Member Monday Featuring Michael Dow

We’re standing up in the stands for this week’s member, Michael Dow! This image captures the magnitude and buzz of cheering on your favorite soccer team.

Read about how he created this shot below!

About the Photo

This is Audi Field in Washington, D.C., home of the MLS team DC United, at sunset. I noticed that the sun was setting, so I climbed up into the furthest reaches of where the away team supporters are seated (lower right in the image) to get the shot. I actually wanted to wait for the sun to set entirely to get some better color in the sky, but I was there to shoot the game for the newspaper, and it was getting close to game time, so I had to retreat back down the field.

Gear and Software

I used my Canon 5D Mark IV with my Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 manual focus lens at f/16, handheld. The final image is a Lightroom HDR composite of three bracketed shots at +/- 2 stops. I debated removing the sprinklers in Photoshop but decided to leave them in because I thought they contributed to the story of preparing for the game that night.

Photography Preferences

I was more of a landscape photographer until relatively recently when I was bitten by the sports photography bug. Last fall I had the opportunity to shoot a football game at my high school, so I hungrily consumed all the sports photography content available on KelbyOne. I also used a post that Scott put on his blog a few years ago about the settings he uses for shooting football, as a cheat sheet for that game. The pictures turned out great, the school and I were both pleased, and from then on I was hooked!

I’m now shooting sports at both the high school and professional levels, for media outlets and publications in the Northern Virginia area, thanks in no small part to the education and training available on KelbyOne, as well as the inspiration and feedback from the instructors and the KelbyOne Community!

Photography Inspiration

I’ve been inspired by so many KelbyOne instructors: Scott, Rick Sammon, Rob Foldy; and Dave Black, who graciously took the time to write me an extremely encouraging note about my first sports shots that I mentioned above; and so many others.

For this particular shot though, I feel I was most inspired by Scott and his amazing ultra wide-angle shots. I also may not have been able to get this shot if it weren’t for Rick reminding me to always look behind me, where I noticed the sun was setting before I went up into the stands to take the shot.

Favorite KelbyOne Classes

My current favorite class on KelbyOne is Erik Kuna’s Demystifying Photo Pills. Erik did such a great job explaining the nuances of the photo planning application and all of its various features. When I’m ready to take a break from shooting sports, I know I can use the knowledge gained from Erik’s class the next time I plan a landscape shoot! It’s also an excellent reference to come back to from time to time.

Connect with Michael

Michael can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @mdowphoto.

Thanks for joining us for another awesome Member Monday feature! Be sure to submit your photos for a chance to receive a spotlight on our social media platforms.