Archive for the 'Sports' Category

Clip: Marcus Mariota for USA Today

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

 (Craig Mitchelldyer)
Last week, USA Today sent me down to Eugene to photograph Oregon Ducks superstar quarterback Marcus Mariota for this great story about him. Originally, I thought I would shoot him in one of the concourses and on the field at Autzen Stadium, but because of some contruction and what not going on inside I would not be able to. So instead, I scouted out the new football center (an amazing place!) and the indoor practice facility. Because I needed multiple shots I opted for the indoor field so I could have free run of the place and then my secondary shot was going to be in the new weight room, but I wouldn’t be able to setup in there until after they were done using it. Right outside the new building is this pond/water feature and lots of reflective windows that looked cool, I’ll get back to that in a minute.

I decided to use the “O” on the midfield for my first shot. I wanted a kind of super hero type look for him. So I setup 2 lights about 10 yeards away from the center to light the background, one light right in the front to light the front of the image and act as a fill light on the bottom of the frame and a large softbox to light him. I shot the overhead with a camera on a monopod while standing on a bench to get the high angle. I like how it turned out. Here is how it looked behind the scenes:

 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

I also shot some stuff from a lower angle, with and without his helmet on and it wasn’t too bad.
 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

Next, I had a secondary setup along a pretty banged up white wall that would give some nice texture. So I added a green gel to the background light and lit Marcus with one large soft box for this image, which actually turned out to be my favorite of the shoot:
 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

The paper used a shot from this setup as the main image on the website for the story.

 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

Here is how the setup looked:
 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

Because he had just finished practice and I didn’t want to waste his time and felt I had some pretty good stuff, I decided to scrap the weight room idea, but did want to take a photo of him outside. I decided, I’d just walk out there and grab whatever I saw real quick and act like that was the plan the whole time. As we were walking towards the locker room we walked passed the water feature. I thought it would be cool to get him on the water “Marcus is so good he walks on water” kind of idea, I never thought he’d actually go for it. So jokingly as we are walking by I say, half laughing, “it’d be kinda cool if you were standing in the water eh?” I expected to either 1) he look at me like I was bat shit crazy or 2), the Oregon PR staff to jump in and say no way in hell is our star QB walking into the water feature. But to my surprise he says “Yeah! Let’s do it!” so before anyone had a chance to change thier mind I had him walk out onto the water and had my assistant Ryan hold a light overhead and we snapped 4 or 5 frames and that was that. I showed him the image and he says “Cool, my mom will like that.” At that point I told him “Well if your mom likes it, I like it too and you are done!” The paper used it in this morning’s editions around the country. Total shoot time from first frame to last frame: 12 minutes. Here is how it looked in the paper today. My favorite part is the caption at the end it reads “…but no Oregon fans, he cannot also walk on water.” :
 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

Clip: Travel Portland Magazine

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

 (Craig Mitchelldyer)

Here is a clip of the most recent issue of Travel Portland. A cool photo shot from a remote camera at a Timbers game last season showing a great tifo by the timbers Army while they were showing support for the LGBT Community.

Clip: Athlon Sports Magazine Cover

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Every year I shoot a bunch of football games for Athlon Sports and never get to see the images used until the next year when they publish the preview editions. I always look forward to seeing how my photos are used. This morning they released the Pac-12 edition cover and I was happy to see one of my images of Oregon State QB Sean Mannion on the cover.

Clip: Portland Timbers Game Day Programs

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Back at the beginning of the season we shot all the Timbers players for use on game day programs. The idea this year was that we would have a portrait of the player and then put an action photo of them behind the portrait. I like it. Here are a few from the first few games of the year.  (Craig Mitchelldyer)

What a Sports Weekend in Portland

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) makes a three pointer at the buzzer over Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) to win the game during the fourth quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports (Craig Mitchelldyer/Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)

Wow! What a weekend for sports (and sports photography!) in Portland last weekend. It all started on Friday night with game 6 of the NBA Playoffs between the Houston Rocket and Portland Trail Blazers. The entire series had already been one of the best in NBA history. 3 overtime games, each game decided by just a couple of points, each game coming down to the final seconds. Game 6 in Portland would not disappoint. Houston took the lead with .9 seconds to go in the game, and Damian Lillard hit a three pointer at the buzzer to win the series and send Portland to the second round for the first time in 14 years. The Moda Center center went absolutely nuts. It was amazing. Above is my photo of the final shot that ran in newspapers, magazines and websites all over the world.
May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the game winning three pointer over Houston Rockets forward Chandler Parsons (25) in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports (Craig Mitchelldyer/Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)

Here is the same moment, captured from my remote camera on the opposite side of the court. Afterwards, mayhem in sued and I rushed the court to try and make a photo of Lillard as they celebrated.

