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summit sports workshop | colorado springs, co

SUMMIT SPORTS CHIP LITHERLAND

If you like sports, photography, sports photography, photography of sports, and the sport of photographing sports then this is the workshop for you.  Combine that with some of the biggest names in the industry, beer, and mountains of information and connections – as well as actual mountains – then you get the Summit Sports Workshop hosted by the fine folks at Clarkson Creative.  This year they’ve asked yours truly to be a part of it.

I’ll be hosting a workshop on finding unique and vibrant images in behind-the-scenes, documentary scenarios like I do for clients such as ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and more.  The focus will be on what to look for and how to approach seeing in a different light when you’re given access.  I’ll also get into how to make images that will get you those gigs from any scenario whether it be in the locker room of a pro sports team or on the sidelines of a little league game.  Access is only a small part of it. Learning to see and tell stories when you have no control over a scene is where I thrive. We’ll get to head into the field and shoot side-by-side learning hands on from myself and an amazing crew of faculty and photographers.

I went to this workshop over a decade ago when I was just starting in the industry.  It was worth every penny.  I learned lighting and shooting techniques that shaped how I see today, but moreover I got to meet and connect with some inspiring folks in the industry in an informal atmosphere to talk shop and get my work critiqued.  Specifically, I met Brad Smith, who was then sports editor at The New York Times and now the Director of Photography at a little magazine called Sports Illustrated.  He gave me my very first EVER freelance assignment that week for the NYT.  It set me on a course to where I am now.  Full circle from student to teacher.  Now I sound like a bad kung-fu flick.

For more information on the workshops, which are almost full (hurry!) please visit: http://www.photographyatthesummit.com/workshops/sports/

 

 

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a day with joe maddon | espn.com

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Pigskin is over, bring on baseball.

Spring Training for MLB is just around the corner as pitchers and catchers start reporting and this is me finally getting around to updating the ole blog with a series I shot with Manager Joe Maddon at the end of this past season as the Tampa Bay Rays approached the playoffs. ESPN.com approached me to hang with Joe for the day to see how he prepares for a game on any given afternoon.  I had heard he was a nice guy, but man, Joe is more than that.  He swung open the door to his RV with open arms as he tried out his new bus (it really isn’t a small camper but a full on house on wheels) and let the writer and I tag along for every little detail that makes this guy…well, this guy.

Within five minutes of chatting with Joe, we clicked over our mutual stomping grounds in Boulder, Colorado, where I went to school and where he played ball and proposed to his wife (in the parking lot of the liquor store I used to frequent – and I used that term heavily). We sat with him as he revealed his train of thought over lineup cards (which he scribbles on the iPad app Penultimate).  All this time I’m mentally trying to will myself into his beautiful ’56 Chevy BelAir which is sitting in the parking lot of the campground he’s staying at.  Fate would step in as he took off for a bike ride in Ft. DeSoto Park as I chased him in my SUV making pictures.  His bike tire went flat, so I was able to throw his bike in my trunk and give him a lift in my ride (weird looking over and seeing Joe in my car) – providing an ultimate time for me to ask if I can ride in his classic car.  He happily agreed and took me on one of the most fun fifteen minute drives I’ve had as he headed to Tropicana Field for the game with me in the passenger seat – both of us chatting about photography and rocking out to Talking Heads radio on Pandora.

After the game – sadly a loss – he was just as cordial (although not drinking a glass of red wine as he is known to do after a win) and sent us on our way after a brief presser and a handshake from a good ole Joe.

Overall just a fun shoot, and an awesome day with an legendary manager.  Fore more: http://chiplitherland.photoshelter.com/gallery/Tampa-Bay-Rays-manager-Joe-Maddon/G0000oJt0GKf_vYg

 

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broncos + chiefs | one day + one game | espn the mag

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I don’t know how I drew the long straw on these series of gigs, but I’m happy I did.  This is my third One Day One Game for ESPN the Magazine and every time it’s a complete and total visual mosh pit I never want to leave.

