Monday, April 28, 2008

Sophie Turns 4

On Saturday April 26, Sophie celebrated her fourth birthday. A special surprise visitor stopped by to say hello, make some balloon animals, do some magic and paint some faces. Sophie's favorite Princess..Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty provided entertainment for the girls. Everyone (not me) was decked out in Princess Dresses and they had a great time. I set up the seamless white background downstairs so the girls could show off their dresses and their face paint. Here are a few pics...

Sophie was mesmerized by the Magic Show.
Athena the Zebra!
Savannah with her Princess Crown painted to go with her Cat Like Persona.
The Birthday Girl!
Princess Aurora and Princess Aurora
All the Princesses pose for a pic.
Balloon animal requests included, flowers, fairy wands, giraffes and monkeys.

And the Winner is.......


Chad is the director of US Operations for the mega-microstock site!

For the most part, I am very happy for Chad as he works with tens of thousands of photographers around the world. Having his photo come in first place amongst so many talented photographers with some beautiful photo's shows us that he isn't just a pencil pusher with a Skype headset (we didn't actually think that Chad :)

The only disturbing part about this photo winning in such dramatic fashion is that Chad was the only member of our group shooting with a Nikon Camera. What this really does is further validate his tremendous skill as clearly he was at a severe disadvantage regarding camera equipment :)

Nice going Chad! I'll get your 16X24 Standout print started right away!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Please Vote for your Favorite Image.

Chad Bridwell
Chris Boar
Jan Klier
Terry Lang
Mat Hayward
Dennis Dow
Dennis Dow
James Tosch
Chris Boar
Chris Boar
Chad Bridwell
Dennis Dow
Jan Klier
James Tosch
Terry Lang
James Tosch
Chad Bridwell
Mat Hayward
Terry Lang
Mat Hayward
Jan Klier
On Sunday April 20, 2008 myself, James Tosch of Kits Camera along with his beautiful girlfriend Sandhya, retired Navy Photographer Terry Lang, Flickr afficianado and serious strobist Jan Klier (who is the first guy I met that made me feel like I don't have enough toys....he has some serious gear let me tell you!), wedding photographer Chris Boar and his very charming family, the director of US Operations for Chad Bridwell along with the ever talented, super nice and highly competitive Dennis Dow who is also a photographer at the Woodland Park Zoo. I say he is competitive as at one point a Dahl's Porpoise was jumping in front of the boat. I had just composed my shot, I could see his sillhouette under the water, I knew he was just about to make a spectacular second left, my finger began to apply pressure to the shutter when WHAM!!! Dennis sideswipes me, knocks me on my tail and grabs the shot for himself. He claims it was an accident, but I know better :) With Dennis was Sue who is one of those people you meet and you instantly like. Always armed with a great smile and standing by her man holding his second camera ready to swap it out for him in an instant (they do make a great team).

We all met up with Captain Ivan and the very funny, very knowlegable naturalist John Boyd (JB) on the Western Prince II . We embarked on a 4 hour tour of the Puget Sound in search of wildlife as part of a photography challenge. Captain Ivan in addition to being a Whale Tour Boat operator is a photographer armed with a Canon 40D and a Canon 100-400mm lens. Ivan being a photographer was great because after he would find the animals he would position the boat in the best possible way to enhance the light and subsequently, our shots. He is out on the sound nearly every day and gets some incredible photographs which he posts on his blog along with great stories of his adventures. Be sure to check his blog regularily here.

Unlike the last challenge I hosted in Seattle where we were limited to the use of a 50mm lens, this time there were no limitations other than the photographers imagination. Within a 24 Hour period any photo's taken on Friday Harbor or Anacortes were elibible to be entered. Below you will see the entries. If you would be kind enough to take a look at them and to vote for your favorite image it would be very much appreciated. The photograph with the most votes will be printed on a 16X24 Standout Mount and delivered to the talented photographer responsible for shooting it.

We want to get a lot of votes from as many people as possible so please share a link to this blog with your friends! The box to vote is to the right of your screen. As always, comments are very much appreciated.

Thank You!

P.S. I've posted some links to images of individuals mentioned above as well as links to their web pages...the following are links to images of the shooters I wasn't able to fit above. Thanks again to everyone who made the trip and to you for voting!

Chad Bridwell
Dennis & Sue
Ivan & JB
Jan Klier
Terry Lang
James & Sandhya

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Whale of a Tale!

Today was the day for the Photographer Challenge I was hosting out of Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands.

