Prequel to the Sequel

Portrait of a National Champion

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/16/2011

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take a portrait of Andrew Riley, who runs hurdles and sprints on the Illinois track team. Riley recently won the 60 meter hurdles event at the NCAA national championships and will be trying out to compete in the upcoming Olympics.

When I was asked to cover this, I knew I wanted to create a silhouette essentially by rim lighting Riley and not have a fill light, and capture him jumping over a hurdle. I placed two strobes, one in a soft box and the other with a half-closed umbrella, aiming at his back and front and had them slightly behind, just enough to hit the edges of his arms, face, and legs and wrap around slightly, still leaving his figure dark and underexposed.

Josh helped me out set up my lights and get everything ready so we didn’t waste much time with Andrew, and I was able to capture this image in only 2 shots. This shot came out exactly like how I imagined it, but my only gripe is that Andrew didn’t show up wearing running shirts and jersey. So I had to deal with him wearing his warm up clothes. I guess I can’t have my cake and eat it too.

*Image copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

A week full of pole vaulting

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 03/02/2011

Over the weekend I stopped by the Big Ten Conference indoor track championships that were held in the Armory to grab some photos for the paper. I’m naturally attracted towards the pole vault competition because I vaulted for two years in high school. I also knew that we had a freshman, Matt Bane, on our team that is really good, and was probably going to place high in the event, which is content the paper was looking for. Bane ended up taking first in the vault and set a new personal record.

While watching others jump, I became aware of the super clean graphical background, something rare in the Armory, behind the crossbar and wanted to grab a frame using it to my advantage. I also decided to include the entire cross bar and use the standards as “bookends” for my photo. I’ve also got this thing going on where I’m composing and cropping my shots for a a 2:1 ratio format.Hopefully I don’t exhaust it too soon.

Illinois’ Matt Bane clears the bar in the pole vault competition during the Big Ten Indoor track championship held at the Armory on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.


After his stellar performance, Matt ended up being awarded Illini of the Week from the Daily Illini, and I was asked if I could go out and make a portrait or him for the paper. I agreed to shoot him, but quickly realized I had no idea on how to make a pole vault portrait interesting, I had a case of writer’s block. When I arrived I was told I wasn’t allowed to have him take a couple jumps because he wasn’t dressed to do any physical activities, nor was I allowed to shoot his feet, because he was wearing sandals. Knowing I had a very limited amount of time with him, and had certain restrictions, I just had him hold his pole right in front of him. There are probably a ton of different things I could have had him do, but my brain fart prohibited me from it. I am fairly happy with my lighting on it, and I think it produced the most three dimensional looking photo I have ever churned out. My only gripe about the photo is the weird shadow on the right side created by one of my rim lights.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Mega Sports post / update

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 02/19/2011

So it turns out, the last semester of college is really hard, full of homework, and time consuming, which results in a lack of blog posting. Below are a collection of sports photos I have shot since winter break. I’m going to try a lot harder for the rest of the semester to keep this blog updated a lot better and post photos right after
they run in the paper.

(Left) Illinois’ Myers Leonard (12) dunks the ball after completing and alley-oop during the game against UIC held at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 18 2010. (Right) Illinois’ Brandon Paul (3) blocks Michigan State’s Korie Lucious’ (34) during the game against Michigan State at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (0) dunks the ball during the game against Ohio State at the Assembly Hall on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.

Illinois’ Mike Davis (24) attempts to block Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas (1) during the game at the Assembly Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.

Illinois’ Mike Davis (24) dunks the ball during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois’ Jereme Richmond (22) questions of referee’s foul call during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois head coach Bruce Weber stands out on the court calling plays to his team during the basketball game against Purdue at the Assembly Hall on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011.

Illinois’ Corey Liuget (93) celebrates after tackling an opponent during the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 29 2010. The Illini defeated the Bears 38-14 making it their first bowl win since 1999.

Illinois’ Jonathan Brown (45) prepares to tackle and opponent during the Texas Bowl against Bailor University at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, Dec. 29 2010.

Illinois’ Austin Bostock (22) celebrates with teammates on the bench after assisting a goal during the hockey game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Illinois’ Scott Barrera (73), left, Mike Ursitti (32), Chris Peter (21), and Joe Sullivan (24) talk amongst each other while sitting in the penalty box for different instances of fighting during the hockey game against Oklahoma on Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011.

Illinois’ Amber Stack passes an opponent from Eastern Illinois University in the 1 mile race during the Illinois Intercollegiate track meet held at the Armory in Champaign on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011.

Illinois’ Jimmy Kennedy wrestles Ohio State’s Randy Languis during the wrestling meet held at Huff Hall  on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

Illinois’ Jimmy Kennedy wrestles Ohio State’s Randy Languis during the wrestling meet held at Huff Hall  on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Basketball: Illinois vs. North Carolina

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 12/09/2010

After a hectic 2 weeks of trying to finish up all of my final projects for the end of the semester, I now have time to catch up on this blog. Last week I was fortunate enough to shoot Illinois playing North Carolina. The game was really hyped up, and probably had the most media in the media room I have ever seen at Assembly Hall. The crowd was also the loudest I have ever heard and the energy was intense. The game itself wasn’t anything terrific, I was expecting the Illini to beat the Tar Heals. It was a game for Illini fans, rather than an important game in NCAA basketball. I’m still trying to figure out my autofocus settings on the 7D for basketball. I can make it work really well for football, but I feel like it’s not working as well as I want it to for basketball.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Illinois football game at Wrigley Field

