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Sports and Leisure

Welcome to the First Annual 2015
Sports & Leisure Photo Contest!


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First Place

Marc Jones


By Marc Jones

This has to be my favorite shot of the year. We set out to capture this shot, and we achieved it on the first day, which was a great relief. I had played around with silhouette sunset shots to some extent, but hadn’t really had the best conditions. I discussed the idea with my friend, and he rode solid all day before putting it all on the line to capture the moment. I was about four meters off the ground, perched in a tractor bucket, and placed myself in the perfect spot to get a little lens flare, but not too much. The burning red Australian sunset just worked wonders for the shot.
Canon 6D, Canon 24-70 f2.8L II, 1/2000 at ƒ/4, ISO 400.

Second Place

Gabor Dvornik


By Gabor Dvornik

The Air Slalom takes part in a well known Air Race organised by a multi company. One of the inventors was a hungarian pilot. This race goes around the globe like F1 races on land, its an equivalent of that but takes place naturally up in the air. Shooting a race like this has some challenges for a photographer, eg. the planes are fast and lights are very varied, from dark shadows (like unders bridge when they fly) to sharp sunlight and it changes in a matter of milliseconds only. This is one of the most spectacular technical competitions on Earth when they fly really low and slalom between high plastic buoys set on water. The buoys are not static and as waves move them, they totter. Sometimes accidents occur, but all in all under the decade of Air Race, only 2 lethal accident happened as far as I know.
Nikon D300 body, Nikon 18-200 VR G ED f3.5-5.6 lense.

People’s Choice Winner

Don Martin


By Don Martin

I noticed a large carnival setting up at the Viera State Fair, just a couple miles from my house. I enjoy night photography, and looking at all the rides, I knew the colors at night would be great for some long exposures. I purposely went on a weeknight right after they had set up, anticipating the smaller crowds on a school night.

Walking down the midway, I was immediately struck by the brightly lit red building facade that served as the entrance for a children’s ride. The Ferris wheel in the background completed the picture for me. I took several photos with the Ferris wheel at a standstill, but felt something was missing from the picture. I took several other shots while the Ferris wheel was in motion and felt the colored spiral effect added to the overall effect I was looking for. I purposely composed a little high with no foreground to eliminate the ride attendants that would have otherwise been in the shot.

I returned several times over the weekend with my grandkids in tow to enjoy a leisurely evening at the carnival.
Nikon D810, Nikon (24.0-70.0mm ƒ/2.8), MeFoto tripod, Vello Wireless Shutter Boss 1.6 sec. F11 62mm ISO 100.

Honorable Mentions

Paul Vinten


By Paul Vinten

Taken using a Nikon D70s in a Sea & Sea underwater housing with twin Sea & Sea YS90 strobes set to half power and using a Nikon 10.5mm f2.8 fisheye lens, ƒ/5.6 @ 1/30 ISO 400. Camera set to manual. This shot was taken while scuba diving in the Egyptian Red Sea. There are certain shallow coral reefs riddled with cracks that create incredible cave systems for visiting divers. As they are so shallow, and in most places the cracks extend all the way to the surface, it allows stunning shafts of sunlight to penetrate through, which is then diffused by the particles in the water. The rippling of the water surface actually makes these light beams seemingly dance around creating a totally surreal environment which scuba divers can easily access.

For this shot, I had found a particularly eye-catching spot in the reef which, from above, really gave the feeling of space and freedom in an alien environment. After having watched a few other divers swim past, I found the shot I wanted and so using hand signals I asked my dive buddy to swim into the area of the main sunlight. The angle of the of the passage and the shafts of light really lent itself to a fantastic composition, so then once my buddy was in place, it was just a case of balancing the lighting. The contrast between the bright sunlight and the darker foreground meant that I had to use my twin strobe flashguns to add some light, so with the camera and the strobes set to manual, I had full control over the whole affair.

