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!