Archive for October, 2012

A Better Way to Create PayPal Galleries with Lightroom

Posted in Adobe Lightroom, PayPal, Photo Products, Photography, Web Galleries with tags , , , , on October 28, 2012 by bobshank

Over the past few years I’ve posted photo galleries to my website from Lightroom that allows viewers to purchase photographs from me directly. The order is placed online using PayPal from a photo gallery on my website. Once I receive the order, I submit the order to my printer and complete the order. I posted a blog entry on this procedure back in August of 2010. This worked well for me and actually helped increase my print sales. The process was pretty easy once the code was inserted.

However, one problem was that the location of my copyright watermark was locked into the very lower-left portion of the print. I felt that some people were simply saving my images to their computer and easily editing or cropping out my watermark. Ideally, I wanted my watermark to be in the middle of the print at about 50% opacity. I am not a code expert, so this was not easy for me to figure out. So I kept using what worked even with the limitations. You can view one of these old galleries here.

Fortunately, I was doing a search on the internet one day and discovered a new and better way to post a Lightroom Gallery to my website compete with PayPal options. The bonus was that it allowed me to put my watermark exactly where I desired, all within the Lightroom output settings! It was an excellent option, so I read and re-read the article and decided to give it a try. I am extremely satisfied with the results and I use this feature for all the photo galleries I post now. It’s sweet!

The web link I found in my search is: http://www.imat.co.uk/ligtroom_paypal.html and includes the code required to make this process work. Thanks John Burton for sharing this productive and efficient way to utilize PayPal with Lightroom Galleries!

This process does involve one additional step but it’s a free signup! It involves using Mal’s ecommerce, which creates the cart when a visitor to your gallery wants to purchase a photo. When you go to this website you have to join by creating a new account. Then you need to set up your cart. But all this is a one-time process. After you do it once, it’s done. And it works beautifully!

In Lightroom you need to add some instructional code in the Web Module in the Caption box. It is only entered here instead of in each photograph’s meta data, so it is much more efficient than my older method. This code is found at the bottom of the link I mentioned above from John Burton’s website. This is where you include your products for sale and their prices. You can see one of my newer galleries utilizing this feature here.

I really like the look of this option for posting photo galleries to the web. And it makes it easy for visitors to order products from my website directly. The great thing is this web gallery is easily repeatable for any new photo gallery I want to post to my website. It is really effortless once it was all set up. The setup process didn’t take very long either. Give this method a try. You will like the way it looks and you will be easily able to sell more of your photo products!

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Pleasant Valley Wins Over Allen High School in a Character Builder!

Posted in Allen, Baseball, Pleasant Valley, Pride of the Diamond, Saylorsburg, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on October 27, 2012 by bobshank

It took two nights, eight innings, and a come from behind rally to win, but Pleasant Valley won a character building game on Friday night!

Howie Stevens took the mound in a suspended game due to darkness the previous night. Allen had rallied from being three runs behind to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning. The game was called due to darkness with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs. This situation was inherited by Stevens to re-start the game on Friday. The first batter battled in the count and then drove a ground ball down the 3B line. PV’s Travis Van Houten made the play at the line and threw a bullet to first basemen, Chris Burke, to record the first out.

A walk in the inning and an errant pick-off attempt, left a runner at 2B. A stolen base and another error scored the first run of the evening, but it wouldn’t be the last. Stevens got out of the inning with good stuff and then it was PV’s turn to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.

A walk to Connor Cardenas, started the inning. Cardenas was then awarded 2B when a pickoff attempt went past the first basemen, who then interfered with Cardenas. Cardenas was then awarded 2B. Adam Raseley lined out to center field, which brought catcher,  James Shank to the plate. After three straight fastballs, the count was even at 1-2. Then Shank crushed a ball over the left fielder’s head to get the game-tying RBI and send the game into extra innings!

Here Shank is celebrating as he coasted into 2B with a stand-up double.

Stevens again took the mound to start the top of the eighth inning. He rolled through the inning with only one walk. That runner stole second base and then got to third base. With two outs the Allen batter laid down a bunt to first base. The runner on 3B broke for the plate and 1B Chris Burke fired home. Shank put the tag on the sliding base runner for the final out!

