Erie Otters Hockey 2014-2015: A Season to Remember

With the Erie Otters 2014-2015 season coming to a close this past Friday night, I’ve had the weekend to kind of sit and think about this past season and what it’s meant for the not only the LLC, but for the City of Erie in general. First off, I want to thank Mike Vitron; if you hadn’t given me this opportunity in 2013-2014, I wouldn’t have ever gotten in the door. Thanks also go to Aaron Cooney for sticking with the LLC and putting up with my nonsense all season. And finally thank you Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid for being such good sports during the Harley Shoot!

Harley-Shoot

Photographing the Erie Otters has been an unreal opportunity for me. Since photographing for them, I’ve been published many times. Click here see one of my most recent photos published.

I’ve also gotten a lot of work based on what I’ve shot for the Erie Otters:

Watson-institute-skc Cross-ice-pic Erie-Ice-Wolves

 

Being team photographer for the Erie Otters means I’ve watched some amazing future NHL talent up close and personal, such as:

Dylan Strome

Strome

 

Kurtis MacDermid

MacDermid

 

Troy Donnay

Donnay

 

Nick Baptiste

Baptiste

 

Remie Elli

Elli

 

Alex Debrincat

DeBrincat

 

Devin Williams

Williams

 

I’ve had the honor to watch and photograph the best hockey player since Sidney Crosby — Red Tilson trophy winner, Connor McDavid.

Mcdavid-Red-Tillson-trophy

 

And last but certainly not least, the best mascot in the Ontario Hockey League…..SHOOTER!!!

Shooter

 

What has this Erie Otters amazing season meant to our city? Well, it brought us all together. In my 38 years on this rock, I’ve never seen Erie so united and cheering so loudly — not even in 2002, which was our last championship season. In a year in the City of Erie that has been marred by higher violent crime rates, it was refreshing to see everyone coming together and going nuts for our Western Conference Champs!

Western-Conference-Champs

What have your experiences been with the boys of the Erie Otters this season? We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts and comment below in the comments section or follow us on Facebook and leave some feedback there.

Life Through My Infrared Lens: Presque Isle State Park

The next stop, per the last blog post, on our infrared Erie, PA journey is Presque Isle State Park. The park is the jewel of the Pennsylvania State park system. It boasts 11+ beaches, a protected bay, a multitude of wild life (including two of my favorites: the bald eagles and snowy owls), and the best sunsets in the world! The best part is that Presque Isle is only minutes from my front door.

Without further ado, welcome to my infrared journey through the Presque Isle State Park:

Aerial View of Presque Isle State Park

Aerial View of Presque Isle State Park

 

 

view-from-the-feather

View from the Feather Observation Deck

 

road-to-sunset-point

Road to Sunset Point

 

Presque-isle-bay

Presque Isle Bay

 

walking-trails

Walking Trails

 

The-Feather-Observation-Deck-

The Feather Observation Deck

Take a Chance on Me: A Year In Review

With Year 2 officially in the books, I’ve had a chance over the last few days to sit back and reflect on just how good 2014 was for Matt Mead Photography LLC. I was inspired by a comment one of my peers made about how appreciative she is of the people who took a chance on her when she was first starting out on her own. The idea for this blog post was born while I was driving home from Ligonier and “Take a Chance on Me” by Abba came on my iPod.

Instead of writing a long retrospective with a list of our clients, I’m going to let the images from 2014 do the talking. We’ve run the gamut of architecture, portraits, micro –stock shoots, and of course my specialties: The Erie Otters, snowy owls on Presque Isle, and underwater photography.  So without further ado here is 2014: a thank you to our clients who took a chance on Matt Mead Photography LLC. I’m looking forward to an even better 2015.

 

Life through My Infrared Lens

If you have been following us on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed an increase in infrared photograph postings. A couple years back I decided to buy a gently used Canon EOS 60 D camera body and convert it to infrared. The poor soul basically sat on my shelf and collected dust for the better part of two years until I decided this year I needed to incorporate it into my other personal project, The Erie Project.

pic-1

Throughout the year I’m going to photograph some of my favorite spots in the Erie area with both my regular and infrared camera bodies; highlighting the positives of my hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania.

