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Seattle Times photographers offer a glimpse into what inspires their best visual reporting.

May 21, 2012 at 12:05 PM

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Spring 2012 Star Times iPhone portraits


BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

From left, Forward - Jesse Klug - Senior, The Overlake School - Catcher - Reese McGuire - Junior, Kentwood High School - Outfield - Lexi Goranson, Jefferson High School.

Faced with the challenge of shooting three teams of twelve, (11 athletes and one coach on each) I pitched the idea of shooting portraits on my iPhone. Inspired by the Instagram craze, I decided to photograph each athlete individually with the camera phone, and used a 99-cent application called Camera+ to increase saturation and contrast, crop to a square, and add a thin black border.



The actual Instagram app sizes non-native pictures too small to be used for print, but Camera+ leaves them full resolution, which, for the eight megapixel camera on the iPhone 4s, is plenty. After fiddling around with a zillion different options, I realized that I didn't want the toning of the app to distract from the subject, I wanted to let them shine, so I chose a less-intense look. I like using Camera+ because it lets the user fade the intensity of the look of each filter.



After importing the pictures onto the computer, some Photoshop toning was done to help the pictures look consistent, but the majority of the editing was done in the phone itself.



The best thing about shooting with a phone is that it is less intimidating than our big pro cameras - it's not a big hunk of metal, it's the camera of the people. I really felt like it put the athletes at ease almost immediately, since we are all so used to photographing each other with our phones. Between the high quality of the images and the unobtrusive nature of the tiny camera, I think it worked out well for the project. It's not about the gear, it's about the athletes, and I feel that this technique and presentation allowed their personalities to shine through a bit more easily.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Top row, from left: Infield - Levi MaVorhis - Senior, Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy High School - Outfield - Tyler Carlson - Senior, Enumclaw High School - Pitcher - Brandon Mahovlich, Issaquah High School.
Second row: Outfield - Theo Alexander - Senior, Lake Washington High School - Outfield - Jonny Locher - Senior, Highline High School - Infield - Jake Nelson - Senior, Lake Stevens High School.
Third row: Infield - Nick Pribble - Senior, Seattle Preparatory School - Catcher - Reese McGuire - Junior, Kentwood High School - Utility - Trevor Lane - Senior, Mount Si High School.
Fourth row: Pitcher - Reese Karalus - Senior, Mount Si High School - Baseball Coach - Mark Zender - Kentwood High School - Infield - Ryan Budnick - Senior, Edmonds Woodway High School.

BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Top row, from left: Outfield - Lexi Engman, Kentlake High School - Outfield - Lexi Goranson, Jefferson High School - Pitcher - Allison Rhodes, Juanita High School.
Second row: Utility - Ronnie Ladinas, Arlington High School - Outfield - Anna Pisac, Snohomish High School - Infield - Hailey Willmann - Bainbridge High School.
Third row: Infield - Lexie Levin, Everett High School - Catcher - Alex Boyd - Woodinville High School - Infield - Makenna Weir, Woodinville High School.
Fourth row: Pitcher - Madi Schreyer, Woodinville High School - Coach - Liz McCloskey - Bainbridge High School - Infield - Jordan Walley, Tahoma High School.



BETTINA HANSEN / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Top Row, from left: Forward - Michael Klavuhn - Senior, Decatur High School - Forward - Jordan Thompson - Junior - Newport High School - Midfield - Juan Machuca-Garin - Junior, Snohomish High School.
Second row: Defenders - Eli Peterson - Senior, Kentwood High School - Midfield - Jordan Morris - Junior, Mercer Island High School - Forward - Reilly Cross - Senior, Snohomish High School.
Third row: Midfield - Michael Crowley - Junior, Bainbridge High School - Defenders - Jacob Thoreson - Senior, Jefferson High School - Defenders - Baxter Hagan - Junior, Inglemoor High School.
Fourth row: Goalkeeper - Daniel Nadeau - Senior, Shorewood High School - Coach - Nathan Davis - Shorewood High School - Forward - Jesse Klug - Senior, The Overlake School.

Most Popular Comments
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Though I love the photos, I find it disconcerting that you picked 2 boys sports and one... MORE
Hi gg11, We do the WIAA team sports for Star Times each season. In the fall, that is... MORE

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