Chris Burke was walked on four pitches to start the bottom of the eighth inning for PV.

Cardenas was hit by a pitch, so there were runners at 2B and 1B when Shank came to the plate again. Shank’s first swing was a bullet down the third base line, but foul. Then, with another crack of the bat, Shank hit a walk-off, game winning RBI single.

Burke scored the winning run and was mobbed by his teammates after crossing home plate.

Games like this can be nerve-racking, but they build character in a team. These players stuck together and overcame the obstacles to win the victory. It’s not always easy, but winning games in this fashion build character that can take a team to many more victories. Go Bears! To see all the photos of this game, click here.

Sports Photography Products Available

Posted in Buttons, Calendar, Collage, Gift Idea, Magnet, Photo Book, Photo Products, Photography, Sports Photography, Trading Cards with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2012 by bobshank

Sports photography is a passion for me!

There is nothing that quite beats the challenge of capturing the action on the field with my camera. As play after play unwinds, the story of the game is told. My job as a sports photographer is to capture and tell this unique story through photographs.

A single photograph, or even a photo album of photographs is one traditional way to tell the story and remember a game.

But today there are better and different ways to recapture a special moment on the field or re-live a game.

One popular way to capture a game or a complete season is to create a photo book, which includes photographs compiled nicely in a photo book. There are many alternatives to this method including soft-covers and hard-covers, one photo per page or several photos per page, and much more. You can see a sample of photo book here.

A custom photo collage of a play or a game is another option that can highlight a great play on the field or a victory. I create these custom collages in Photoshop by including several different photographs and soften their edges to help them blend together in an attractive way. You can see one sample here and some more here.

Photo collages can come in all sizes, shapes, and varieties. I like to include several different options.

The 4-Photo Collage is a simple, straightforward design. It highlights four equally-sized photographs in the four quadrants of the collage and highlights the player name and number in the middle.

The 3×1 Photo Collage is the perfect way to capture great plays or a hitting sequence like a triple. The one side of the collage features a vertical photo while the other side features three smaller photos. A triple could be documented in this way: the player hitting the ball on the vertical side with each of the three smaller photos featuring the player running around the bases. A defensive play could be displayed in a similar fashion on one of these custom collages.

The 3-Photo Collage is a nicely laid out presentation including one large photo in the middle and two supporting photographs overlaid to create a more artistic display. This can also highlight a great defensive or offensive play, or any combination of desired photos.

One of my favorite options is what I call the Teamsake Collage. The idea behind this collage is to include several teammates on the collage to remember a special season. Players bond together during a season and this collage provides a way to remember your teammates in a great way for many years to come. This layout includes 9 equally-sized photographs so the starting lineup of the team can be included, or just a variety of favorite teammates can be featured. It’s all up to you!

Collages are just one one example of the great options available today. Photo buttons, trading cards, calendars, greeting cards, mouse pads, magnets, and Stick Pix, which are like FatHeads that stick to the wall, are also available from any photograph in my galleries. You can view some of the options here. These options make perfect gifts for Christmas, birthdays, and graduation!

Over the years of creating my photography website, I tried to find better ways to make these products available for purchase. I currently  offer many of them directly in the photo galleries when you click on and enlarge a photograph. Prints, buttons, magnets, and trading cards are easily selected in this way. I will be including the other options soon, but some are not so easily available in this manner. For example, the photo colleges need to include more than one photo obviously. Finding an easy to follow method to choose and include the exact photos presents a dilemma. I am experimenting now with some new ideas and hope to have this available as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you want to purchase a collage, just email me and I will get it together.

Photographs make special and unique gifts. There are a variety of ways to take a photograph and turn it into a creative keepsake. I feel my job is to “capture the moment” and make a memory for a lifetime. These sports photography products help to deliver this goal!