Those of you not from around here may or may not realize that the past few days have represented some of the most bizarre "Spring" weather I have ever seen. Yesterday and the Day we had anywhere from 6 to 8 inches of snow covering the ground. This morning at Very Early Oclock my good buddy Terry whom I blogged about previously picked up my other good buddy Chad whom I have never blogged about and I and we headed up to Anacortes. On the hour long drive we started under gray sky, cold weather...drove into sprinkling rain, followed by a steady drizzle, into an intense rain with limited visibility followed by massive snow fall.

I'm not going to lie. I was a bit concerned about the weather. We met up with the rest of the group at the ferry terminal and everyone shared the same apprehension about the weather. As the Ferry approached Friday Harbor however, a miracle occurred! The clouds parted, the sky turned blue and the sun shone! It became one of the most beautiful days I've seen in a long while.

We headed out on my favorite boat the Western Prince and spent 4 hours cruising the Sound finding Big Horn Rams, Fallow Deer, Dahl's Porpoises, Harbor Seals, huuuuge Stellar Sea Lions and more. It was a great trip with great travelling companions. This is a photo of everyone except the Boar family who traveled down from Canada for the trip. They stayed on overnight and were not on the ferry home where this photo was taken.

Please be sure to check back later this week as everyone is going to send me 3 of their favorite photo's of the day to be shown here. You will have the chance to participate in our contest and vote for your favorite image. The winning image will be printed as a 16X24 Standout (my new favorite print size and style) for the photographer responsible for the image.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seattle Mariners

I had an incredible experience at Safeco Field on Sunday. The Seattle Mariners hosted the Anaheim Angels after defeating them the previous two days in a row. For the first 3 innings I was allowed in the press pit to photograph the game. I have to admit, I absolutely love shooting sports! It is so intense. Since I was very young I have been a huge Mariners fan. My Grandmother used to watch every game and knew pretty much everything there was to know about every player that ever played for them. Each time a Mariner would score a run she would go out on the lake she lived on and ring a super loud bell over and over again. All the neighbors knew when she rang the bell, the Mariners just scored a run. It was her that got me started collecting Baseball cards and one of my greatest memories as a kid was going to watch Gaylord Perry pitch at the Kingdome with my Grandparents.

Being down on the field is so amazing. You get to witness the comraderie between the players and best of all you can see the joy in the eyes of the fans as the players toss a little boy a baseball or sign an autograph or simply offer a handshake or a high five. The Seattle Mariners are an awesome baseball team and it was an absolute pleasure to photograph the game. Below are a few of my favorite shots from the day. I hope you like them.

These images are property of Mat Hayward Photography and are NOT authorized for use in any way shape or form at anytime by anyone. Thanks.

It's not uncommon to find players signing autographs for the fans before the game.
Pitcher Miguel Batista just before the game started.
Even though he's a player for a division rival, you have to take your hat off to Vladimir Guerrero. This guy is dominant! Where I was stationed on the field you could hear the bats swooshing through the air as the Angels warmed up while on deck. It really changes your perspective of the intensity of the game when you are that close.
Just before stepping up to the plate Ichiro looked right at me as if to say "Watch this!"
It's as though he knew it would happen. When Ichiro swings, he usually connects.a>
Pitcher Cha Seung Baek was told two hours before the game that he was going to be the starter. Check out the intensity shown in his face a split second before the ball is released.
Richie Sexson is always on first base. It's especially nice to see him there when the Mariner's are at the plate!
Another stolen base for the super speedy Ichiro and Erick Ayber of the Angels is mad about it!
The fans go nuts when a fly ball heads their way! I love the expression on the face of the guy in the white hat.
A close play at 2nd.
I think he's out at the plate!
The Umpire Agrees!
Mike Morse suffered a subluxation injury on his left shoulder during this play. Ichiro was there to back him up. After the play, Ichiro urged Mike to sit out of the game but his determination was stronger than his shoulder and he played on.
They say Vladimir Guerrero can hit anything...not this time! Notice how far away the ball is.
Double Play!
Strong effort by Ibanez on the last play of the game.
What it's all about.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Go Mariner's

Here's a shot I grabbed yesterday of Ichiro haulin tail down to First Base. Something I love about this guy is that no matter where he hits the ball, regardless of whether it's obvious he will be thrown out he runs as fast as he can. Check out the intensity shown in his face and the height of the dirt flying in the air behind him. I would love to know how fast he was running.

I'll be posting more from this game this week. I got a lot of great shots and had an awesome experience on the field!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Monday I stopped by the Woodland Park Zoo. It started out a bit dreary with all the animals snoozing. The two Lions were no exception. They were chilling out on a rock near the viewing window so I added my 2X teleconverter to my 70-200 lens and was going to shoot a close up of the female sleeping. Just then the big male woke up and started to do his thing. Here are a few shots I grabbed...