Photo Focus: Nov. 6

(Photo focus will run every few 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.)

Disc golf hide and seek (photo by Brian Bell)

Disc golf hide-and-seek (photo by Brian Bell)

I am an older (master’s age) disc golfer who has been playing since the late 1970s. I admit my eyesight isn’t what it used to be.

On this particular day, I was playing at Kinslow Disc Golf Course in Sunbury, Ohio. I had played the course once before, but was still fairly unfamiliar with the layout. On the first round I played there, I managed to throw and lose both of the drivers that I had packed for the day (a blue blizzard Katana, pictured, and a yellow champion Monarch).

Being out of work for a good while (I am taking care of my wife, who has rheumatoid arthritis, and is recovering from several related surgeries and conditions), I was quite disheartened as I could not replace the discs. I searched for more than 30 minutes for each disc before giving up.

I had my name and phone number on the disc and would have to trust to the honesty of any player who found the discs later.

Still, I was determined it would not ruin my day! I was out in the sun and playing a sport I love! I played the rest of the round using my mid-range discs (DX Cobra, champion Super Stingray, and DX Stingray).

After finishing the round, I looked in my car to see if I had any drivers laying around. I was in luck! I had an old, first-run, Typhoon hiding under a blanket.

I started a second round. I found that I enjoyed the way that the old DX plastic felt in my hand. I also took joy in the way that the slower discs just seemed to hang in the air, with long, graceful flight paths. I didn’t even mind when the Super Stingray decided to play tree-pinball, bouncing from bumper-tree to bumper-tree on one of the holes (triple-bogey).

I got back around to hole 10 (where I lost my Katana). Determined not to lose another disc, I aimed wide of the thorn brambles. The Typhoon sailed in a lovely “S” pattern, graciously landing in the open “neck” of the course (between the brambles on the right and the trees on the left). My second shot passed the basket, but not by much allowing me to finish on the third shot. I decided to take a moment (since there was no-one behind me) and look one last time for the Katana. I went back to the tee, lined up where I had thrown it the last round and made a direct course for the place the disc entered the brambles. After climbing into the brambles I looked up in the branches (as I did 20 times before) and I found the disc! Ten minutes of work later, I had it down and was back on my way.

Later, on 14 (I think), I teed-off and when I went to make a second throw, I found my missing Monarch! This was a good day indeed!

On the next throw, my Katana caught some wind and ended up in the “rough”. When I later found it, I laughed out loud and took the picture. My only thought was “Disc golf — hide-and-seek for grown-ups!”

— Brian Bell 

Techie info:

  • Camera: Samsung SCH-I200
  • Aperture: f/2.6
  • Exposure: —
  • Focal Length: 2.8 mm
  • ISO: 50

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!

Photo Focus: March 26

(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.)

Looks like this guy was checking to see if it was his disc. (photo by Mark Doucette)

Looks like this guy was checking to see if it was his disc. (photo by Mark Doucette)

This is a curious deer we often see during the winter at our course in Longeuil, Quebec.

He seems to always want to chase our discs and follow us around. The course sits just outside Montreal, next to the St. Lawrence River and also next to a Virginia deer reserve.

The course went in just last summer and it’s a good 18-hole course for introducing the sport. Mostly open, with some woods, elevation and water.

This photo was taken Jan. 16. We see the deer every day in the winter (you have to go early in the morning to see them in the summer). There’s lots of action in the evening hours and they will show up as a herd of 3-6.

This one was really curious and it loved the bright discs. I laid down and my buddies slipped a couple of discs over, about a 12 feet in front of me.

— Mark Doucette

Techie info:

  • Camera: Nikon CoolPix S230
  • Aperture: ƒ/7.2
  • Exposure: 1/100
  • Focal Length: 14.3 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: March 12

(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.)

(photo by Mark Kelly)

The 12th hole at Cliff Stevens DGC in Clearwater, Fla. (photo by Mark Kelly)

Usually, we request a story when we run a Photo Focus, but there are times when a story is not needed.

The whole a photo is worth 1,000 words sort of thing.

This image, sent in by Mark Kelly is one such image. Taken this past November during the professional weekend at the 2012 Moccasin Lake Open at Cliff Stevens DGC in Clearwater, Fla., the photo of the 12th hole is quite stunning.

What you see is more than a photo — you see photography at some of its best. Kelly took three exposures at different speeds — 1/125th, 1/250th and 1/500th. He took them in RAW format — basically a digital negative.

After importing each image into Adobe Lightroom, he exported the images into jpg files and merged them into High Dynamic Range images. HDR images is a digital photography technique that helps allow a greater range between the lightest and darkest areas of the image. Basically, it allows the photographer to represent the range of light a bit more and makes things pop.

This image really is something special in regard to disc golf and, for most disc golfers, will likely stand on its own and doesn’t need much of a back story.

Techie info:

  • Camera: N/A
  • Aperture: ƒ/10
  • Exposure: 1/125; 1/250; 1/500
  • Focal Length: 55 mm
  • ISO: 160

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: Feb. 26

(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.)

photo_focus_2-26

The frustrations of winter disc golf (photo by David Prunty)

The seventh hole at Panther Highlands in Dryden, New York, finishes with a steep, right-to-left slope. A second shot landing close to the basket is all most average players can possibly hope for, given the long and narrow approach — and the slope — to the area.

Playing after some moderate snow, my playing partner made a solid second shot that appeared to land very close to the basket.

Or so we thought!

As we walked up to the landing area, we saw these marks in the snow. Clearly, his disc landed and rolled backward down the hill, flipping over five times and then landing on the top of the disc to skid the rest of the way down the hill.

The disc ended up about 120 feet away from where it landed.

This kind of thing happens all the time, but you rarely see this “CSI” level kind of proof about what happened when you walk up and see your disc a long way from where you thought it would be!

Techie info:

  • Camera: iPhone 5
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.4
  • Exposure: 1/3623
  • Focal Length: 4.1 mm
  • ISO: 50

– David Prunty

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: Dec. 12

(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.)

Parma, Ohio. (photo by Trevor Tippets)

Parma, Ohio. (photo by Trevor Tippets)

The Story: The fall in Ohio can be bleak and cloudy, so when a sunny day comes, it’s hard not to take advantage.

It was a fall day in mid-October. A friend and I had decided to get in an early round of disc golf. The day could be described as crisp, or as they say in Spanish “fresco” or fresh.

I like the term “fresh” to describe a sunny fall morning. It’s a feeling that things are new and the day could bring many great things.

This photo is at hole No. 4 at Veterans Memorial Disc Golf Course in Parma, Ohio. We generally start on hole No. 1, which faces west. The next two holes also face west. Turning east to hole No. 4 was the first real view I got of how grandeur the sun was projecting in my direction.

The hole plays from an open area into the trees, and as I got to my disc after my drive, I looked up and saw my friend standing with a perfect and sunlit group of trees at his back.

With the basket in the foreground, it seemed like the perfect shot. There was just a little bit of fog, giving the area a little mystery. There was also the right amount of sunlight to project rays through the boughs and fog.

I pulled out my phone and hoped I could capture, even if just for the memory, a little bit of what I like the call the perfect day for disc golf.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Galaxy Nexus
  • Exposure: 1/100
  • Aperture: F/2.8
  • Focal length: 3.4 mm
  • ISO: 50

– Trevor Tippets

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: 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!

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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