Picture of the Day: 6/6/15

woman in black leather jacket

Portraits with Leanne at Liberty Station.  Clear, sunny sky.  Going against my traditional style, I wanted to shoot a portrait with a telephoto lens and a shallow depth-of-field.  I like the repeating patterns in the walkways at Liberty Station, and thought they would look better when compressed with a long lens.  In the open shade, I was able to shoot at f/5.6, and only needed minimal flash power to fill in the shadows.

Picture of the Day: 5/21/15

volleyball pro lisa rutledge

Portraits with Lisa at Mission Beach.  Partly cloudy skies at sunset.  Anticipating a beautiful sunset, I hurried to find someone to help out with a photo shoot at the beach.  Volleyball pro Lisa Rutledge was playing down the street and graciously agreed to help.  Giving myself a small window of time with her, I pre-visualized one image, and had everything set up before she arrived.  It took about 20 minutes to refine the lights, try a few different poses, and fire off 20 frames or so.  Lisa was great, and I was happy with what we achieved in such a short period of time.

Picture of the Day: 5/15/15

female pole vaulter

Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field championships at the San Diego State Sports Deck.  Clear, sunny day.  Went for a wider angle on the pole vault.  Typically the background is cluttered, but I was able to avoid the second pole vault pit, and kept the stadium lights in line with the stanchions.

Picture of the Day: 5/2/15

girl in karate uniform jump kick in front of blue clouds

Portraits with Simone at Sunset Cliffs.  Overcast sky at sunset.  Murphy’s Law for Photographers #15, the previous two sunsets before the shoot were spectacular, and of course the sunset for the day of the shoot was average.  I was hoping to have a clean orange sky as the background, but ended up with a dark, overcast sky.  I used two battery-powered flashes as the main light.  With a steep drop into the ocean only a few feet behind us, I didn’t find a good place to put a side/rim light.  For the picture above, I used a warming gel on the main light, and dialed down the white balance to around 3000K.

Picture of the Day: 5/15/15

san diego torero womens tennis player stretching for backhand

San Diego Women’s Tennis vs. San Diego State at the Hogan Tennis Center.  Clear, sunny day.  A few new faces in the Torero lineup.  Two of them were very quick and agile.  There were a lot of opportunities to capture some stretches, dives, and even a few sliding splits.  Fortunately, the more dynamic players were on the courts with the good light and backgrounds.

Picture of the Day: 5/13/15

man kneeling in front of blue clouds

Portraits with Jeremy at Mission Beach.  Overcast with light drizzle.  Very grey sky, but with pockets of cloud formations.  I used a warming gel on 2 battery-powered flashes as the main light source and dialed the white balance to around 3500K.  This was also my first portrait shoot using my 1dx which has a flash sync of 1/250th second.  The 1/3 stop didn’t make a noticeable difference, but the full frame sensor was nice for the wide angle shots.

Picture of the Day: 4/10/15

water polo player fights for ball

San Diego State Water Polo vs. Azusa Pacific at the Aztec Aquaplex.  Clear, sunny sky.  Spent the entire match concentrating on the hole players in front of the goal.  They typically do not touch the ball as often as the perimeter players and when the ball does get to them, there are usually flailing arms and splashing water in the way.

lacrosse draw against blue and pink sky

San Diego State Lacrosse vs. Denver at the Aztec Lacrosse Field.  Mosty clear sky at sunset, florescent stadium lights at night.  A very colorful sunset for this game.  Unfortunately, the fence on the west side blocks the sky while the players are on the field, so I had to wait for the players to leap up for the draw to get them framed against the sky.

Picture of the Day: 4/2/15

softball pitch multiple=

San Diego State Softball vs. Fresno State at the SDSU Softball Stadium.  Clear sky at sunset.  Experimented with the in-camera multiple exposure settings.  A darker background would have helped, but the game ended before the sky went black.

Picture of the Day: 3/27/15

female runner falling in steeplechase water hazard

San Diego State Track and Field Invitational at the SDSU Sports Deck.  Clear, sunny sky.  I always look forward to the steeplechase.  If someone doesn’t fall into the water, the splashes of water as the runners run through always make great images.  Lucky for me, one of the runners fell into the water every time she had to traverse it, so I had plenty of chances to capture a good image.

Picture of the Day: 3/25/15

wide angle shot from behind of female golfer teeing off

San Diego State Women’s Golf at the SDSU Farms Invitational on the Farms Golf Course in Rancho Santa Fe.  Clear, sunny day.  I’ve typically shot the wide behind the tee shot from ground level, but the low angle did not have any tall trees or cloud formations to make the sky interesting.  For variety, I shot from as high as possible, showing the entire length of the hole.  I also liked the stretch effect on the club on the backswing.

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Stan Liu Photography

A San Diego portrait and sports photographer