sure she had some fantastic shots.

I find shooting the games this year to be memorable as this may be the last year we see Marcus Mariota playing for the Ducks.  You may see a number of Mariota photos in my post because we are huge Mariota fans.

This was a fun game to shoot as there were many moments to record for viewing later on.  Oregon has a number of fantastic players on the team and many provided photographic moments.  I am working with a new camera body and there are a few new features to learn but I was pleased overall.

I am looking forward to shooting the Pac 12 Championship game next Friday in Levi Stadium in Santa Calra, California.  I have reasonable expectations of the photos I hope to take.

I Shot the Ducks!


Camera in hand I walked onto the field where in just a couple hours the Oregon Ducks would play against the Beavers in the 118th Civil War Game!

Not afraid to admit i was nervous, what if i missed the best shots, what if i got hit in the face with a ball or trampled by the whole team? Then the Ducks and Beavers took the field for the kick off and I raised my camera to my eye and became part of the game. I scanned the players and clicked the shutter. The bands played loud and the fans screamed for their fave teams and I was there right in the middle of it all. I forgot I was scared, I forgot I was cold, I forgot about everything else but what I was doing. Close up and personal through the camera lens with everyone from Marcus Mariota to Royce Freeman and I loved every second of my very first time and hopefully not my last time shooting an Oregons Ducks football game.

This is what it looked like through my eyes. I SHOT THE DUCKS!



Boys Water Polo – Sheldon-Willamette


This was my second water polo match to shoot.  I had just finished the Sheldon girls match and stayed to take photos of the boys match.  The boys play a bit faster and shoot the ball harder. Both goalies were kept pretty busy the entire match.  There are still some technical issues I need to work on for the next water polo match.  The water spray looks neat but it can also throw the focus off the player.  I have to lock onto the player prior to the spray coming up and then the auto focus will stay locked on the player even if there is significant spray.  I will also use a 300mm lens for most of the shots vs. the 200mm lens I used for these matches.  I will still use the 70-200mm lens for action that is closer to where I’m shooting from.  I will also shoot some shots from each end of the pool instead of staying mainly on the side line.  We can only shoot from one side of the pool as there is no deck on the opposite side.

It was an enjoyable match to shoot.  The boys played with a lot of energy.  Sheldon easily won the match.

Sheldon Girls Water Polo vs. Cottage Grove


This was my first attempt to photograph a water polo game.  I found the game inetesting to watch and to photograph.  Like any other sport, it helps to understand the basics of the sport. I’m sure I missed a few shots during the match.

I had a better feel for the action towards the end of the game.  I may also try a different lens the next match I shoot.  The games are relatively short – 4 – 6:00 minute quarters.  It may take a few matches to understand the fouls and what amount of contact is allowed.

All-in-all, I enjoyed shooting the match and look forward to the next opportunity to shoot another match.  I did stay and shoot photos of the boys match against Willamette High.  That post will follow.

Sports Workshop – Field Hockey


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 him 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 all participants to use one. I asked to use a camera body and a 500mm lens.

This photo essay will cover a high school field hockey game. Here again, Peter was able to put this game together because of the people he knows. This wasn’t an actual game but a full scrimmage between members of the Los Gatos High School teams. This was my first exposure to field hockey. I found it an interesting sport. This sport is big on the East coast with only a few colleges on the West coast having teams. Some of the girls playing that day were being heavily recruited by East coast teams. They were very good. I found this game a cross between hockey and golf. Just kidding but some of the girls had great golf swings. The ball is larger than a handball, is plastic, and very hard. I found it amazing the speed the ball travels and the lack of protection the girls had. Outside of the goalie who was heavily protected, the girls only wore shin guards. The girls played a full game for us and included official refs. The temperature was up there causing some heat shimmering in the photos. I learned about the game and had fun shooting the action.

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.

Oregon-Oregon St. Volleyball


Attending the Civil War volleyball made for an exciting evening. Oregon was undefeated and the Beavers had a record of 10 and 1. The setting for this game was different than most volleyball matches I have attended. For starters, the entire Oregon Marching Band was present in the West end of Matt Knight Arena. Secondly, there were more Pit Crew members in attendance. Thirdly, more fans attended this game than usual and the energy of the crowd was good. Lots of noise to go with good play.

Oregon got off to a good start but lost a little intensity towards the end of the first match. They finished hard and secured the victory. The second game was a different story. Oregon didn’t lead the second match until close to the end. eventually, the team pulled out the victory. The third set was totally different than the second match. Oregon came out hot and had no trouble putting the Beavers down easily.

There was a special moment after the matches were finished. Coach Moore became the winningest coach for Oregon. He went around the circle hugging each and every player. It was obvious there is a lot of respect between players and coach. That was heartwarming to see.

I was happy that I was able to attend this game and capture some of the action. I’m still learning where to place myself to get the best shots. One game at a time. This is a fun learning process.

Photos: Oregon-Michigan State Volleyball


Behind The Lens

The volleyball season has started and there are some new faces on the team. Once Oregon got the first game out of the way, not playing the way they should have, the team returned to form and was never really threatened during the following three games. There was a pretty good crowd including several Pit Crew members in attendance. The fans were very supportive and made some noise.

As for photos, I stayed in the upper levels with a telephoto lens, I will venture to the floor level to get action from a different perspective as the season progresses. The fans appreciate the players signing posters after the match. there were quite a number of fans in the lines waiting to see the players.

Oregon-Wyoming Football


This photo essay is about my experience shooting the football game. Being there early in the morning was a bit different. The atmosphere was certainly different this game than the Michigan State game. The tailgating crowd had not arrived in force yet and parking was not the problem was for the MSU game. But, being in Autzen stadium is always exciting. The press room didn’t have the same bustle as last game. The biscuits and gravy and donuts were good and gave us some sustenance while on the field.

For whatever reason, I got out of my normal pre-game routine. I didn’t take many photos of the players or of the crowd. shooting photos mid-day presents challenges for the photographer. Not the exact best time to shoot photos, but, the game was about to start and after making settings on the camera, I was ready for some action. This being my third game shooting photos, I am becoming a little more comfortable being on the field and hopefully being in the right location. As the saying goes in business – location, location, location. You pick a spot and hope it’s the right one where the action comes to your side of the field. I didn’t do too bad choosing my locations. I did miss Mariota somersaulting over the goal line.

I’m also enjoying shooting a few photos after the game has ended. I had a nice moment shaking Erick Dargan’s hand and telling him how well he played today. He was very appreciative of my comments. He was waiting his turn to be interviewed.
All-in-all, it was a fun experience. What a great afternoon weather wise and watching the Ducks win. Let’s keep the train rolling.

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.

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