May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) reacts after hitting the game winning shot against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports (Craig Mitchelldyer/Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)

May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) reacts after hitting the game winning shot against the Houston Rockets during the fourth quarter in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports (Craig Mitchelldyer/Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)

May 2, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Blazer fans cheer during introductions in game six of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets at the Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports (Craig Mitchelldyer/Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports)

This image from the pre game is also one of my favorites. Just overall an amazing game to be at and to shoot. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the very next night the Portland Timbers played DC United in the pouring rain at Providence Park. Gaston Fernandez scored 35 seconds in to the match.

May 3, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers forward Gaston Fernandez (10) and midfielder Steve Zakuani (7) celebrate the first goal of the match during the first half at Providence Park. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers (Craig Mitchelldyer)

The Timbers would score another first half goal, but going into stoppage time, the scored was tied at 2-2. There was 4 minutes of added time at the end of the game and at the 93:35 mark, Maximiliano Urruti scored at the buzzer to give the Timbers their first win on the season and more mayhem in the Rose City.

May 3, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Timbers midfielder Maximiliano Urruti (37) celebrates after scoring the game winning goal during the second half at Providence Park. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers (Craig Mitchelldyer)
Two night, two sports, two venues, two buzzer beaters. You can not beat that! What a great weekend.

May 3, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; The Timbers hold up log slabs after the 3-2 win at Providence Park. Photo: Craig Mitchelldyer-Portland Timbers (Craig Mitchelldyer)

New Website!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

New Portland, Oregon Phgotographer Website (Craig Mitchelldyer)
I’m VERY excited to announce our brand new website! I have been a photographer in Portland for a long time and my website has been through many incarnations and this new version might be my favorite. Not only does it work well on mobile platforms as well, but it is clean, fast and very easy to use. For clients, the image delivery and gallery display integration is second to none and you will love the ease of it all. Check it out and let me know what you think!

My First “Runner-versary”

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Warning: Long personal post that has really nothing to do with photography coming up. Bear with me. Today is a milestone day for me personally. It is my first runner-versary. A year ago I had never run for fun a day in my life. I couldn’t even run around the block without thinking I was going to die. Now that seems like forever ago. Since that first “run” I have run over 400 miles and have raced in a 5K, an 8K, a 10K, a Half of a Half Marathon and two Triathlons. it has been fun to look back on the last year and remember where I was, what I’ve become and where I still need to go.

I don’t know exactly how much I weighed a year or so ago. I never really stepped on the scale. Never really cared. Didn’t really think of myself as overweight at all. I’d eat like garbage. I’d finish working at 10 or 11pm and head to the Burger King drive thru for a couple of whoppers on my way home. I do remember one day I was playing the Wii with my kids. I stepped onto the Wii fit board and it told me in not so many words that I was too fat to use the game. I was going to break the fit board. The weight limit was 330. I was about 340-345 or so. I remember thinking holy crap, how did it come to this? At that point, I tried to start eating a little better and cutting out fast food. Almost immediately, I dropped down to 329 and could (barely) play the Wii with the kids again. My wife has always been a runner. I wanted to be able to run with her. I am around professional athletes nearly everyday. I see people running all over town and they always look like they are having a blast. I had shot some friends for a portfolio piece who are avid runners and their posts always made me want to run. I needed to lose weight. So, I thought I’d give running a shot.

I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app and set the Cinco De Mayo 5K in Portland as my goal. I am the kind of person that once I put my mind to something, I never can half ass it. I attack it full speed and this was no different. The app is setup so that it gives you cues on when to run and walk over the course of a 30 minute workout. Starting out with 30 seconds running, 2 minutes walking, and moving up to more running and less walking as it goes on. those first couple days I thought I would never be able to run a 5K. 3 miles are you kidding me?! Then, running for 30 seconds became easier…then running 90 seconds was easy, then 2 minutes and I’ll never forget the first time I ran for 8 minutes straight. 5 weeks later I could run for a mile, walk for a 1/4 mile, run for a mile, etc and finished that first 5K in 36:18. I was hooked. Running was fun and by the end of May I had dropped to 299lbs. Under 300 for the first time in a long time. I was feeling great.

For the next couple of months, I ran 3 or 4 miles a day and was loving it. Running was getting easier and easier. One day, when at the local high school track getting my miles in, I saw a group of people in the corner doing some crazy cross training with kettlebells and running, carrying each other across the football field, just going nuts. “Those people are insane” I thought. But yet, it looked fun too. I was a little scared to give it a try, it looked super intense after all, but I kept going to the track and seeing the lunatics and was intrigued. One day I saw my friend Mandy working out with them as well and she encouraged me to give this “Warrior Room” a shot. So I went to a workout with her on a Saturday morning and met Ashley and did the hardest workout I had ever done in my life. The half mile sprint in the middle of the hour and a half class was the easiest part for me. I was drenched in sweat and every muscle in my body hurt. I couldn’t walk the next day. But I LOVED it. I was hooked. I began to go to the Warrior Room so Ashley could yell at me and make me work harder a couple of times a week and loved the outdoor “boot camps” they had at the high school track. She’s a great coach, motivator, loves 90′s rap and is not afraid to drop an F bomb. She was/is the perfect trainer for me. I was officially addicted to exercise and was feeling good.

