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!

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Photo Focus: Nov. 20

(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.)

The before and after photos of hole No. 12 at Rockburn Branch. (photo by Mike Chvojka)

The Story: Taken on hole No. 12 at Rockburn Branch in Elkridge, Maryland.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, I found myself at a course the locals like to call “Rockburn.” I had never played Rockburn before that gorgeous fall day, but I had an upcoming doubles championship there and I wanted to get a feel for the course so I wouldn’t go into the tournament completely blind.

A lot of people consider hole No. 15 as the signature hole and I can’t say I blame them. But the uniqueness of that hole is hard to capture with a cell phone camera.

As I walked up to my approach shot and lined up for my putt, I thought to myself that this hole was pretty unique as well. In the background was this metal roofed building, which had really weathered wood. That helped illustrate its age.

I know this building is still being used and I wondered if it was once a barn for someone. Or, perhaps there was some historical significance tied to it?

The color photo helps illustrate exactly what I was seeing as I lined up for my putt. But, I felt the photo was a little too dark as I was standing in the shade when I took it. I also felt, because of the amount of shade and lack of vibrant color, that you focus more on the building and less on the basket. I knew this photo would be better if I changed it to black and white.

I edited the original photo by changing is on my phone to the “documentary” setting. I think it suits the photo better. Changing it from color to black and white brightens the photo, highlights its simplicity and makes it easier to focus on the real subject — the basket.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Motorola Droid Bionic
  • Exposure: 1/500
  • Aperture: F/2.4
  • Focal length: 4.6mm
  • ISO: 100

– Mike Chvojka

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: Nov. 6

(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.)

Stacked baskets (photo by Jenny Cook)

The Story: Taken in Oswego, Illinois, this photo is of stacked disc golf baskets.

During the Discraft Ace Race, tournament director Scott Pitner decided to stack six baskets together for the finishing hole. There was a point system in place for each row.

With each player starting and finishing on that hole, I decided to stand behind and capture the action. It also gave me a better view of the hole so I could figure out what I was going to do when it was my turn to play the hole!

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Exposure: N/A
  • Aperture: N/A
  • Focal length: N/A
  • ISO: N/A

— Jenny Cook

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: Oct. 23

(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.)

Raw emotion at PDGA Worlds. (Photo by Kevin Morrow)

The story: As a sports photographer, your skill set is very refined. It’s nothing like art, feature or scenic photography. I tend to call it dog photography. You wait around for something to happen in front of you.

The key is understanding sports and being able to put yourself in the right spot and be ready when the event happens in front of you. Whether is professional football, NASCAR, baseball or even high school sports, understanding the game is critical to be able to put yourself in that position to succeed.

Disc golf presents unique issues similar to ball golf, but a bit tougher — the fight between wanting to get the best possible imaging without bothering the golfer.

Getting good images of disc golfers putting is a real trick. You make your way to a basket and scan on the discs around the ground then figure out the best position to get as many players putting as possible. Once you pick your spot, you can’t move and most group fairly quickly. That means it’s over before you can move, anyway. So, if you pick the wrong spot, you’ve wasted that opportunity.

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Photo focus: Oct. 9

(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.)

The silhouette of a disc golf basket at sunset (photo by P.J. Harmer).

Taken in a field in Meredith, New York.

Story: I have often seen some incredible photographs taken with disc golf basket silhouettes. I’ve also seen silhouettes of people or discs and everything else in regard to the sport.

I’ve just never had the chance to get anything cool.

Living in an area with mountains and valleys, it’s often tough to capture a good sunset. You have to be on a peak of a hill at the right time and sometimes it’s tough to find that one spot. Two of us — myself and Rattling Chains staff member Darren Dolezel — were heading back to town after a day of shooting some urban golf. Knowing the sunset was going to be good and knowing we had a portable basket with us, we went to a spot we thought would work.

The sunset was awesome. I just had to rush to set things up. With no real level ground, you get the tilted basket, which I’ve grown to really like about this shot. I took as many as I could — both with my tripod and without — in hopes of getting one. This was the best one and it’s an image that I truly love.

I will look to get more images at sunset involving disc golf. But this was a good way to start and figure some things out. I have ideas. Now I need to find a course within driving distance where I can accomplish said photos!

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon 7D
  • Exposure: 1/400
  • Aperture: F/10
  • Focal length: 40mm
  • ISO: 800

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

Photography and disc golf: Look beyond the throw

I was laying on the ground as a friend tossed discs into the basket. I was mesmerized by the brilliant blue background of the sky and just wanted to capture the disc as it started to rattle the chains.

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series about disc golf photography. The rest of the series will continue in the coming weeks.)

By P.J. Harmer — RattlingChains.com Staff

Disc golf is a fantastic sport to photograph. I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before.

Expressions, action, the discs in flight — but it goes so much more beyond that. See, disc golf can be an artistic thing as well.

The silhouette of a basket with a sunset as the background never gets old.

Though the action shot is the ultimate, there’s a lot people can do with point-and-shoot cameras, a camera phone or whatever else to get a great image.

The big point is this, though — not all disc golf shots need to be action or with people in them. The beauty of this game is that baskets, discs and whatever else lend itself to having phenomenal shots.

And you don’t need a high-priced fancy camera (though if you have one, excellent!)

Think of the possibilities out there for images — cool-looking baskets; baskets with nice backdrops; the disc going into the basket (without a person present); discs in crazy landing spots; disc golf bags full of colorful discs. The list can go on and on.

Now, I wouldn’t suggest you try and do all this during a tournament, of course. But during a casual round? Take a peek around.

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Photography and disc golf: Action doesn’t have to be hard to capture

Capturing action shots with disc golf is always cool, but one doesn’t need high-priced camera equipment to capture the essence of the game.

(Editor’s note: This is the first in a series about disc golf photography. The rest of the series will continue in the coming weeks.)

By P.J. Harmer — RattlingChains.com Staff

I’ve been lucky over the years to be able to submerge myself into photography. From having a dark room growing up, to working for a weekly newspaper where I had the chance to learn all facets of a camera.

Over the years, sports has always been a big part of my photography. Whether it’s being close up at a baseball game or trying to find the right angle during a football game, sports photography can be tricky.

This post, however, won’t be about the technical parts of disc golf photography (I’ll save that for another day), rather the basics of what to look for, where to stand and other things you can do.

The reality is cameras are more and more affordable, so everybody can enjoy taking disc golf photos. And with camera phones (such as the iPhone) getting better and better, the ability to take disc golf photos is becoming easier and easier.

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