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Snapping Sports And Sunsets In Woodbury

Getting some tips from a Woodbury expert.

I love great pictures. But I don’t take very good pictures.

So when a parent from my son’s baseball team offered to photograph all players during games, I was intrigued. I didn’t expect the incredible quality and quantity of pictures taken and offered to parents at printing cost. They were so good, I didn’t bring my own camera to any games.

The photographer is Brad Mischler, Woodbury resident since 1999 and a repeat prize winner of the Focus On Woodbury photo contest. His beautiful first-place photo, "Mother’s Day Storm, 2004" was shot right out of his front door!

Brad’s interest in photography sparked while living in Utah where he once skied more than 100 days a year. There he met Howie Garber, an ER doctor, back country skier and photographer. Influenced by time spent with Garber, Mischler purchased his first Pentax SLR in 1996 and began shooting thousands of images around Utah.

Moving to Minnesota opened up new styles of photography for Mischler. There are no grand panoramas here in the traditional mountain sense. So he’s learned to scope out smaller, intimate scenes and has managed to find some spectacular beauty here in suburban Woodbury.

“It’s surprising how much beauty is here when you really look for it,” Mischler said.

Mischler began sports photography when his children began playing sports.

“I wasn’t serious about sports photography at first,” he said.

But when he realized how difficult and costly it is for parents to get good pictures of their student athletes, he thought, “Why not take pictures of everybody? I’m trying to do it better. So shooting more is good practice.”

He’s since shot photos of baseball, softball, soccer, football and gymnastics and has put together slideshows and a photo book for parents.

Mischler says sports photography is very different from landscapes both in equipment and approach.

Landscapes require wide angle lenses and incredible patience for perfect lighting or a certain reflection.

Sports photography uses large telephoto lenses to compress a scene and isolate a small piece of quick action. There is no waiting. You shoot when the action happens.

Mischler believes photography is part art, part science.

Digital cameras don’t necessarily promise great pictures but it’s hard to go too wrong if you have a good lens and study up. While he’s never taken a class, he recommends beginners do so to learn about camera settings, lighting, how to compose a picture and how to capture it.

“I read a lot, especially books with pictures,” Mischler said with a chuckle. He also studies work by other photographers like Galen Rowell.

Mischler says he’d like his photography to be a source of income someday so he can travel to more places and take more pictures. He hasn’t participated in any art fairs yet but is considering it. So watch for his work.

I wish Brad Mischler success and encourage all Woodbury photographers to continue capturing scenes to savor here in our fair city.

Useful Links From Mischler

  • www.dpreview.com is a great website I use that contains objective reviews of cameras and lenses.
  • www.ritzpix.com is Ritz Camera’s online printing site. I print all my stuff there and pick it up at the location next to Broadway Pizza and Gold’s Gym. The quality is outstanding. Their 24x36 prints, as well as others, are visually stunning.
  • www.bhphotovideo.com is where I buy all my gear. Not sure I’d call it an endorsement but I have found no reason to go elsewhere.

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