Photo Focus: June 6

(Photo focus will run every week or two or so on Rattling Chains. The idea is to focus on disc golf photographs submitted by staff members and readers. To see the guidelines for submitting a photograph for this feature, click here.)

Eric McCabe at the Too Many Days In May tournament in Virginia. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

Eric McCabe at the Too Many Days In May tournament in Virginia. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

This years Too Many Days In May tournament concluded with a two-day professional A-tier event at The Blockhouse in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Several top professionals showed up, including Ricky Wysocki, Michael Johanson, Eric McCabe and Sarah Hokom.

The opportunitiy to shoot some top pros at a local course doesn’t come around too often. Out of all the images I took that weekend some of the best shots came from the Darkside No. 17. The Darkside is not just the name of the course. It’s a heavily wooded course with a thick canopy that makes action shots difficult.

The 17th hole is great to shoot. There is a large tree about 150 feet from down the fairway, where it crests enough to make the tee pad below my shooting position.

Basically, I hid behind the tree and poked the camera out enough to get a shot. With the players teeing off directly in front of you, you get a great tee shot. There are not many courses where you can pull this off. It takes being a little aggressive in picking a spot, but on this hole I was hiding so well most players didn’t even notice me.

The best shot happened to be Eric McCabe and I was able to time his throw pretty well.

— Kevin Morrow

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon D2x
  • Aperture: ƒ/4
  • Exposure: 1/640
  • Focal Length: 300 mm
  • ISO: 800

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Photo Focus: April 16

(Photo focus will run every two weeks or so on Rattling Chains. The idea is to focus on disc golf photographs submitted by staff members and readers. To see the guidelines for submitting a photograph for this feature, click here.)

Russell Jessop of Fredericksburg throws a drive during the Virginia Team Invitational disc golf tournament in Spotsylvania. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

Russell Jessop of Fredericksburg throws a drive during the Virginia Team Invitational disc golf tournament in Spotsylvania. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

March 24, 2013 — in Virginia.

This image was taken at the Virginia Team Invitational. The image is of Russell Jessop, throwing from the fairway on the 945-foot seventh hole at Hawk Hollow Disc Golf Course. This was during the final match play.

The weekend started nicely with cool, but sunny weather by the end of the first day. Day two started cloudy and the matches were moved to an earlier start because of rain in the forecast.

During the day, the temperature kept dropping until the time for the final matches to start. By then, a few flakes of snow were falling. By the seventh hole the snow was coming down hard. But the players finished and Russell was able to help Team Spotsy defeat Team Seneca, 5-4.

— Kevin Morrow

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon D2x
  • Aperture: ƒ/3.5
  • Exposure: 1/500
  • Focal Length: 135 mm
  • ISO: 1600

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

I’m in last place and feel fine — why an 825-rated player enters a tourney

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

Standing on the first tee, I turn to face my group.

“Hi, my name is Kevin Morrow and I’m an 825-rated player.”

I then get that true support-group reaction, in unison.

“Hi, Kevin!”

Kevin Morrow tees off on the 12th hole at Loriella Disc Golf earlier this year. A birdie on this hole helped Morrow to his lowest round ever in a tournament.

Kevin Morrow tees off on the 12th hole at Loriella Disc Golf earlier this year. A birdie on this hole helped Morrow to his lowest round ever in a tournament.

Sometimes, I feel like my playing in disc golf tournaments equates to being an addict. It’s a lot of self-abuse and nothing good comes from it.

Let me back up a little bit.

I began playing disc golf in 1986. By the early 1990s, I was playing tournaments and finishing in the middle of the pack in Am2. I stopped playing tournaments in 1996 and by 2002, I had stopped playing entirely.

In all of those tournaments, I never cashed or won prizes. A few years ago, I picked up my discs again. Last year, I began playing in tournaments again. A big part of that decision was because of the local club — the Spotsy Disc Golf Club. I joined this year and it’s a great group of golfers. Being around them got my competitive blood flowing again.

Being at the back end of the masters division and being an 825-rated player has unique situations. As a player who isn’t new, do I enter the rec division or intermediate? Or do I man up and play advanced masters?

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Photo Focus: Dec. 4

(Photo focus will run every two weeks or so on Rattling Chains. The idea is to focus on disc golf photographs submitted by staff members and readers. To see the guidelines for submitting a photograph for this feature, click here.)

From Hawk Hollow in Virginia. (photo by Kevin Morrow)

The Story: Fall is my favorite time of year to photograph disc golf. Not just because of the bright fall colors, but the light has a great yellow hue during the afternoon.

This is one of my favorite images from the fall.

The blue disc in contrast with the orange and yellow leaves really appealed to me. This was an approach shot on hole No. 15 at Hawk Hollow in Spotslvania, Virginia.

