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Sports Workshop Followup...

Last weekend was my third run at doing a Sports Photography Workshop for Roberts Camera's Education program. This time around we went and shot the NASL Indy Eleven soccer team, which was a blast! The class consisted of 7 people, and we started out talking things like autofocus, focal length, and even how pro sports can be very predictable as compared to amateur sports. In fact several of the attendees even commented that they started to see patterns in that whenever a ball was in the air, it was likely going to be a header. It was a ton of fun.


(Photo by Mike M at downshift photo, using a Nikon D600)

The attendees were also introduced to my friend Trevor who is the team photographer for the Indy Eleven. You can see Trevor's photos from that night here, in fact you can see almost the exact same moment above framed slightly differently in Trevor's shots as well). Trevor is easily the best soccer shooter I know, so it was awesome that he took a minute to say hello to everyone and give one or two words of wisdom before getting started.


(Photo by Bill H using a Nikon D800)

Equipment ranged all over for the workshop. There were some D800's, a D600, Canon 5D3's, at least one 70D and a D7000. Lenses all over the board too from rented 400mmF2.8's and Nikon 80-400mm lenses, to 70-300's and 70-200's with extenders. It was a really wide range of glass, skills and photographers which is always one of the best parts of the night because nobody sees the same shots the same ways, so getting a variety together to shoot always yields some awesome results!


(Photo by Mark W).

Overall I would say the workshop was a great success. Lots of photos for people to be proud of and that's great. Everybody seemed to have a great time, and even enjoyed experiencing lenses that a few had rented for the occasion. I even shot a few frames of the game, but I was shooting using a 400mmF2.8 and a 2x Extender because... well.... ok so I don't have a good reason but even I got to shoot a few frames!

Indianapolis Eleven(red) vs Carolina RailHawks(blue)

(Photo by Rob B at Senna Photo with a Canon 1Dx)

After the workshop everybody seemed happy and there it seems as though there is a large interest in having another workshop. I'll do them as long as people are interested, because I love it. There has been a request to see if we can get a football workshop together, which I would love to do honestly. In fact, it came up because I shot the Purdue vs Iowa game right before the workshop which meant that the photography scheduling gods were on my side as any number of things could have gone wrong and would have made my day miserable on the scheduling front. Instead, however I just had a 7 stories of stairs to get to the top of the Purdue Pressbox at one point in order to file my images because the elevator was shut down. Carrying 3 bodies and 5 lenses (including a 400F2.8) definitely even made me feel like I Played football the next day, but I digress. There is discussion of a football workshop for in the future and I really hope we can get it together, but we shall see. Keep your eyes opened here, and at the Roberts Camera Education page. Until then though. More soon.

NCAA Football: Iowa at Purdue(Nikon D4s, 250ISO, Nikon 400mmF2.8VR2 with TC14eII extender making 550mm. 1/1250@F4.5)


Barrel Racing Recap....

Last weekend was a very exciting opportunity for workshop attendees, as well as myself as I held a sports photography workshop with Roberts Camera Education here in Indianapolis centered around Barrel Racing. What is barrel racing you ask? I'm glad you asked. Barrel racing is a rider attempting to take a horse in a clover leaf fashion around a set of barrels in the fastest time. What is a good time? Somewhere between 15 and 16 seconds at the level we were shooting, which was the National Barrel Horse Association State Show at the C Bar C Expo Center in Cloverdale Indiana.

