Don’t Fight the Light

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

“Don’t fight the light,” was a phrase that I heard many times from my photojournalism instructors in college. It is a constant battle for photojournalists. We are forced to make pictures in situations that send CCDs scrambling for brighter fields. The picture above is from a situation many will face. Go to the local rec center and make pictures of a high school swimmer for a sports feature. Seems like a simple assignment. However, it quickly turns from simple to complicated.

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Trail of Lights

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Shooting holiday lights can be a challenge. I always like to include a human element in my pictures and with a long exposure it can be difficult to make a picture without motion blur. I saw the couple in the photo above attempting to shoot self portraits at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield on Saturday and it gave me an idea. To get a proper exposure for the lights I would need a long exposure. This gave me a window of opportunity to catch the flash from the couple’s camera and use it as fill to illuminate them in front of the lights. It took a couple of frames but I managed to time it right to make the picture above.

Friday Night Darkness (Lights?)

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Fall sports started a couple of weeks ago and I have been busy Friday nights ever since. For many of us that means high school football. This is a time of year that I both look forward to and dread. The weather is finally cooling off and the days are becoming shorter. Unfortunately that means that the sun sets earlier and with game times starting around 7pm I am forced to deal with awful stadium lights (hence the phrase Friday Night Lights). This used to mean that I had to break out the flash-bracket-battery-pack-monopod contraption in order to stop action and get a decent exposure. Not anymore. I recently acquired a Canon EOS 7D which I have blogged about here and there. With fast lenses (f2.8 or better) and lower noise higher ISOs, football has become fun to shoot again.

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The Annual Cannon Concert at Clement Park

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The Denver Municipal Band Wind Festival is part of the Free Foothills Summer Concert Series at Clement Park. Every year they bring out a bunch of reproduction cannons (that’s weapons, not Canon cameras), to fire off during the 1812 Overture. It draws a pretty big crowd and makes for some interesting photos. Note to self: don’t forget earplugs.

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Covering Track and Field

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Track is one my least favorite things to cover. There. I said it. There’s just something about trying to make pictures of people running that I really dislike. Shoot it tight, throw in a panning shot, low angle with a wide lens, I feel like I have tried it all. It seems like the schools that we cover rarely have any athletes that participate in the “interesting” track and field events. When I say interesting, what I mean is events like pole vault, high jump, long jump, discus or shot put. The events you don’t see very often. This year’s Liberty Bell Invitational was a big change. We actually had people to cover in these events. What a surprise that was!

High School LAX Playoffs

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I actually made a lacrosse picture that I like!! It should be an easy sport to shoot but for some reason I have had a hard time with it lately. I guess trying to cover 3 games in 2 hours puts the pressure on you to produce.

Calling Out West

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

The images here are of a band named Calling Out West. The band is made up of current and former students from Columbine and Chatfield High Schools. They performed at the “Day Without Hate” rally at the North Area Athletic Complex in Arvada. Basically the idea behind the “Day Without Hate” is to bring high school students closer together in the wake of the seemingly never ending school shootings and bullying that infects schools in the U.S. right now. Its a good cause and is now district wide.

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Home Run Helper

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Sometimes the reaction is better than the action. And sometimes you were pointed at the short stop and the batter hits a solo home run. Better than nothing.