Hawk Hollow is the most photographer-friendly disc golf course I’ve ever been on.

For this shot, I hung back about 50 feet and used a 300mm F/4 lens to get this shot. When I realized he was going to throw an overhand shot, I tilted the shot to make sure I got the disc in the frame.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon D2X
  • Exposure: 1/2500
  • Aperture: F/8
  • Focal length: 300mm
  • ISO: 400

– Kevin Morrow

If you have any comments, questions, thoughts, ideas or anything else, feel free to e-mail me and the crew at: pj@rattlingchains.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

A beginner’s guide to dyeing discs

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

In my original post about dyeing discs on Rattling Chains, I wrote about how I got into dyeing discs and gave some other thoughts on the process.

I’ve been dyeing discs for a couple of months and have received a lot of feedback on how good the discs look. I’ve also had people who are interested in doing it ask a lot of questions about the process.

I’m going to explain my process with a step-by-step look.

First, you need some specific tools to make it easier.

A light source, such as a light table, and an Xacto knife with No. 10 blades are needed. I use a new blade for each mask I cut. (Sometimes, however, I will use the same blade for multiple small designs).

My light source is something I have left over from my pre-digital photography days — a Logan desktop light box I used to edit negatives. You might be able to find these pretty cheap as most photographers who went digital could have them sitting in a closet collecting dust.

Another way to get a light source is if you have a glass table, put a lamp under it.

Other items needed include a black Sharpie marker, a roll of simple masking tape and an old credit card.

For supplies, I use Orcal 651 clear vinyl, which I get from U.S. Cutter. I use the clear vinyl because it’s easier for me to see through. I also use iPoly Dyes (iDye for polyester fabrics), which I get from Dharma Trading. I don’t use Rit dyes because they changed the formula, meaning one has to find certain lot numbers and that can be a hassle.

I do my design work with Photoshop.

With everything you need in hand, it’s time to get your art ready. I do all my designs in Adobe Photoshop. But use whatever art program you are most comfortable with.

I have a base file that is an 8-inch circle because most discs are about 8.5 inches in diameter. I started with a full color album and worked it to black-and-white line art. Once you get it the way you want, print it out and tape it to the backside of a square of the vinyl.

Then cut the vinyl at least an inch larger than the print on each side. I usually like to have about two inches extended from the edge.

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Using dyes to make your discs personal

By Kevin Morrow — For Rattling Chains

I like personalizing my stuff, making it unique to my personality and sense — or lack thereof — of style.

When I bought my Harley Davidson, the first thing I did was take the tins off and do a custom paint design, which is still unique to anything I’ve yet to see. When I got back into disc golf, I jazzed up the old camera bag I used. I took some patches I had been given, sewer them on and even spray painted some graphics on the bag. My new backpack is heavily decorated with patches, tags and other things.

This design took about 24 to cut over the course of three days. It’s my all-time favorite because it’s my most detailed dye and it was a perfect dye — clean detail cuts and no bleeds.

I like to believe it’s a way to tell my story.

I’ve always wanted to do custom art on my discs. But the only way I knew to do it was drawing art with a Sharpie.

Then I found out you could dye custom graphics on Champion and Star plastics. I’d still like to find the first person to discover this process. I can imagine a disc golfer in a dark and damp basement and he accidentally spills some Rit dye on his favorite disc, making a cool pattern. Just like that, custom dyes are invented.

It boggles my mind to think someone actually may have had the thought of “I wonder if I apply cloth dye to a disc, will it work?”

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Review: Discasaurus app for iPhone

By Kevin Morrow — Special to RattlingChains.com

Let me start by saying I hate phones.

Especially cell phones.

As soon as I answer a call, I’m looking for a chance to end it.I never carried a cell phone and I waited for about two years before I bought an iPhone. But I use it as a handheld portable data device, which just so happens to take calls. Almost immediately, I began looking for disc golf scoring apps.

Discasaurus

I have used several scoring apps. The earliest ones were just scorecards that had a few extra features. iDiscGolf, Scorecards, Disc Golf Tracker and the PDGA app (which I use for tournament rounds) are some that I have tried.

And, of course, Discasaurus.

The apps creator — Dave — has said the app is disc golf score keeping done right.

After more than 150 rounds with the app, I tend to agree with him.

Discasaurus is a free app for the iPhone. It’s an easy-to-use scorecard that also has a course locator. The app, which was released June 21, 2011, is integrated with a website where players can upload scores and keep track of scoring trends.  The next update is slated to happen within the next few weeks

I downloaded this app about two weeks after it was released. Since then, it’s become my primary disc scoring app. The app features about 2,700 courses, including ones in the United States and 15 other countries. There are also about 5,300 registered players and there is about 50 new players daily registering accounts. Between 75-100 scores are posted daily.

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