_M4S9139(Nikon D4s, 11,400ISO, Nikon 400mmF2.8VR, 1/640th@F2.8)

Workshops like these can be really great, because they help lay the foundation for shooting any sport while in most cases gave them an opportunity to shoot something they are unlikely to photograph otherwise. The attendees at this workshop did a great job, and really showed that they took to heart what I said early on about filling the frame, composition, and timing. Sometimes when shooting sports you have to set up and just wait for the shot as you can't be everywhere at once. A lot of times when shooting on lights that's what you have to do as your lights sort of determine what you can and can't shoot when using them. Unfortunately I wasn't able to set up any lights for the workshoppers (or myself) to use at this event, but I could see some really cool possibilities that I think even my friend Andrew Hancock would have been pleased with. Andy is a great sports shooter and is big into shooting Horse racing and related events. Either way, despite the very dark lighting, the workshop attendees put their best lens forward (see what I did there?) and produced what I consider to be some outstanding results! As I did with my Hockey Workshop earlier this year, I requested the participants email me their favorite shot from the day by the following evening (in this case Sunday 6/29), and that's what the rest of this blog will be made from.


(Photo by Karl Zemlin taken with a Nikon D800E)

Low light didn't stop the workshop participants, but it did inspire them. Lots of questions about panning came about to go along with stopping the action in the low light and I am really impressed with the images that the participants have sent me for the purposes of this blog post. Some are action related, and others are detail oriented which is great considering it means that the participants did take the opportunity to walk around and see the sights!


(Photo by Rob Baker with a Canon 1DX)

The event is a great one to shoot as every few runs they pause to groom the track. Anybody I know who has ever covered a Kentucky derby has described it as 4 minutes of horse racing between 45 minutes of track grooming and this takes a similar pattern except the track is a lot smaller. It's great though because you essentially get a few minutes every few runs where you aren't missing anything to switch positions in an effort to try something new and the participants took full opportunity to look for every angle they could find.


(Photo by Deborah Shahadey with a Nikon D7000)

Overall I feel like the workshop was a success and it appears as though the after class Survey's concur. Unfortunately I didn't have all the images from everyone by the time of this writing on Sunday Evening, but that's ok as the images I do have in here are a good selection of what the class got in the low light of the arena. It's too bad we were only there for a few hours and not longer as it it really was a very neat event to shoot. If anyone here reading this was at or participating in the event and looking to order images, be sure to, check out the hired photographer's photo's from the event. The workshoppers were more involved with trying new things and shooting to know who they photographed or what run it might have been. Brent has got every run up on his website where you can order prints and a video of your Run. Thanks again to all the folks that came out to the workshop, and also thanks again to Roberts Camera for putting it together. Make sure you keep an eye on the Roberts Camera Education page for some very cool future events and workshops. More Soon.


Roberts Sponsors Winona School

Roberts Camera is proud to sponsor Winona School of Photography 2014 in Brown County, IN this June 22-25! Winona is an affiliate school of Professional Photographers of Indiana and Professional Photographers of America.

Winona School Indiana | The Winona Experience
2014 Instructors Dennis Hammon, Woody Walters, Bridget Harmon-Smith, Michele Gauger, Kevin Hudson & more!


Nick and Derek's Photo Walk: March 27th, 6:00PM



Woo! It's finally not absolutely miserable here in Indy, and that means it's time for Nick and I to break out those cameras and get back to actually taking photos outside. Where they keep all the fresh air. And, as always, we'd like to invite you to come along.

For those of you who've joined us before, skip to the next paragraph for time and date. For those of you new to the notion of our photo walks, here's the skinny: periodically through the spring/summer/fall Nick and I will arrange for a couple hours in the evening or morning to just go somewhere and take pictures. It's nothing serious, and we pretty much never really have plans or expectations. It's just some time out on foot with camera in hand and an excuse to try and burn a few frames. And we love it when interested people come out and do the same. Then, it's a social thing. We talk, we chat. If you have questions, we'll help you. If we can't, often times there's someone out there who can. You get to meet other local photographers, or aspiring photographers, or students, or just generally cool people. There's never a cost to show up (though, sometimes you'll have to pay for parking.) Sometimes we'll bring a model out, and if we do we'll warn you in advance. Even if we do, Nick and I make sure they get some money for their time out of our own pockets, you don't have to bring a dime to shoot with them. But, we'll also pass a hat around in case people want to tip them more for coming out. It's worked well in the past, and we think it'll keep working well in the future. Occasionally, we'll hang around afterwards at the slightly more adult-oriented but still all ages brew pubs like Ram or Rock Bottom and have something fried and a drink, and everyone's welcome to come to that too if we do so. We're not actually getting paid or on the clock to do these, it's less about selling you things and more about getting out there and, you know, just shooting. And meeting people. And having fun.

