Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Lahainaluna Varsity Girls Volleyball: Senior Photo Shoot!

The Seniors: Lithe Pokipala-Waiohu, Kawena Murray, Kimberly Yap, and Hana Pasco Dusenberry.

During the preseason, Coach Lei and senior Captain Lithe asked if I could take some time out to take photos of the senior girl volleyball players. I wasn't sure what the schedule was like at the time, but I figured it would have to take place during warm-ups at a game in Central Maui . . . since most of the games were on the weekdays and by the time I drove to Lahaina, the matches would be starting already.

Fortunately, there was one game during the whole season on a Saturday - and best of all, it was in the afternoon at Lahainaluna. So September 14th was targeted as the day for the senior photo shoot.

I wanted to start at around 2pm, shoot for maybe 1-2 hours, then shoot the JV girls game against Maui High - I had only shot the JV during preseason and had missed all of their matches due to their early start times. I envisioned the Lunas' emblem at the new school cafeteria would be a great place to shoot. The Lahainaluna High School sign on the lava rock wall on the Royal Palm drive across the band room looked to be another good location. The wall overlooking the softball field by the new locker rooms was also a nice spot. If we had time, maybe shoot some down on the football field with Mt Ball in the background. Finally, some individual posed "action" shots in the gym.

I also wanted to try my hand at off-camera flash photography. I had ordered some Chinese-brand Nikon compatible flashes and Yonguo wireless triggers. I really wanted to see if I could pull off the sports portrait shots like those done by Blair Bunting.  (NOTE to SELF: Practice these things first BEFORE using them in an actual photo shoot. Also, make sure you know how to USE the flashes properly before making an ass out of yourself at the actual photo shoot).

Anyways, it was blazing hot. 2pm? Jeezus. And shooting with the sun directly overhead was not the optimum time because of the shadows and harsh lighting. So hot, though . . . I thought I was going pass out! All that standing and excitement from the Baldwin-Lunas game the night before had me running on fumes.


Then as hinted to above, my vision of a flawless off-camera photo shoot went to hell. Finally, I abandoned the off-camera flash and just went with the on-camera flash for fill effect. 

We went to all the aforementioned areas to shoot (except the football field). On the locker room wall, I almost slipped down the hill trying to position myself for a shot of the four from below. (In hindsight, this could've been when I injured my left meniscus . . . that night, my knee started stiffening up. By Sunday, I could hardly walk without pain. Tuesday I went to the doctor. The following week, I had an MRI which found a torn meniscus in my left knee) Then we did some shooting up in the gym.

Turns out the JV game was cancelled - the Lunas were unable to field the necessary 6 players to play so they forfeited. If I had known that, I would've spent more time trying to get better shots of the seniors. Anyway, it was an interesting experience. I need to work on portrait shooting and use of flash. Otherwise, I prefer taking action shots over posed portrait shots any day of the week!

For more photos from the photo shoot, click here:

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