High School Football Portraits

© Times-Call 2012/MediaNews Group 2012

I’ll admit it. I used to hate my speedlights. The first one I bought sat in my camera bag for 6 months before I even turned it on for the first time. I didn’t understand how to use it, when I should use it or what it was capable of. I got over my hatred but only after a lot of experimentation and studying the work of other news and editorial photographers. Once I understood what could be accomplished using speedlights, modifiers and a solid knowledge of lighting, I never approached a portrait the same way again.

Click through for to learn about how the picture above was made.

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Friday Night Lights

© Times-Call 2012/MediaNews Group 2012

Love it or hate it high school football is back. I shot my first game last Friday night and had a pretty good time. The Nikon D4 is probably the best camera I have ever used to shoot football. Paired with a 300mm f2.8 it performed almost flawlessly. Making sharp pictures was easy. Here’s a few from the game plus what the printed page looked like. Enjoy.

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On Assignment: Dealing With Bad Weather

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Last Saturday, Oct. 8, was some of the worst weather I have had to work through in years.  It was 40 degrees, windy and raining. Throughout the day, the rain turned into snow then back into rain and finally back into snow. Surprise, surprise, all of my assignments were outside for the day. When I arrived at my first assignment it was immediately clear what the story would be: mud. Instead of a standard feature assignment, it became a giant weather assignment. I laced up my boots, headed into the pumpkin patch and concentrated on finding the muddiest pumpkins and people.

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Fall Football Preview Portraits

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

About 6 months ago our sports editor, Michael Hicks, came to me with an idea for the fall. He wanted to put together a multi-page, pull out section filled with previews for the fall high school football season. I was immediately on board. It has been a long time since we had tackled anything this big. Newspapers with a circulation size as small as ours do not get to work on projects like this often. As everyone is well aware, the newspaper business is a little unstable right now. With that instability comes budget cuts and physical page count and size reductions. Getting a full color, multi-page section is a difficult pill to swallow for most publishers, especially if there is a lack of committed advertising to offset the cost.

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Hero

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I made the picture above during an interview the other day. No artificial lights were used. Sometimes you just can’t beat the natural light coming from a great, big, window. I usually stay away from doing the black and white conversion with my pictures but I in this case I felt like it fit the mood well.  You can read the full story about U.S.M.C. Lance Cpl. Marcus Uribe in this weeks Columbine Courier.