So, we're bring the photo walk back for its fifth anniversary, on March 27th (which happens to be the exact day we started making them public originally). It'll be at 6pm in the evening. Interested parties should meet us at the north-east corner of South and Meridian St here in Indianapolis (there's a big lot there we Roberts employees park at, it's pretty cheap). We'll be there a few minutes before 6 ourselves, and we always wait around until 6:15 for stragglers before walking off. This'll just be a classic photo walk: no models, just wandering and still life / street photography. Bring whatever gear you like--smartphone, point-and-shoot, DSLR with off-camera lighting, large format glass plates, whatevs. We aren't judging. It's about pictures, after all, not gear. We'll walk for an hour or two, then Nick and I will retire up the street to Ram for a bit if anyone wants to hang around and socialize. If not, cool too. Just want you to feel welcome.

So, that's the plan? We good? Excellent! Any questions before then, or leading up to then, hit us up in the comments, on Facebook, at my email (, or on Twitter. If you feel better having a contact for that day in case you miss us or get lost along the way, email me and I'll give you my cell. If you call the store with questions, be sure and ask for Nick or Derek, otherwise you might get some mixed information, and we want to keep you on the straight-and-narrow.

Also, hey, a link to add this event to whatever e-calendar you use (for you pen-and-paper types, well, you know what to do):


Nick and Derek's Photo Walk Is Back!


Quick, you. Yes you. Grab a calendar. A calendar? Paper thing, lots of boxes on it with numbers in them? Probably a picture of a dog or a cat or a sports car or a bikini girl at the top? Or a horse, yes. That's it. Oh fine, use your phone if you like (I do). Just, find March 27th. Circle it, highlight it, draw a crown on it, or just otherwise make note to keep yourself available that evening. Because we're back. That's right, Nick and I are officially announcing the return of our long-missed photo walks, just in time to celebrate the 5th anniversary of our first one so many years ago. Where "so many" equals "five," because I said that.

For those of you who are new, here's how it works: Nick and Derek's Photo Walks are loosely endorsed by Roberts, but in fact Nick and I are off the clock for them. Every so often we just decide to get together before or after our shifts and, well, take photos. And we invite you all to come out and join us as pals, or just generally curious people wanting to learn more. Like a club, except less organized. We'll name a place, and a time. If you're there, you walk around with us and take pictures of... well, whatever. We don't judge, you don't need lots of experience or a fancy camera. Cameraphone? Great. DSLR? Love'em. Heck, once we had a guy bring out large format film. Anything goes, everything's cool. We try and keep them free. We're not paid to be there, you don't pay us to come. You might be out whatever parking costs these days, but that's it. If we end up going some place that charges money, we'll warn you in advance. We want everyone to be able to come out, you see.

Sometimes we'll bring a model out, too. Nick and I will cover a small donation for their time, but we'll also pass a hat around at the end if you want to tip them more. You don't have to, and if you're a student especially it can be a great way to get some experience on the cheap. We understand, we've been there. But if you want to chip in, cool. Again, we'll warn you in advance if a model will be out, so you can plan.

For this first time back in the saddle, we're keeping it retro. We're going to do downtown Indy, no model. Just like the original photo walk. Old skoooool. We're still hashing out details, so, expect to see more of this maybe next week. This'll be rain or shine, so, we have to think a bit. We've had some bad luck in the past, but it's always been a lot of fun. We suspect it will be again.

So, did you highlight, circle, or otherwise mark the 27th of March on that calendar yet?

Good job.