The Ups and Downs of Coaching

Posted in Austyn Borre, Coach Terwilliger, Coaches, Coaching, Football, Pleasant Valley High School, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by bobshank

All coaches, no matter what sport, know full-well the ups and downs involved in coaching. One moment might be an absolute high feeling of success and achievement, while the very next moment can be a feeling of emptiness and discouragement. Few people can truly appreciate the time, commitment, and widespread feelings coaches experience!

Coach Terwilliger and his coaching staff at Pleasant Valley know and live these ups and downs every day of the football season. The spotlight is obviously on them during games under the bright lights on Friday nights, but few can appreciate all that goes in to preparing for a game each week. Film is watched over and over, practices including calisthenics, drills, play execution,  and conditioning consume hour upon hour each day leading up to the big game. Coaching is not for the faint of heart! The reward is when all the hard work comes together as the team puts into practice all the effort, learning, and coaching of the previous week.

Teamwork among the coaching staff is critical. Each coach has his specialty on the team and in a combined and orchestrated effort, the coaching staff builds on one drill after another and one week after the next. Positive attitudes and a healthy degree of humility can go a long, long way as the coaching staff tries to implement its plan for the season. A sense of togetherness and give-and-take are both required throughout the season. When these elements break down it can be a long season for both the players and coaches. Even worse, one bad call by an official can not only threaten the outcome of a game but an entire season. Talk about pressure! Remaining calm and steady; not getting too high or too low, helps tremendously.

 

Sometimes it all comes together beautifully. Such was the case last Friday night when Pleasant Valley not only won an important game, but also witnessed their freshman running back break a school record! Austyn Borre broke the season rushing record and stands to add to this total in the upcoming weeks.

Coach Terwlliger and his coaching staff certainly experience the ups and downs of coaching, but they remain steady and confident as they play through this football season. It is fun to watch, especially because all the hard work is paying off in positive ways. Skills are increasing among the players, the team is growing closer together, and lessons learned on the football field will eventually be played out in the game of life. Coaches and their importance are often overlooked. We must remind ourselves that these guys are not only teaching boys how to play the game of football, but they are turning these boys into men both on and off the field.

Ball in the Action

Posted in Action Photography, Allen, Ball, Football, Pleasant Valley High School, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by bobshank


Some of my favorite sports photographs include the ball in the action!

It is exciting to pony up to the challenge of capturing these shots and while it might take a great deal of effort and good timing, the success is rewarding! I always believe that every game has a story to tell and part of our job as photographers is to capture and tell the story through our lenses. I will take this even one step further: each and every play also has a story to tell! Think about it… a quarterback drops back to attempt a pass, the line is fighting off the pass rush and maybe even a corner blitz, the receivers are running their routes, and the defensive backs are defending their territories. Isn’t there a fascinating storyline in here?

One of the best ways I find to tell the story of a play is to include the ball in the image. Not only does this help tell a specific detail about the play, but it adds action to the photograph like nothing else can accomplish. All eyes are on the ball–both in the field and in the image! Now this might sound easy, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Just try to capture a sharp image of a moving ball on a Friday night under the lights! The challenge is still worth the effort, however. That’s why you will see me along the sidelines week after week trying to get to capture the ball in the action!

A Big Night for Pleasant Valley Football’s #28 – Austyn Borre

Posted in Allen, Austyn Borre, Coach Terwilliger, Football, Mountain Valley Conference, Pleasant Valley High School, Rob Getz, Rushing Record with tags , , , , , , on October 21, 2012 by bobshank

It was a big night for #28, Austyn Borre, on Friday. Borre broke the Pleasant Valley rushing record for the season as he hit 1,083 yards by the end of the game against Allen. Rain fell on the field at times, but it certainly did not rain on Austyn’s parade!

The running back’s banner night started with some impressively strong runs. He put together one hard, fast run after another and found the end zone a total of four times! In addition to quick moves and strong runs, Borre found the seams made my his offensive linemen and quickly darted through them to add to his yardage. It was a clinic for running backs and propelled the Bears to huge victory to remain undefeated in the Mountain Valley Conference.

