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|| News Item: Posted 2013-03-22

Ten things an old dog learned at the Sports Shooter Academy

By Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter Newsletter

“Life is a learning experience, only if you learn.”
- Yogi Berra

Photo by

The Sports Shooter Academy X faculty: Christy Radecic, Crystal Chatham, Tim Mantoani, Rod Mar, Matt Brown, Shawn Cullen, Myung Chun, Lucas Gilman, Robert Hanashiro, Rafael Delgado, Ian Ray, Sara Wood, Bob Deutsch, Wally Skalij and Brien Aho.
There are hundreds of cool, fun and catchy phrases about learning … like the one attributed to Yogi Berra at the top of this column. Some are funny. Some introspective. Many are just common sense. But the one common thread that runs through the best ones is who takes the responsibility: You.

For me the Sports Shooter Academy workshops are an avenue for learning --- or rather --- relearning things. And since we’re talking in catchy sayings (or maybe clichés) here’s one I always use after the workshop: You can teach this old dog new tricks.

I am always surprised at the things I learn/relearn during the Sports Shooter Academy. So here is my list from this year’s workshop (some tongue firmly in cheek):
10) Sweden has a short season for strawberries --- the month of August (thank you Swedish photographer Daniel Malmberg).
9) Diffusion filters are a poor substitute for neutral density filters (thank you Shawn Cullen).
8) The big advantage studio strobes have over speedlights: Modeling lights (thank you Bob Deutsch).
7) There is no substitute for 8 (or even 4) hours of sleep (thank you Deanne).
6) A bad day gets better after a bowl of ramen --- even at midnight (thanks Ron Taniwaki).
5) Baseball is slow only if you let your mind wander and don’t look harder (thank you Matt Brown).
4) Boxing is called the “the sweet science” but should be called “sweet for photographers” (thank you La Harba Boxing Club).
3) The zoom ring is no substitute for moving your feet (remembered that one myself).
2) The Seattle Seahawks team rules should also be rules photographers should live by: “Protect the team; No complaining, no whining; Be early” (Pete Carroll via Rod Mar).
1) I love sports --- I love sports photography (thank you everyone involved with Sports Shooter Academy X).

“I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.”
- Confucius

* * *

There are lots of people and companies to thank for the success of THE coolest sports photography event of the year. If it were not for them, I could not do this … nor would I want to.

The members of the Sports Shooter Academy X faculty are all talented photographers, hard workers and inspired us all. But the most important thing they gave the workshop was their time. They took time out from their jobs and their families and that is the most precious thing that can give. Thanks to:
Photo by Christy Radecic

Photo by Christy Radecic

USA TODAY staff photographer Bob Deutsch made use of the Dynalight modeling light to preview the effect an effect during the Big Light v. Speedlight Challenge.

-Matt Brown
-Rod Mar
-Myung Chun
-Bob Deutsch
-Wally Skalij
-Shawn Cullen
-Lucas Gilman
-Tim Mantoani
-Christy Radecic
-Rafael Delgado
-Crystal Chatham

Nikon Professional Service provided funding that enabled all of the colleges students enrolled in SSA X to attend tuition-free. NPS also provided gear, clean & check services and personnel --- thanks to on-site reps Sara Wood, Brien Aho and Ronal Taniwaki. (Mike Corrado you were missed and your cheerleading via social media were appreciated!) And a very big thank you to Bill Pekala for his generous support of the Sports Shooter Academy and to his dedication to photography education.

Several companies made the SSA Luau possible … especially Samy’s Camera which not only funded the event but also arranged for several companies to participate. Thanks to Louis Feldman, Terry Taitz and Patrick Gee … and special thanks to Samy Kamienowicz for his continued support.

Thanks to the other supporting companies at The SSA Luau: SanDisk, MAC Group/Pocket Wizard, Honl Photo, Atomos and Cotton Carrier/Manfrotto.

Think Tank Photo has been a supporter of the Sports Shooter Academy since the very first workshop --- Thanks Doug Murdoch, Brian Erwin, Deanne Fitzmaurice and Kurt Rogers.

PocketWizard is an important part of sports photography and an important part of the Sports Shooter Academy, providing equipment, support and most importantly Ian Ray. Ian’s expertise, teaching skills and good humor have been a great addition to the workshop.

And thank you to Custom SLR for sponsoring the prizes for the workshop’s Photo of the Day --- a big shout-out to SSA alum Long Nguyen!

Matt Brown is the reason why the Sports Shooter Academy has a schedule full of cool events for participants to photograph, experience and learn from. Also Matt’s enthusiasm, energy, good humor and knowledge are an inspiration for all of us.

Lastly --- I could not put on this workshop without the support of my family. Deanna and Emma are a huge part of this workshop and I couldn’t do this without them.

Check out info, photos, photos and other fun things from SSA X at:

For videos from SSA X and past workshops:

* * *

Photo by
This long-delayed issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter features the finale of the Intern Diaries series, Sports Shooter members’ first-hand experiences at the recent Super Bowl game; Preston Mack writes about his iPad workflow and clip contest winner Patrick Smith answers a few questions.

* * *

My latest mystery book fav is the Walt Longmire series by Craig Johnson (thank you Jym Wilson) --- part James Lee Burke, part Robert B. Parker and all Wyoming. Rumbling through my office speakers is “Sound City: Real to Reel” the (sort of) soundtrack to the Dave Grohl documentary on the legendary recording studio. If you love rock, check out the film “Sound City” … and crank up the music!

* * *

As always, special thanks to: Deanna & Emma Hanashiro, Brad Mangin, Grover Sanschagrin, Joe Gosen and Jason Burfield.

Thanks this month to contributors: Patrick Smith, George Bridges, Peter Read Miller, Robert Beck, Robert Deutsch, Nhat Meyer, Preston Mack, Jeff Gammons, Mike Bradley and Tommy Penick.

The comments, opinions and other perceived nutty statements that the writers may have expressed, implied, imagined or made up are theirs and theirs alone. Sports Shooter, Inc. and published these articles in good faith with the purpose of education and inspiration. Permission in writing must be obtained from Sports Shooter, Inc. and the author of the article before being reprinted. Comments, corrections, suggestions and contributions are appreciated. Please e-mail me at

The Sports Shooter Archives, as well as tons of cool resources and information, can be accessed at

For information about the Sports Shooter Academy go to the workshops website at: and at Facebook:

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