Sunday, July 29, 2018

DC Swim Week Fashion Show

Master of Ceremonies
2017 Miss USA Kara McCollough
July 28--Washington, DC--DC Swim Week fashion show at the French Embassy in Washington, DC.  Fortunate as a guest to sit in primo seats.  Went to the event not knowing what is was, only brought my Lumix G9 with 12-35mm f/2 Lumix G Lens.  Shot at hi ISO, continuous shooting and track focusing.  Amazed at the quality and resolution of the images.  Technical settings the camera did, made the shooting easier so that I could concentrate on the moments and composition.
Click on images to see better resolutions

Sometime its interesting to see the people in the seats. 

Opening Performance 
 Shots from my seat.  Different perspective.

Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No usage without written permission.
Website by Sitewelder
Instagram @larrylevin

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Best Buddies New Ambassadors

Danielle, Jamel, Morgan, Andrew
Jared, Kate, T., Peyton
Shelby, Clay, Michael, Samantha 

July 20-23--Bloomington, IN--24 portraits, 24 individuals, each person photographed within 5 minutes each.  Expressive, determined, confident but most importantly outgoing & friendly.  

During the Best Buddies Leadership Conference, 24 young Best Buddies Ambassadors were taught presentations skills to enhance their abilities to share their stories.  Each one has their unique tale of how life was before their involvement with Best Buddies.  Their pasts are heart wrenching, however their exposure with this organization as you will hear was life changing.  Learning how to cope and gaining social skills and more importantly friendships and independence has helped each one to become a better person.  Hopefully one day you will hear their powerful message.  

Daniel, Olyvia, Cassie
Nate, Matthew, Jack
Yulia, Carinna, Mason
Jace, Akshdeep, Zoe
Photographs Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage without written permission.
Instagram @LarryLevin 

Photographs made with a Nikon D850 and Nikkor 24-120 f/4 VR, and Nikon SB-5000 speed light  on location: the campus of Indiana University, Kelley School of Business 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Best Buddies Leadership Conference

Keeping 2000 people at the ready until the photo is made.
The Friendship Walk photo, scouted the best ladder placement to get what is needed.  
July 19-22--Bloomington, IN--Covering the same event for over ten years can be monotonous, however it is a challenge.  The basic structure is nearly the same each year, the participants change, the venue remains the same so the goal is to find something new, and improve upon the past successful images.  That is what keeps photography fresh, the creative challenge to do something new, different and hopefully interesting for the client as well as for one's creative & competitive nature.

The Best Buddies Leadership Conference brings over 2200 student leaders from all across the United States and 40 nations.  They spend three days learning how to create opportunities for Best Buddies participants.  There are classroom activities, inspirational speakers, group exercises, and entertainment.  This is the most inspiring and emotionally driven event one will ever attend.  The effect this organization has made in the lives of its participants is amazing.  See the website and hear the testimonials.  Enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  However everyone who participates, their life is enhanced!

The images are about showing faces and friendship.  Hopefully it all comes across in the 3300+ images made during the three days.  These images are just a few of the favorites.  Which is your favorite image?

At the start of opening ceremonies shot from the balcony.  
Convening at the sign for a state group photograph, the moving in for that emotional closeup. 
Award shots are a large component of the images needed.  Whether it is on stage or on a step and repeat, quickness and composing the elements is vital.  Best Buddies Jobs employee David Asbury receiving his award. 
Rebecca Black on stage with Buddy Ambassadors 
Christopher Gray shared his story and business that was featured on Shark Tank. 
Buddy Pair Michael and Harrison
Anthony Shriver with Buddy Ambassador Jack Marren
Clowning around with Peyton Meares
Buddy Ambassador Jamel Wills and his buddy 
Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies Anthony K. Shriver
The photos made from backstage are favorites.  
Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No usage without written permission.
Instagram @larrylevin

All photos made with a Nikon D850 and 70-200mm f/2.8 VR Nikkor, 24-120 f/4 Nikkor and SB-5000 Speedlight.  This combination provides me with the versatility to handle all types of situations, from low light meeting rooms, stage shots with spotlights, indoor classrooms, to group shots outside.  With the ability to change ISO to match the light conditions.  The high ISO barely can you see the noise.  Incredible resolution and white balance, fortunate to have this high end equipment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

2018 USA Games Special Olympics--Basketball Officials

With my friend and mentor, Joe Mitchell
July 1-6--Seattle, WA--Officiating is an avocation that takes a strong willed person.  Why on earth would you put yourself in a situation that demands perfection, where coaches and fans are prone to yell at you no matter what you do, you are always 'on the road' and the "pay" is no where near close to paying for your time or expertise??  However, officials, no matter what sport, have a commitment to their sport.  They have a desire to maintain and enforce the sport's traditions, rules and integrity.  Officials do not care who wins or loses, their job, through the administrating the rules, is to make sure both teams have an equal and fair opportunity to win.