While you wait on deets, why not look through some of my photos taken during previous ones over the past five years?

Also, look, a poll! How excited does the return of our photo walks make you? We want to know, spill.

Are you excited photo walks are back?

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Its Back to (Photography) School Time!

Now that kids are back in school and the semester is in full swing,  its time to schedule a class or two for yourselves.  Along with our regular event schedule of camera operational classes we offer beginner and advanced courses and fun photo walks!  The "City at Night" event w/ Jarrid Spicer is an opportunity to try your hand at night photography in downtown Indianapolis.   We have an introductory course to help you refine and improve the quality of your pictures.  If you're ready to take your lighting to the next level, take look at our Advanced Speedlight class with John Scott.   And last but not least, the always tough situation of "Low light and Fast Action" will be covered in an upcoming class.

Roberts is committed to an excellence in education.  Let us help you make your next great image.

Happy shooting and happy learning!


Novus Select Multimedia Workshop - DSLR Filmmaking For Photographers.

Dialed in for working still photographers and the skilled amateurs looking to step up into the biz, the Novus Select Multimedia Workshop (previously the Aura Multimedia Workshop in Boulder, Colorado) is available in two flavors.

101 - a seminar on "the fundamental issues facing still photographers moving in to video and dSLR filmmaking." This will go from 8am Saturday August 10th through 6pm Sunday August 11th.

201 - The seminar as well as a hands-on workshop running from Monday 08/12 through Thursday 08/15. Head on over to Photography At The Summit for the full scoop and registration details. Video after the break.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Lighting Class

We have locked in the dates for a new class.  A Guide to Understanding Light is a comprehensive and fundamental instruction in all things lighting.  This means everything from better understanding light that exists in a scene so you know how to make the most of it to breaking out the big studio strobes to completely engineering your own creative vision. 

Whether you are family shooter, hobbyist, amateur or pro, everyone will benefit from this course.  We will be using a variety of products in the second and third sessions including some of my favorite Westcott products from the Apollo line and the uLite series from the Photo Basics line.  The latter are some of the best entry level constant light kits currently available.  I just purchased the Apollo Orb with the Orb Grid for a lightweight on location portrait lighting system and absolutely love it.  

Come join us for three great evenings in April.


New Sony Camcorders at CES 2013.

CES is well underway in Las Vegas, and Sony has announced many new camcorders to their already impressive consumer lineup.

First, Sony has stopped producing  their last two standard definition models, SX45 and SX85.  The entry level, CX220 will have an 8.9MP sensor for still image, Carl Zeiss lens, AVCHD and MP4 video recording, and 60p record capable.  That's a lot of camcorder for only $249!  The CX230 get you all that and 8GB of internal storage for $279.  The CX290 gives you optical stabilizer for $349.


Balanced Optical Steadyshot came out on last years CX760 model and it was a very impressive feature.  The lens seems to "float" as you move the camcorder around and coupled with the optical steadyshot, it's as if you are walking around with the camera on a steadycam arm.  The problem was to get all of that you had to spend $1499.  Not anymore!  The new CX430V and  PJ430V will have that feature and are $699 and $849.  Both have 8.9MP sensor, 60P recording, GPS integration, 5.1 channel mic and mic input, 16GB of flash memory, and Multi Interface Shoe.  The PJ430V adds a projector as past models have had, but this one adds HDMI input, so you can project video/stills from other devices.

The top dog is the PJ790V.  At $1600 it is a premium price, but you get some premium doodads on it.  First, it has a 24MP sensor for great stills and unbeatable low light shooting.  Sporting 96GB of flash memory, you get hours of record time without needing an SD card.  The cool part is the projector.  They upped the brightness of the projector to 30 lumens so it should be a pretty respectable piece, unlike previous models where it was more a novelty.  With the HDMI input, you could use it as a projector for all your toys while you are on the road and bored in the hotel room.

Sony expects to ship all of these goodies in mid February.  We will know more when we get our hands on them!