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: 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!

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Rattling Chains Photo of the Week: June 2

Ken "Tank' Franks (photo by Jack Trageser)

Sometimes, the “accidental” photos come out the best.

This is Ken “Tank” Franks, a professional player from Roeland Park, Kansas. The image was taken on the 13th hole at the Winthrop University Lakefront course in Rock Hill, S.C. The hole is a 432-foot downhill shot to a precise green, which is surrounded by out-of-bounds areas.

The story (from the photographer, Jack Trageser):

I arrived a couple of days early for the United States Disc Golf Championship in 2009, my first time playing in the event. I went out to practice on the course and ran into Ken. He had already played the event numerous times and graciously invited me to join him and take my time throwing and taking pictures.

I had accidentally set my camera on a setting that gave it the effect you see, with most of the colors changed to black and white, but they yellow remained as a selective color. The pic is an enlargement that focuses on the intimidating, focused look of a guy who actually has a great sense of humor and big heart, and the basket more than 400 feet away.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon Powershot SD 790 IS
  • Shutter speed: 1/640
  • F-stop: F/3.2
  • ISO: 80

Why we chose to use this photo:

Sometimes those “ooops” shots give you some of the best results.

Would this have been a good shot if Jack had taken it without the setting being as it is? Probably. The colors would have been there and it would be nice. But would it focus on things the way it does as it is? Not likely.

This is a really cool image. Jack notes that Ken has even used it as his Facebook profile photo for ages.

Have some great images you want to share with the Rattling Chains readers? Please e-mail pj [at] rattlingchains.com with the subject “Photo of the Week.” Please note that we can’t guarantee all images will be used. Send as many as you would like as if the photos are top notch, we’ll use more than one from you!

When sending in images, please remember to send the story about the photo, the location and any technical information possible! The story can be as long or as short as you like, but please make sure you give some details!

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

Rattling Chains Photo of the Week: March 24

Note: We’re starting some new weekly features here at RattlingChains.com. These are going to be reader submissions, however. The first is a Photo of the Week. We’re looking for your best disc golf images. Not just the normal photo of people holding a disc or something like that (though, at times, we’ll use those) but some of your best shots. Artistic, action whatever — just make them your best. See the end of this post for how to submit images.

The other weekly feature is “What’s in your bag?” The first of those will run later tonight. Until we get a pretty good heap of each of these, we’ll probably rotate them every Saturday. Once we get a good crop of things built up, we’ll do two posts each Saturday.

Without further adieu, here’s this week’s Photo of the Week!

****

Photo by Jenny Cook

Taken at Idlewild in Burlington, Kentucky.

Jenny says:

I was awestruck at the contrast of the basket, power lines and trees up the hill and in the horizon. Even when daylight is just about lost, I still keep my camera in mind because I love the opportunity to photograph a disc golf basket as a silhouette.

This particular course and sunset marked the end of a fairytale two week disc golf filled honeymoon. My husband and I had traveled to North Carolina, Tennessee, and back to Illinois and played countless courses along the way.

Techie info:

  • Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T1i
  • Shutter speed: 1/40
  • F-stop: F/5.6
  • ISO: 1600

Why we chose to use this photo:

This image is one of those awesome disc golf shots that can make you stare for a few seconds. The colors, the silhouettes, the lighting. This is an image that would make for a great enlargement and frame to go on somebody’s wall. This is a beautiful shot from top to bottom. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

See more of Jenny’s images on her website.

Have some great images you want to share with the Rattling Chains readers? Please e-mail pj [at] rattlingchains.com with the subject “Photo of the Week.” Please note that we can’t guarantee all images will be used. Send as many as you would like as if the photos are top notch, we’ll use more than one from you!

When sending in images, please remember to send the story about the photo, the location and any technical information possible! The story can be as long or as short as you like, but please make sure you give some details!

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