The 2018 USA Games Special Olympics brought together 31 officials, both from the Washington state area and National Officials chosen from the US.  All volunteering to make these games run smoothly.  The officials working these games have the understanding of how the game is called.  We work diligently to properly enforce the rules.  Many in this group have worked together for years and have developed a friendship and bond.  We all care about the game and want to make certain each player is treated fairly so each athlete can perform to the best of their ability.

This is my fourth USA games participation with many years of international participation, too. All of us have years of college and high school experience as well as years of Special Olympics competition.

In between working games, I was able to make some photos of some of the other officials.  Click on the photo to see the high resolution.  
Sarah Sowers 
Jim Bueler
Jeremy Colter
Geoff Weatherbie
Joe Mitchell 
Pete Pannell
Will Asmond
Keith Lampel 
Keith Lampel, making a new friend

Player relations, always trying to make a good impression
There were 31 basketball officials, local and national officials 
 Photography Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved.  No uses without written permission.
Instagram @larrylevin 

Sports action photography is fun, its anticipation, quick focusing, and a camera that can shoot consecutive shooting.  The Nikon D850 with its quick focusing, excellent resolution and exposure controls, help me make some fun images.  The action shots were made with the Nikon 70-200mm lens 

Monday, July 09, 2018

2018 USA Games--Competition

After team introductions, each team exchanges gifts with the other team
July 1-6--Seattle, WA--One of the greatest athletic events, 2018 USA Games Special Olympics is an incredible showcase of athletic talent.  My involvement with Special Olympics started in 1986.  From local games, to national and international competitions, I have seen dedicated, hard working, enthusiastic, talented, courteous, determined, good natured, caring and the most sportsmanship oriented athletes. These games proved no different.

In between officiating games, was able to photograph several games.

No Fear
Challenging the seven-foot defender
One play that is misunderstood by fans is the block/charge foul.  Each player is entitled to a spot on the floor as long as she/he gets there first.  However, the defensive player has to establish the legal guarding position, two feet on the floor facing the opponent.  Sounds simple? Well, maybe.  Look at this series, from the sequential images, what happened?  As an official, you have to make a split second decision.
Two feet on the floor, facing the opponent

Defensive player, is he falling before contact?
What can you see?
As a coach, you love to see your players take the charge.  
Click on the photos to see high resolution images
All Photographs 2018 Copyright Laurence L. Levin
All Rights Reserved. No usage permitted without written permission.
Instagram @Larry Levin 

All photos made with Nikon D850 and Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8  shot in available light at the University of Washington,

Sunday, July 08, 2018

USA Games Special Olympics

Checking out the main basketball court with fellow officials Don Marcotte and Jeremy Colter.  
July 1-6--Seattle, WA--Since 2006 and every four years,  The USA Special Olympics Games comes together for athletes to compete in 14 sports.  This year's games were held in Seattle, Washington.  The highlight for the athletes is the opening ceremonies.  Over 4000 athletes from the District of Columbia and all 50 states participate.

This is my fourth time to be invited to officiate basketball at these games.  It's an honor to be part of a group of dedicated volunteers who give up a week of time to observe and participate with talented, hard-working and fun athletes.  

Although I do bring a camera, it is sometimes nice to be part of the ceremonies instead of trying to document every moment.  You get to listen more to what's going on.  You feel more involved.  You are a part of something big.

As we walked to Husky Stadium on the campus of University of Washington, the people of Seattle lined the street to cheer the athletes.  It was absolutely an emotional time as we saw signs, cheering fans, hand slaps and lots of noise of encouragement.  Didn't take any photos, for once it was just fun and inspiring to walk with the athletes, have worthwhile conversations and just enjoyed the moments with new and old friends.

The officials sat in one section of the stadium, so we could sit and enjoy the ceremonies.  

Empty Seats before the Athletes enter the Stadium
Full Section
Theme for the Games, #Risewithus
Tim Shriver addressing the stadium, as seen on the screen
Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
No uses without written permission from Laurence L. Levin
Instagram @larrylevin