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 11/30/2010

Last weekend I had the privilege to shoot the first football game in 40 years at Wrigley Field with Ned Mulka. Knowing that this was most likely a once in a lifetime opportunity, I rented a 400mm 2.8 lens for it, and it pretty much saved me because it gave me a ton of reach and could shoot plays that were happening on the other end of the field. Photographers were restricted to the south west corner of the field, and we pretty much could not move around and had to sit down the entire time. The restrictions were bitter sweet, I was getting the same photos as every other photographer, and every photo I shot had the same look to it essentially, but it allowed me to be lazy and not have to think as much on where I should be on the field, all of the plays were coming towards me because all offensive plays had to be driving towards the west end zone. Wrigley also didn’t feel like Wrigley, probably because it was a football game and the entire place was covered in purple (even the hallways leading up to the press box). It was still a blast to shoot, and will be an experience I will never forget. Also, apparently leaving the game 27 seconds before it is over when one team is up by a significant amount is faux pas and is worth being tattled over (I learn something new every day).

llinois alumnus Pat Black of Arlington Heights, right, cheers for a television camera outside of Wrigley Field before the Northwestern football game against Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010.

Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase (2) yells as he steps onto the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Michael Buchanan (99) recovers a fumble during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Jason Ford (21) runs in a touchdown during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure (5) runs the ball down the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure (5) runs the ball down the field during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Northwestern’s Mike Trumpy (29) scores a touchdown during the game against Illinois at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

Illinois’ Ian Thomas (38) intercepts the ball after Trulon Henry (9) deflected it in the air during the game against Northwestern at Wrigley Field in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 20 2010.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

Football vs. Ohio State

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 10/06/2010

Here are photos from this past weekend’s football game against Ohio State. Everyone thought somehow this was going to be a huge upset like the game in 2007 when beat them. I knew the odds of that happening were slim to none, but we surprisingly didn’t get blown out of the water like last years game. The Illini didn’t play terrible, so I didn’t come up with a lot of photos of us sucking it up, but Ohio State just played better then us.

Illinois’ Travon Bellamy (31) tackles Ohio State’s DeVier Posey (8) during the football game against Ohio State on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.

Illinois’ Nate Bussey (18) tackles Ohio State’s Dane Sanzenbacher (12) .

Illinois’ Trulon Henry (9) is unable to tackle Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1).

Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1) runs in his team’s last touchdown.

Illinois’ Nathan Scheelhaase (2) celebrates after scoring a touchdown.

Illinois’ Tavon Wilson (3) tackles Ohio State’s Daniel Herron (1)

 

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

What a great football game

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 09/20/2010

This saturday was a great day for a football game. It wasn’t super hot out, and there was a bit of an overcast sky so I didnt get baked by the sun. The game mostly consisted of running plays, which kind of got boring during the game and didn’t result in a lot of awesome catches. Day games are a whole lot better then afternoon or night games. My images look better and I get done and still have a lot of time after to hang out with friends.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

First Home Football Game of the Year

Posted in Uncategorized by brmeyer3 on 09/13/2010

Last night was the first home Illini football game of the school year/season against Southern Illinois University. Most people thought that it was very possible for SIU to take the victory, but that wasnt the case at all, with a final score of Illinois winning 35-3. It was a night game which kind of sucked having to shoot at High ISO’s and having it eat up most of my day. I felt like I shot the first half better then the second half (maybe its because i was using my 1.4x tcon?) I still caught a lot of peak action moments though. Im also really happy with the fact that I wasn’t shooting lame photos of our quarterback throwing every pass, and focused more on capturing the action that was on the receiving end of that pass. Im looking forward to next weeks day game against Northern Illinois University.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

First football game of the season

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 09/10/2010

Last weekend I headed down to St. Louis to shoot the Illinois football game against Mizzou. 2 other sports writers and myself decided to head down the night before the game to do some gambling at the casino (which never happened). We woke up the next morning an hour and a half before kickoff thinking we would arrive at the stadium with more then enough time. Well after the driver forgot where his car was, missing our exit ramp on the highway, and hitting a ridiculous amount of traffic, I made it onto the field 2 minutes before kickoff. It was a beautiful day outside and the game was being held in a dome, which was kind of a bummer. Illinois looked strong the first half and I got a ton of great images, but during the second half the Illini lost their drive and my shooting skills seemed to have declined as well. The worst part about the trip was the three hour drive back to Champaign where I had to lay down in the trunk of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was half full with everyone’s bags.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini

First Sports Assignments with the 7D

Posted in Editorial, Sports by brmeyer3 on 08/25/2010

As soon as I got back to school I wanted to shoot some sports to test out the 7D I got a couple weeks ago ( I bought it because the 5D2 wasn’t keeping up with the action). Not only was I extremely rusty shooting sports from my lack of  photography over the summer, the autofocus is a lot more complex then the 5d2, and took some learning to get used to. I shot volleyball first and didnt do as well as I hoped, then shot soccer a few days later and came out with more keepers. I’ve learned that the 7D is way better at following fast action things and shooting at twice as many frames per second helps out a lot. But the 5d2 smokes it at high ISO’s and has a much better image quality.

*All images copyright Brad Meyer and the Daily Illini