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] Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Exclusive: The chains talk back

(Editor’s note: Sometimes there isn’t anything in the queue and I’m blank so I start thinking about silly things I can write about. This is one of those stories…)

By Disc G. Basket, Esq. — Contributing writer

I’m sick of it.

You see, me and my brethren are sick and tired of you disc golfers treating us like crap or second-rate citizens.

Rattle those chains, you say. Make them sing, you say. Throw it harder and make it stick, you say.

A disc golf basket speaks up — and makes it known that rattling the chains is a painful thing!

Apparently, you don’t realize that we baskets feel what you are doing.

You don’t think it’s a coincidence that a perfect putt pops into the chains and then lands on the ground, do you?

We have to deal with a lot, you know.

Sometimes, we’ll have to smell some of that herbal stuff that some of you players bring around. You know, not all of us like to smell that stuff! And booze? How many times are you going to leave empty beer (or soda or something else) bottles in our baskets?

Our baskets aren’t made for that or other trash that people can leave behind. Now we realize that it’s not just disc golfers who leave stuff in our baskets, but they do.

People sometimes also sign us after we’re kind enough to allow an ace. Really? Sign your disc and move on. For those of you kind enough to come out and wipe all that graffiti off us, we thank you.

Back in the day, when we were first installed, we’d be treated like Kings and Queens.

Players would come by in awe of us. Kind of like a new baby. Unlike a baby, however, soon you were whipping pieces of plastic at us. Sometimes, there were sharp edges.

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