Tag Archives: sports photography

Colorado Men’s Basketball vs Arizona

I photographed Colorado’s men’s basketball games vs Arizona State and Arizona this past weekend.  Colorado beat #4 ASU and #14 Arizona in consecutive games.  It was the first time in programs history the the Buffs had defeated teams ranked in the top 15 in consecutive games.  Colorado beat ASU Thursday 90-81 and the confidence from the win carried over to Saturday’s game against Arizona.  The Buffs jumped out to a big lead and led by 16 at the half on 64% shooting.  The Buffs called off and had lots of turnovers in the second half as Arizona’s prize recruit Deandre Ayton scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half.  But Colorado hung on for the win 80-77. 

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Chatfield @ Horizon Boy’s Soccer

I photographed the boy’s soccer game between Chatfield and Horizon high schools.  Some intense action in a scoreless game for much of the contest.

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Sigma 85mm 1.4 for sports photography

I recently tried out a Sigma 85mm 1.4 for sports photography.  Sigma’s new Art series lens has certainly been getting some positive press in other areas so I’d thought I’d try it out for sports photography.  I shot some high school basketball games with it to test the autofocus, sharpness, and vignetting.  All-in-all, the Sigma performed very well.  I tested the lens on a Canon 1DX Mark II at the Denver Coliseum, a moderately well-lit venue.

Autofocus

Perhaps the most important element for sports photography is autofocus.  A lens has to be capable of fast and consistent autofocus.  The Sigma definitely has one of these 2 traits and isn’t too bad on the other front.  Its autofocus is very fast.  In fact, it is faster than a Canon 70-200 2.8 L!  The the lens isn’t quite as accurate as I’d like, but consistency wasn’t a major factor either.  For example, out of 30 shots I might have 3 that are out of focus with the 70-200 2.8 L but the Sigma would get more like 7-8 out of focus over that same stretch. While 75% is still a good hit rate, it’s not in the league of the top Canon lenses for sure.  

Sharpness

As far as sharpness goes, the Sigma 85 1.4 is stunning.  I would say the lens is razor sharp at most apertures except for under f2.0.  This is truly extraordinary performance from an 85mm lens.  

Drawbacks

Well, everything good in life has a price and weight is the price you will pay for the high performance of this lens.  The Sigma weighs in at 40 oz.  If you think of it as a replacement for a 70-200 2.8, the weight won’t bother you so much.  But if you’re used to lightweight primes, the size of this lens will probably bug you a lot.   The narrow depth of field at wide apertures is also a drawback.  I am not one to drool over shots taken at f1.4 with completely blurred backgrounds.  In addition to the background being blurred, so is much of the subject at this aperture.  This was no different for sports.  The extremely narrow depth of field combined with some issues of autofocus inaccuracy makes this lens virtually unusable for moving subjects below f2.0 unless you’re willing to put up with a lot of images going in the trash bin.  

Recommendation

At apertures like f2.5 and 2.8, I really loved this lens for basketball. Having an extra stop of light when you need it like in poorly lit high school gyms is one reason to highly recommend this lens for some types of sports photography.  And of course, this lens just cannot be beat for portraits.  If you are in need of an 85mm lens, look no further than the Sigma 85mm f1.4 Art.  

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Colorado Washington State Football 2016

Colorado football is back in the national spotlight for the first time in over a decade after defeating the Cougars 38-24 Saturday at Folsom Field.  I photographed the Colorado Washington State football game and it featured a number of big plays and a fair number of near misses  There had to be at least a half dozen overthrows or dropped passes on long throws.  But all in all it was an exciting game to cover.

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2016 Colorado High School Volleyball Finals

I photographed the 2016 Colorado High School Volleyball Finals at the Denver Coliseum again this year.  The matches in 5A were unbelievable this year as no one dominant team emerged.  Every match seemed to be hotly contested and several went five sets.  Fossil Ridge won 5A in dramatic fashion, in what else, a fifth set.  I also covered matches in other classifications including the 3A and 4A finals. Congratulations to Lewis Palmer and Eaton for winning titles again this year in 4A and 3A respectively.  The emotion the girls displayed was great to photograph as well.  As always, I tried to photograph volleyball from a number of different angles, including from up in the stands so I could get a better perspective on plays at the net.

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