The run which broke the season record was an impressive 91 yard run where broke away from defenders in a flash going untouched into the end zone. The previous school season record was 1,081 held by Rob Getz who now plays at Widener. Borre is a freshman and brings with him a lot of running back power toward PV’s current season run for the MVC Championship. He also brings much promise for the next three years!

Pleasant Valley kept the pressure on Allen all evening and Borre kept running and adding up yard after yard. The final score was 42-0. He ran the ball 14 times for a total of 185 yards, which averaged 13.2 yards per carry. Not bad for a freshman who is definitely making an impact for the Bears when they face their opponents. Coach Terwilliger must be very happy to have such a weapon on his offense as the team comes down the final stretch for the MVC Championship. Two upcoming games against East Stroudsburg North and Stroudsburg will cap the season and determine the champion.

Photographing this game was a great experience for me as I tried to highlight the rushing record and tell the story of the game. Photographing a high school football game under the lights can be a real challenge to say the least. However, great subjects like Austyn Borre with his incredible running talent and Coach Terwilliger’s passion for football and his players makes it all so much easier by creating great subject matter!

Part of the problem with night games is the lack of light for our cameras. High ISOs and fast shutter speeds are the name of the game for sports photographers at these venues. The falling rain added to the challenge, but photographing the record-breaking run and the coach handing the game ball to Borre made this an historic game within the game! Fans were treated to a big win and a season high rushing record to boot! Now who wouldn’t want to photograph that?

To view all the photographs from this game, click here.

Parkinson’s Disease Bike Tour 2012

Posted in Bike Ride, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Lankendau Hospital, Michael J. Fox Foundation, PA, Parkinson's Disease, PD Bike Tour, Shake It Off 4 PD, Special People with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2012 by bobshank

There are many extra-special people in this world and I got to meet a bunch of them on Saturday!

Jodi & Chris Cianci led the charge on this event to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease. All the volunteers and participants worked together to make a difference for an important cause that affects so many people. Observing and photographing these special people taught me a few things and was inspirational for all!

The PD 500 Tour Bike Ride was held in beautiful Malvern, PA on October 13th. The morning began with frost on the ground and a nip in the air. Riders were prepared to brave the fall-like elements as they received their cue sheets to find their way on one of two options: a 60 or 30 mile bike ride.

The day eventually warmed up and turned into a beautiful day. The sky was blue and the air warmed up by late morning. Riders were supported with Sag Wagons in case of any break downs or trouble. Rest stops along the way provided much-needed breaks and refueling on these demanding and hilly routes.

The organizers and volunteers did a magnificent job supporting and leading this event at Bryn Mawr Rehab, which was a perfect setting with good parking and an excellent site for the pre-ride and post-ride events of the day. DJ Foster provided excellent music and occasional announcements of riders coming toward the finish line. Two cheerleaders from Soulmates were there to greet the riders as they crossed the finish line to cheers of the crowd!

Post-ride events included several enlightening and insightful speakers including a neurosurgeon from Lankenau Hospital, a representative from the Michael Fox Foundation, and Jodi Cianci, who began her presentation by stating her name and saying, “and I have Parkinson’s Disease.” But Jodi quickly included that she was more than ready to fight the disease and her enthusiasm and energy showed she is backing up her courageous claim! Jodi said that when she told her husband, Chris, that she had Parkinson’s Disease, he said, “No, you don’t; we do.” The love between this beautiful couple and their passion to help in the fight against Parkinson’s Disease is both incredibly inspirational and contagious!

A small group of riders rode 508 miles in eight days to raise money for Parkinson’s Disease. Some of these riders are shown here with the Soulmates cheerleaders right after they crossed the finish line. Their trip started at the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. It rained one whole day on their trip, which traveled through three states: Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. These riders looked surprisingly strong after riding 508 miles, but it really isn’t all that surprising when you see the drive and passion of these riders on their fight against PD!

Keep an eye out for another upcoming event from “Shake it Off for PD.” You will be blessed by getting involved with these very special people!

You can view the PD 500 Bike Tour website here: PD 500 Bike Tour

You can see all the photographs I captured at the event here: www.bobshankphotography.com/Events