Behind-the-Camera of Photojournalist Nic Coury in Monterey County, California.

July 19, 2009

California Rodeo Salinas - Sunday

This is one of my favorite angles to shoot sports. The overhead is a very clean shot and works great especially when you get a nice facial expression like in the above photo.

I shot the final day of the California Rodeo Salinas today and have a great time and felt like I made some nice frames. I had about 300 keepers from about 1,100 photos taken.

I got some nice low angles from the photo pits across from the chutes and then a great roof overhead angle, which worked great for many shots.

Bareback riding (above two shots) is probably my favorite event to shoot. It's a very intense spectacle and the horses can buck much more violently than the bulls, though the bulls can be a bit more gnarly in case of a trampling...

I love the photo above with the all cowboy hats looking on.

I was able to create a few nice blur shots of cowboys during their straight line direction during the calf roping.

The above shot was terribly underexposed when I looked at it in Photoshop, but I was able to make a nice shadow-y frame out of it.

I like how the steer is tied off from both ends. I think the ropes make the shot here.

Freestyle bullfighter favorite "Hollywood" Don Yates.

I saw this photo as I was walking up to the roof. It's a neat frame.

When I first arrived, there were these four cowboys killing time by playing hacky sack. I found it kinda funny, so I took a picture.

Visit the Weekly's website for more photos.

Posted by:
Nic Coury/staff photographer

July 16, 2009

Weddings Shot on Film.

Yes, I do still shoot film and in fact, I shoot film weddings too.

A few months ago, I assisted Lindsey Walker with a wedding in Carmel. She shoots only film and asked me to help out. The ceremony was on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, late in the afternoon.

Being a predominately digital shooter, it was a challenge, but a good challenge.

I shot with (2) Nikon F100 camera bodies and a handful of lenses including:

- Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8
- Nikkor 35-70 f/2.8
- Nikkor 70-210 f/4-5.6

I also carried a Nikkor 20-35 f/2.8, but didn't end up using it at all.

We shot Kodak Portra 160 Vivid Color film for color and Kodak BW 400cn for black-and-white.

I'm not huge on the Kodak BW stuff, but it turns out fairly even, but not as contrast-y as I would like.

It's funny, because I shoot completely different, technically speaking, but we made some nice photos and she says the couple loves the work, which is the main thing.

~ nic

California Rodeo Salinas - Professional Bulling Riding

Last night I went over to Salinas to cover the Professional Bull Riding (PBR), part of the 2009 California Rodeo Salinas. Read the Weekly's story here.

I really made an effort to shoot different photos—aside from a few c.y.a. stop action photos. I shot wider, blurred motion and worked with nice available back light.

Check out my story at the Weekly here.

More to come this weekend...

Posted by:
Nic Coury/staff photographer

July 12, 2009

Using the Sun on a Sunday.

I went out and tried some new stuff today.

The clouds were out and the sun was really bright, so why not work with both.

The two photos above I shot at Dennis the Menace park in Monterey, which is a neat place and probably been shot one too many times, but the challenge is finding new ways to make cool photos in overshot places. I found making some nice silhouettes was the key on this old train and kids crossing the bridge.

I'm trading some photos to the local climbing gym for climbing time, so I stopped by there and snapped a few off.

Later on, I went to the Obon Festival in Seaside at the Buddhist Temple and played more with the clouds and the sun. I shot the Taiko drummers during a performance.

And the paper lanterns.

And a girl dressed in garb. I wanted to play with high-speed flash sync and shooting into the sun, which can be difficult, but turned out cool.

My editor pointed out some paper cranes to shoot...

And I used slower shutter speeds during a Jujutsu demo to show the motion.

Rodeo blogs coming this week...

~ nic

July 5, 2009

2009 US Red Bull Moto GP - Sunday

2009 U.S. Moto GP winner Dani Pedrosa leads the pack down the corkscrew on the first lap.

Pedrosa exits turn 3.

The 2009 U.S. Red Bull Moto Grand Prix weekend has finished. It's now only second to bike racing as my favorite sport to photograph.

The entire weekend was great. Shooting bikes moving at speeds upwards of 200 mph is very difficult and creating different shots than all the other photogs is hard as well.

Fiat Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi (foreground) and Jorge Lorenzo pass turn 3.

On Sunday morning, prior to the main race, I got to shoot in the Fiat Yahama garage where Valentino Rossi was prepping with his team. I made some very nice feature shots of him.

Below is my workspace in the media center where I spent lots of time editing photos and posting slideshows to the web. Oh, and drinking all the Red Bull I could handle.

Below is the press conference room, shot with Sunday's three winners.

My buddies Orville Meyers of the Monterey Herald and Scott MacDonald of the Salinas Californian hang out in the photo area at the corkscrew on Sunday before the race.

Race winner Dani Pedrosa enters the corkscrew.

Valentino Rossi leads Casey Stoner (center) and Jorge Lorenzo into turn 10.

Rossi leads Lorenzo around turn 3.

Lorenzo passes his team's sign at turn 3.

Next up, the California Rodeo...

Posted by:
Nic Coury / Staff Photographer

July 4, 2009

2009 US Red Bull Moto GP - Day 3

Valentino Rossi takes on Turn 4.

Rossi waves to fans after the qualifying runs.

Nicky Hayden zooms up the hill after turn 5.

Hayden leads the pack of GP racers around turn 5.

Read more at the Weekly's website.

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Posted by:
Nic Coury/Staff Photographer

2009 US Red Bull Moto GP - Day 3

Saturday of the 2009 U.S. Moto GP gives Rossi's teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, the fastest times, which might with "The Doctor" a run during Sunday's Grand Prix.

A few images from the morning practice session.

Jorge Lorenzo turns around the Andretti hairpin.

Valentino Rossi takes the second turn during practice.

Rossi accelerates into the straightaway after the third turn.

A photographer shoots racers roaring through the third turn at Laguna Seca.

The Doctor races around turn three, under his sponsor's sign.

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Posted by:
Nic Coury/Staff Photographer