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Thoughts on Mike Mac

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Mitchell, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. I keep going back to his recent softball photos in an effort to improve my own baseball/softball shots.

    It has finally hit me. Mike's shots have such great impact on myself and others because he captures the player and not just the sport. When you look at these, they are really great portraits of people who happen to be playing softball. He crops the photos to give the best impact as a portrait with the sporting event being secondary. He's not afraid to cut off cleats or softballs with unconventional cropping.

    I've been trying to get shots that emphasize the game but unfortunately I leave the player as a secondary subject. My crops are not tight enough because I try to give the viewer a sense of the game around the player. Parents don't want these shots, and they have very little impact.

    Sorry for my ramblings. Any comments on this observation?
  2. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    I believe you are right. Mike Mac does the sports portrait..and how! Just tops!

    I also try to capture the game, but again you are correct about what parents want in pictures. At least I think so.
  3. The chemist

    The chemist

    Jul 22, 2005
    I hear he wears funny vests..i think that is his secret:biggrin:
  4. Jeff Mims

    Jeff Mims

    May 25, 2005
    If that's true, I sure want me one of them funny vests! :biggrin:
  5. Mike is an intense and passionate personality with an eye for detail. Also I am glad to call him friend. He has a great eye for photography and has been most helpful with me.
  6. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Mike is the best:>)))))
  7. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Mitch, your observations on Mike's shooting style is spot on. I could also pick out any of Mike's images from a mile away because of his personal preference in sports shooting. I have spoken to Mike on the telephone on a few occassions, he is one of the most sincere and unselfish friends that I have met on the Nikon Cafe. Mike Mac, Alex Cena, Craig Cappy and Twig have graciously offered me many useful tips on sports shooting and how to market my images better. I truly appreciate the wonderful information that I have received from them as well as from all who post within this forum on a regular basis. Just the privilege of viewing such great action shots is more than helpful in gaining knowledge and the confidence to go out to shoot sports for ourselves. I look forward to this forum remaining strong and our sports images improving with each shooting opportunity.
  8. niknd501


    May 13, 2006
    I agree with everything that has been said here. Mike just does outstanding work.
    His photos are some of the best I have ever seen.
  9. it's the gear, the guy obviously has no talent and is just lucky

    so why can't i be so lucky

    i said it last week, he is the best of us and he inspires me to do better
  10. WOW Thanks so much

    Well thanks so much for the kind words, I have learnt so much from the shots and dialog on this forum. Many many users have offered tips and by just lookign at the pictures posted one can learn where to shoot from the type of shots that are best captured for each sport, so thanks to all on here.

    I have been very fortunate since last fall to be shooting with a sports imaging company, in this time I have shot football, soccer, wrestling, basketball. This year I will add lacrosse, team and individual photo sessions pro biking and swimming.

    The gentleman I work for specializes in youth sports and in particular collages and montages which require me to shoot to isolate the subject.
    When I first started shooting with Jon he was constantly telling me to tighten it up, it was hard for me to get use to that, and it was much harder tracking action using a long focal length, but like with anything else practice practice practice. When Jon told me to use a 300 to shoot basketball I was scared to death trying to follow the game and frame and shoot was daunting but after a few times up and down the court it became easier.

    Jon requires anywhere from 350 to 400 plus images a game so on one Sunday during football I can shoot 2000 shots, so this has given me the opportunity to get use to shooting tight and shooting what sells to the parent since this is the nature of his business.

    When shooting a game I try to capture the spirit of the game and the kids and the emotions weather it is the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat and all emotions in between. You will find that shooting emotions will lead you to great plays, the ball on bat, plays at the bases over the head catches.
    When shooting I try to stay very aware of the game, players, coaches and surroundings and capture shots to represent it.
    Of course when shooting 400 shots I do get lucky and get a few that turn out good but believe me there are a ton that hit the cutting room floor.

    Each sport and even more so each age level requires a different approach, for example today the first to baseball games I shot were young kids maybe 6-8 years old. So these kids skills were minimal to say the least so I had to figure out where the best shot opportunities would come from and position myself in the right place to capture them, to compound matters there were coaches scattered all over the field so trying to isolate the kids was even harder. Each team batted through there lineup once then changed places while the other team did the same the games lasted one inning so I had no time to learn and adjust for the next at bats cause there weren't any. So know your subject matter going into the event so you have a game plan ahead of time and not trying to figure things out as the game starts

    With that said I think one needs to become very comfortable with your gear, so that you don't have to think about settings and such and concentrate on the action, this take a while but after you shoot enough the it is like you aren't even looking through the camera you are just watching the field shooting what you see.

    I so enjoy shooting youth sports, most of the work the company I shoot for does is 14U and under, this is the target market with the most sales going to the younger ages, it is refreshing shooting these kids, they play cause they love the game and it comes through in the pictures, I find the older the group gets less emotion is shown except for a big event such as a score and it becomes more of individual efforts rather than team. With these kids each and every play is exciting to them and makes getting so real quality shots of the kids easier.

    So get out there and shoot and post and lets continue to learn from each other, thanks again
    PS That is the most I have ever written in a post since I have joined!
  11. eng45ine


    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences Mike. We will all reach our goals if we get out on a regular basis to shoot our sports action. Each and every shooting opportunity brings us one step closer to the perfection that we seek. Learning from one another is an important key to our success.
  12. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Well said and written Mike.
    Keep up the great work Pal
  13. Thanks for chiming in here, Mike.
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