Alongside a crew of seven photographers and editors from across the country, we all descended on Sports Authority Field in Denver for the night:  from one shooter with the horse all day to another up in a plane with parachuters coming into the stadium, the editors at ESPN really try to tackle (sorry bad pun) every angle of the story possible.  My job was a bit open ended with an all access pass to just go cover everything Denver from their sidelines.  Not too bad of a gig – especially when they win.  The matchup between the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs brought the top two teams in the NFL together in the middle of the season – a rarity.  Adding to that one team had the best offense, the other with the best defense.  Pretty big matchup.

I’m going to make the obligatory statement from someone who now lives in Florida and covers NFL games with cheerleaders who basically wear bikinis to every game.  It was freaking cold.  This coming from a Colorado native.  It was awesome to be home, but I always forget how much that dry cold gets right up into all your fun parts while trying to kneel on the ground for 4 hours.  I’m a big wuss, but it was all worth it of course because making pictures on big stages is always a blast – especially with an amazing crew of photographers alongside me to kick my butt.  The competition breeds creativity, passion, and drive.

The issue is on newsstands this week, so go check it out!

For more from our team covering the game check out the ESPN the Magazine gallery here: http://espn.go.com/espn/photos/gallery/_/id/10007030/image/1/family-split-one-day-many-images

For my looser take, check out Photoshelter here:  http://chiplitherland.photoshelter.com/gallery/Broncos-vs-Chiefs-for-ESPN/G0000kLhJb.bTCew

 

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO -- November 2013 -- (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND)

leica en méxico

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Color is what drives me and how I see.  It’s the first thing I look for when breaking down a scene, and the last thing that stands in the way of a good photo.  Without it, you’re in black-and-white-land, and as much I love BW photography, there’s nothing like an oversaturated gratuitous explosion of color within four corners of a frame.  It is my mistress, my muse, and my mission.

I’m embracing my addiction and bring you along for the ride with some exciting news. Leica and Exclusive Resorts have partnered up and kindly enough invited me to help lead an exciting workshop in Real de Mar, Mexico next October 1st-5th, 2014.  After a flight into Puerto Vallarta, you’re going to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful, color-rich areas you’ve seen.  We’ll spend the time with Leica Akademie Instructor Tom A. Smith at an insanely beautiful resort talking photos, showing my workflow, and getting your grubby mitts all over Leica’s latest camera line.  Then we’ll head out into neighboring towns making pictures, meeting locals, an enjoying the hunt for color in Puerto Vallarta, La Cruz, Bucerias, and one of my favorites cities on the planet, a little surf town called Sayulita.  I could live there.  Forever.

I spent a couple days this past week scouting locations, and trust me, I didn’t want to leave.  There’s nothing like having a Leica M, a 50 1.4mm and an open day to explore.  All of these photos were shot with that camera and it’s a thing of beauty.  There is a different way of working with a rangefinder, slowing down the process, composing a frame, and really just thinking about what you’re seeing and enjoying documenting it.

All of this is in addition to some more Color + Composition workshops similar to the workshops I’ve done in the past at Leica Store Miami.  Stay tuned for that.

For more information on the Destination in Focus workshop, please visit http://www.cvent.com/events/destinations-in-focus-with-exclusive-resorts-real-del-mar-mexico/event-summary-d680e66048454c078be6c76afe04b988.aspx

First Margarita is on me.

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visual playground | leica workshop | south beach + calle ocho

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Find your visual playground.

I taught another fun weekend with participants in the Color + Composition workshop at the Leica Store Miami and spent it waxing about all things color, light, and composition.  I stressed the idea of reducing photos to their essential elements from things we learned in kindergarten – drawing lines, coloring, and getting along with the person next to you.  You take those skills at recess to find your visual playground and have fun making pictures out in the community you cover or the community you just happen to be in making pictures. South Beach and Calle Ocho are two such visual playgrounds.  Everywhere you look could be a photo, but trying to wade through all the beauty, chaos, and energy is the key to making finding photo happiness.

For more information on future workshops stay tuned to the Leica Store Miami Facebook page.