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The first stop on my journey is one close to home — Frontier Park.  It is really hard to believe that this place is located just 3 city blocks away from my house. When you are there, you would never know that there is anything resembling urban living within a hundred miles.

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I could spend an entire week photographing there and never get bored with it.

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There is Cascade Creek.

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Plenty of open green space

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Finally, my personal favorite, a calm pool where Cascade Creek enters Frontier Park.

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These were all photographed with a Canon EOS 60 D camera body that was converted to Infrared, some with a variable Neutral Density filter and others without. I will write about photographing techniques plus post processing in Photoshop at a later date.

Next up…Presque Isle State Park.

Underwater Photography 101: Capturing Images

A few weeks ago we posted the first part of our series on underwater photography…well here is the much-anticipated follow up. The following are some tips, tricks, and techniques I’ve learned over the last 9 years and how I’m able to capture the images I do.

Shark Eating Lionfish

 

How light and color behave underwater 

In underwater photography light acts differently than it does on land; it refracts. Think back to 8th grade science class when you put a pencil in a clear glass of water.

Pencil underwater

Before you even lift the camera in front of your face, the light has refracted twice: once from the surface of the ocean/lake, then again from the water to your mask. This causes everything to appear ¼ closer and ¼ larger than it really is. Now add a camera to the mix and the light refracts for a third time.  So if you think you’re close enough, you’re not. Get closer.

 

Color

Color is also absorbed by water.  Think of the color spectrum you learned — R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. Water absorbs light in that order, with depth. Red is absorbed from the surface to 60 feet, meaning at 60 feet a red sponge will appear black. This is why we have to bring our light source with us.

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(image from NAUI Master Diver textbook, page 98, figure 3-13)

 

Other Divers

With a regulator in our mouths, we divers can’t talk to each other all that clearly underwater. So getting other divers to cooperate for a photo requires a delicate display of hand signals.

When you stop to photograph a subject, other divers may come over to investigate what you are looking at. Many times this can ruin your shot by being bumped out of the way or scaring the animal away. For example, the below photograph was taken as I was being pushed out of the way of this huge Green Moray Eel while he was getting cleaned by gobies.

Moray Eel Underwater Photography

 

Focal Point

The focal point is the center of interest of your photograph. This is the part of the photograph this going to draw the audience in. In underwater photography you want to make this the animals eyes and mouth region as that is where the most interesting detail is. Case in point — the oyster toad fish.

pic-4

 

 

Be Patient

Animals? Unless they are trained, they will NOT cooperate; they require a great deal of patience and time. Don’t chase the animals. No matter how strong of a swimmer you are, you cannot swim as fast as whatever animal you’re going after.

underwater photography

If you wait, and anticipate where that animal is going to go, you’ll get your shot. Trust me on this.

Patience underwater photography

 

Scale

When you don’t have something for the untrained eye (land lubber) to compare too, a 6” reef squid is going to look like a monster from the deep or a massive shipwreck is going to look like a child’s toy. Having something in the frame as a size reference will make all of the difference in the world. What could you possibly put into your frame underwater to do this? Glad you asked, why, your dive buddy of course. People know people and can easily use a scuba diver as a nice frame of reference as to the size of the animal or ship wreck.

Scale Underwater photography

 

Shoot up

A lot of major underwater publications (which shall go nameless to avoid upsetting anyone) emphasize this tip and it drives me insane. Many articles encourage divers to shoot up at all costs, without taking into account the surrounding environment.  Shooting up gives the subject an appearance of largeness. This is great in some cases and not so good in others.

shoot up underwater photography

This tip is really about angles, you need to get the best angle you can to get the image you want, period. However, you need to do this in a nondestructive way to the environment. The tip should really be: Shoot up only when the situation readily presents itself and you aren’t doing damage to the surrounding environment to do so.

 

So there you have it, what is going on in my crazy brain when I’m photographing underwater. Hopefully you found this helpful. Now get out there, get wet and get photographing…coming up how to properly care and maintain your housing to prevent flooding and ruining your dive vacation.

 

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