Behind the scenes with Times photographer Will Vragovic at Rays media day(w/video)
Most professional (and some college) sports teams host a media day each year. It's an opportunity to have new faces and veterans run through a gauntlet of quick tv interviews, radio hits, and photo sessions to kick off a new season.
Last fall, I saw the gifs that former Dallas Morning News photographer Gerry McCarthy did at Mavericks photo day and knew it was something I wanted to try. I did some research, and Gerry was kind enough to spend some time on the phone with me explaining his process, and some technical pitfalls to avoid.
I enlisted the help of local photographer and lighting nerd, er, guru, Edward Linsmier to help achieve the look I was going for and provide the lighting horsepower to keep up with the framerate of the Canon 1Dx camera I’d be shooting with. We ran a few tests and I felt pretty confident with the technical side of things.
You always worry a bit about whether the athletes will buy into your ideas. It makes sense, it's an early morning, they're getting pulled in a bunch of directions, and they're trying to wrap it up in time to get to the workout.
This is my fourth season covering the Rays, and across the board they've been great to work with. This year was no different. It probably helped that our station was popping strobes at 10 frames per second, so it looked and sounded pretty impressive. I heard a couple of comments like "Whoa, what's this about?" and “Ok...THIS I want to do."
Over 6,000 frames later, I think they turned out alright.
Camera: Canon EOS 1DX
Lens: Canon 24-70 2.8 II
Exposure: 1/250sec f/8, 800 ISO
Lighting: Broncolor Move and Siros strobes