One of the best things about the last year has been the new connections and friends I have made from regularly running and working out. The Warrior Room people are the best people in the world. Everyone is caring, supportive, has great sense of humor and are generally just fun to be around. I am so glad that they are here in Milwaukie and cannot thank Ashley enough for all she has done to motivate me in the last year. More than she even knows I am sure. Even on days when I wasn’t working out with the class and just running laps on my own when they were there, she was motivating me to run faster and try harder without even saying a word as I would run by. There is never a day I go to the Warrior Room for a workout that I don’t leave feeling like I can do anything. Kettlebells rule. You should give it a try too.

Anyway, back to the last year. Around July, my good friend and fellow photographer Tiffany Brown in Vegas called and said that she was training for a triathlon in September in San Diego and I should too. No freaking way I thought. On one hand it sounded like it would be fun and on the other, it sounded like I might drown. But she kept calling me and txting me everyday. She recruited my brother to do it. “I will if you will” kind of thing. Then another one of our photographer friends, Sandy Huffaker in San Diego said that we all couldn’t do a race in his town without him, so, suddenly this triathlon had turned into a party. Ok fine, I’ll do it. Sandy, Kevin and I all signed up and we’d meet Tiffany in SoCal in September.

My daughter and I on day 3 of running, my wife and I before the first 5K and my brother and I after finishing my first triathlon

For the next 8 weeks, I would hit the triathlon training as hard as I could. Tiffany would send me a training calendar and I would do everything it said. I knew how to swim, but not how to swim for 500 meters without stopping. So I went to a couple of master’s swim classes and got some pointers from a coach and it was super helpful. I bought a bike and quickly found that riding the bike was now my favorite part of training. I loved being on the bike. I still enjoyed running too. Triathlon training quickly became my focus, took over my life and it was so fun. I am certain people grew tired of my Facebook posts about swimming biking and running everyday, but I didn’t care. While simply running 4 miles everyday could get boring, triathlon was something different everyday. Run on Monday, swim on Tuesday, Bike on Wednesday, rinse, repeat. Something different everyday. Then I’d do workouts with two disciplines, or all three at once. This was really, really fun. What I once thought was going to be impossible was suddenly becoming not too big of a deal and by the middle of September I could not wait to get to San Diego.

That first race is something I will never forget. The butterflies in my stomach, the mass of people, jumping into the ocean at 8am, the ride, the run, the whole thing seemed to go by so fast. I was super nervous. But once I put my head in the water, everything seemed to go quiet, and it was as if I was alone training by myself. I came out of the water faster than I ever had in training and was in and out of T1 in just a couple of minutes. The bike ride took us through a Navy base and I felt like it went way too fast. The final 5K run was beautiful, running along the boardwalk to the USS Midway and back, everyone motivating each other as we ran. It all seemed to go by way too quick. I didn’t want it to end. I finished in 1:30, 15 minutes faster than my goal. After the race, I found my wife in the mass of people at the finish line and gave her the biggest hug and not going to lie, I cried. I had accomplished something I never in a million years thought I would ever be able to do. I was hooked. I signed up for my second tri as soon as we got back to the hotel.

When I got back home, it was a great feeling having accomplished that first triathlon. It felt great when people where starting to mention how skinny I was looking. Timbers players where asking me how the race went and congratulating me for finishing. That made my day. I had finally found my “sport”…I am a triathlete. I cannot thank Tiffany enough for hounding me to sign up for that first race. If not for her, I would never have found the sport which I now love so much.

Me on the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC before I started running; me running in the Shamrock 8K and Jenn and I before my first 10K in October.

In October I ran my first 10K and another sprint triathlon. In November Jenn and I went to Vegas to run in the Half of a Half Marathon down the strip and in March I ran for the first time in the Shamrock run, finishing the 8K in 49:18. I am now down to about 269lbs and would love to drop another 25 or so, but weight is no longer my main focus. My 2014 goals include 10 triathlons, including my first Olympic Distance event in July in Vancouver, BC. My daughter Jordyn is going to do her first triathlon in May as well. Every run, every bike ride, every swim I am getting better and better and faster and faster. My life pretty much revolves around when I can get my training in for the day. I have found another great set of people and friends to work out with in the Portland Triathlon club and Jenn’s cousin Sarah is my partner in crazy, doing all the races with me as well. It feels great to look back and know that a year ago I could not run for 30 seconds and now I can run for over an hour no problem. I can swim for an hour, bike for an hour and run for an hour without even blinking an eye. It’s crazy what a difference a year makes. I’m in the best shape of my life and still have a ways to go. Never say never and there really is nothing you cannot do. I cannot wait for the next 12 months!

High School Team Posters

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

We’ve shot the team photos and designed the posters for Milwaukie and West Linn high schools over the past few years. Here are some recent ones.