Using the fisheye lens, I could use a relatively low ƒ-stop while still retaining a good depth of field, and this meant I could use a shutter speed fast enough to avoid any camera shake and still keep to a lower ISO. While hovering in mid-water, tripods are not really an option!

Although a photograph will never be able to capture the complete effect of swimming through these dancing sunbeams, I think this shot really captures the imagination of being in a surreal environment seen by only a few and gives the feeling of being alone and at one with nature.

Blaine Stauffer


By Blaine Stauffer

This photo was taken at one of my favorite go-to places for sunsets and night photography on Delta Lake near Rome, N.Y. I really like the character of the dead trees on the sometimes island that’s now submerged. I noticed that the two men in the canoe were going to enter my frame while I was photographing the sunset. I thought they were going to be in the way and ripple up the water and ruin the photo, but once they entered the frame, I liked the silhouette that was created. I started taking photos and noticed they were blurred due to the slow shutter I was using. All I needed was for them to stop for just a couple seconds, and they did. I only had a chance to get the one sharp silhouette that’s this picture. I was using a Sony A77v with a shutter of 1/8 sec, ƒ/8 and ISO 100. My lens is a Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 with a Cokin 0.9 soft graduated ND filter attached.

Matt Carter


By Matt Carter

I was shooting the Cross Vegas cyclocross race in Las Vegas. Cross Vegas is a cool event in that it is a nighttime race with a world-class field of athletes. I was shooting several locations and running between those locations during every lap trying to maximize the number of shots of the lead riders. Being a night race, there are a few things you can do to catch the action and not look like a snap shot.

Most of the time, I jump my ISO up to 6400, set the shutter speed to at least 1/500 sec and open up my aperture as wide as my lens will allow. This shot was not one of those times.  These races are on a closed course, and riders run the circuit for up to an hour a race.  So during the doldrums of the race, I had time to get a little creative.  I dropped my ISO to 800, closed my aperture down a bit to ƒ/4, decreased my shutter speed to 1/30 sec and added a touch of rear sync flash on manual 1/8 power to freeze the athletes in motion.   These settings allow my camera to collect as much ambient light as possible, while allowing me to track the athletes and catch their faces in clear images.  I shot this image with my trusty old Nikon D700 with a Nikon AFS-24-70 f/2.8 and a Nikon SB900 flash in manual mode.

 Darren Elias


By Darren Elias

Family and friends were visiting at my family’s lake house on Harvey’s Lake in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and the boys were diving from the dock and diving board. As the sun was setting, hitting the lake and swimmers with awesome low direct light. The subject’s athletic physique and black swimming shorts struck me as a great subject for a black-and-white photo with a sky full of broken clouds.  I asked him to just walk to the end of the board and face forward. A straight-on stance caused his whole back to fall into shadow, so I asked him to just turn his torso slightly to the left and look back toward the sun and fired a couple more frames.

The image was captured on a Nikon D700, with a 70-200mm lens at 70mm. The exposure was 1/640 at ƒ/2.8, ISO 320, shot in Aperture Priority mode. The image was edited in Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and converted to black-and-white using Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  

First Place Package:

  • Publication of the winning photo in Digital Photo
  • Online publication of the winning photo in the Winners’ Gallery
  • A Professional Backpack 30 from Manfrotto
  • A VEO 265AB tripod from Vanguard
  • A Ready For Anything kit from LumiQuest
  • A 32GB Professional 1066xx CF memory card from Lexar
  • A Compact HoodLoupe from Hoodman USA

Second Place Package:

  • Online publication of the winning photo in the Winners’ Gallery
  • A VEO 235AB tripod from Vanguard
  • A Starter kit from LumiQuest
  • A 32GB microSDHC 633x UHS-1 memory card from Lexar
  • A Lens Cleanse 12 pack Kits from Hoodman USA

People’s Choice Award:

  • Online publication of the winning photo in the Winners’ Gallery
See Official Rules for more details.
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Official Rules

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