 

FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

preseason pigskin | tampa bay buccaneers

FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Baltimore Ravens vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers FL: NFL Preseason - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers Yeeeeeeesssssssss.  Finally football is back – albeit preseason night games.  I’ll take it in all its sweaty, muggy, grass-stainy wonderfulness.

I’m back at it for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shooting alongside an amazing team of photographers covering game day for the team.  I’m thrown in the stands, parking lots, and field to cover what that means for the fans to live a “Buc’s Life” and to be honest, it’s the best kind of gig – complete visual freedom minus a tiny shopping list of necessary branding needs and initiatives.  Essentially, it’s find interesting people, color, and good light – oh and make sure the logo is there.  Where do I sign?

These photos are from two preseason games in the last couple weeks.  Expect much, much more as the NFL kicks-off this weekend and finally rids us of the off-field drama and back to the on-field drama.  Look for me on the sidelines – actually, you’ll find me up with with the people ducking beer spills and rogue beads to the head.

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airscapes | tampa, florida

TAMPA_AERIALS_0001TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Apollo Beach (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 --  Jetskier  (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0005 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Apollo Beach (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Dinosaur World (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0008TAMPA_AERIALS_0002 TAMPA_AERIALS_0009 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 --  Port of Tampa   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Apollo Beach (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Old Drive-In .   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0013 TAMPA_AERIALS_0014 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Clearwater Beach (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Ft. DeSoto (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Three Rooker Island (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0018 TAMPA_AERIALS_0019 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- I-4 (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0021 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 --     (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Weekend watercrafts (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0024 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Ft. DeSoto (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Busch Gardens.   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Ikea   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Ft. DeSoto (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Hillsborough Bay (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Busch Gardens.   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA_AERIALS_0031 TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Busch Gardens.   (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Pool (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND) TAMPA, FLORIDA -- August 2013 -- Downtown Tampa  (PHOTO / CHIP LITHERLAND)

Client:  “Want to spend five hours in a helicopter for us over Tampa?”  Me:  “Sure, what do you want me to shoot?” Client: “Whatever you want.”  Me:  Big smile.

I spent five hours up in the air for Morris Visitor Publications just wandering around the airspace basically just playing with color, line, and shape.  We’d find a person floating in a pool and circle them for a bit until they thought they were being spied on.  We buzzed coastlines and hunted (visually) dolphins, manatees, and rays.  We even spent some time at theme parks – albeit from a few hundred feet.  It’s so refreshing to just pick something on the map I thought might look interesting and go check it out – even better with a helicopter and pilot to make it happen in a few minutes on whim and channel the inner Laforet in me.

Seeing the area from up there makes me really appreciate where I get to live, but it also reduces it to really simple terms of why I love it.  The light is gorgeous, the landscape is beautiful, and the color is off the charts…and, yes, it’s weird.

These pictures and five other gigs I shot them in recent weeks, will be coming out in their great TampaWhere and OrlandoWhere guestbooks, you can see after you check into that hotel in downtown Tampa. Just check out the coffee table.

Big thanks to Old City Helicopters for the ride!

For more, please check out my Photoshelter archive here: http://chiplitherland.photoshelter.com/gallery/Tampa-Aerials/G0000.NUAFDsvgZw

National Veterans Wheelchair Games

national veterans wheelchair games | espn.com

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There are some assignments that make me excited to cover from a purely visual perspective.  Then there are assignments I’m excited to witness not only as a photographer, but as a person.  This was one of those kind of gigs.

Growing up I was an Air Force brat.  I spent my entire life on Air Force bases.  My father was not only a pilot in the Air Force, but most of my relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. – all have been in the Air Force at one point in their life.  Me?  I press buttons and chase life with a camera.  I downplay it, but it’s especially rewarding when I get to be a part of a shoot where I want to give good people press.  I want these veterans to be on ESPN.  I want to make good photos so they get play and attention.  These are folks who have been through hell and back fighting for our country.  The least I can do is make some pictures.  The PR folks with the VA were just excited to have me around making pictures…as one told me – “Honestly, just you being here and taking their picture is making their day.”  That’s pretty awesome and overwhelming.

Originally, the call from Julianne at ESPN.com wanted me to cover three days of the 2013 National Veterans Wheelchair Games.  She had a list of several events which seemed simple enough and fun, but then asked if there was a chance to do portraits of some of the athletes if I could do so.  Most who know my work, know I do color.  I live, dream, eat, and sleep color.  So for the portraits, I went the exact opposite for some reason.  Black-and-white.  Vertical (gasp!).  4×5.  Lit portraiture.  I even sprinkled in some Lensbaby use.  This was a bit of a departure from from weird colorful rectangles, but it was honestly a breath of fresh air to have a corner of a room, a long line of veterans to shoot, and approach it differently than I would have going in.  It gave me time to concentrate on faces.

The biggest thing was I wanted the portraits to be less about the wheelchairs and more about their face, their sport, and their pride.

Big thanks to Julianne for trusting me with the gig, Eve for assisting me with the portraits, and Jordan and Michael from the VA for all their amazing efforts during the shoot.

For more work from the National Veterans Wheelchair Games please visit my – newly designed! – Photoshelter archive:  http://chiplitherland.photoshelter.com/#!/index/G0000jFaaSRFX6cU/1

 

 

 

Leica x2 color and Composition Workshop with Chip Litherland | Miami, Florida

color and composition | leica x2 workshop | miami, florida

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Anyone that knows my work, knows that I bleed not red, but the entire spectrum.

For me, color is the number one tool in composing a picture, followed by composition, light, and moments.  I tend to get drawn into a scene by chum of reds, blues, and yellows and try quickly to clean it up with an anal composition and let that moment fall within the scene I’ve framed up in the four corners of my viewfinder.  Sprinkle in some killer light and weird body language and I’m a happy camper.

I spent the weekend in Miami teaching the Color & Composition Leica X2 Workshop at the brand new Leica Store Miami with a small group of awesome Leica fans (see below).  After showing some of my rectangles (surrounded by an inspirational show of work by Maggie Steber and more Leica you could ever want), we ventured out into the streets for some color hunting.  Speaking of, I have no idea how photographers can go ever go inside in Miami…such amazing light and people watching in that town.  That being said, we came back and I showed my workflow from RAW to what you see now in this post.  I have a very specific way I work my photos and shared a bit of my love for Selective Color and breaking down photos by highlights/shadows, line/shape, and obviously tone/color.  Post-processing is as much of how I see as say, the rule-of-thirds, which I never use.

I do love spreading the gospel of color…and it was awesome that Leica asked me to do it. The X2 is a great camera for everyday shooting – especially on the streets, and all of these photos were made with it.  The goal wasn’t to sell the camera per se, but just the idea of seeing color and using it as a tool – regardless of what camera you use – but the X2 is what I carry around now when I’m not working.  This thing is just plain fun to use.

If you want to participate in the next one, Leica Store Miami will be hosting yours truly again   in September with very limited space, so act fast.  To sign up, contact Peter Dooling or Kirsten Vignes: 305-921-4433 or E-mail them directly.  See you then!

Leica x2 color and Composition Workshop with Chip Litherland | Miami, Florida976585_388548187929583_1019867031_o

 

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we’re talking about practice? | espn the mag

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A single practice on a Tuesday doesn’t really seem that significant in the long terms of a NBA season, but it’s the little things in one given day that build up to a playoff run.

ESPN the Magazine sent me to meet up with fellow photographer, Steve Boyle, to tackle one practice at the Indiana Pacers team facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, for their recent photo issue.  The idea was to just go crazy covering what a playoff team does in a single day at practice after a loss to the Miami Heat.  The day wasn’t but a few hours, but we were treated with amazing access once again to witness everything from massages to FIFA soccer xBox battles to new sponsor sneaker talk to gym and training sessions.

What the general public sees is the final product on TV when teams play, and one the best thing about working for The Mag is they allow me to see the stuff no one else sees leading up to tip-off, which is always rad to be a part of.