Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Ballerinas on the Green Art Show at PGC

By: tenna on January 4th, 2017
Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

The Purgatory clubhouse will begin hosting its first art show on January 13th. The show is made up of modern fine art photography created by our very own co-owner Christine Merchent, you can see samples of the work at http://www.christinemerchentart.com/ballerinas-on-the-green. All of these amazing images were captured right here at Purgatory Golf Club.

The show is titled Ballerinas on the Green as the imagery most often combines delicate ballerinas with a golf story. The show opens January 13th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, with the ballerinas and golfers being presented at 7:15. Hint, hint, make sure you are there for the presentation. The show will be up until February 17th. Below is the press release sent out describing the project.

We hope you can all come out to see this unique art. You’ll never see Purgatory Golf Club in quite the same way 😉

Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

Invitation to the Ballerinas on the Green art show

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 3, 2016

 

Purgatory Golf Club to Host “Ballerinas on the Green”

Local art show to inspire young athletes

 

NOBLESVILLE, IN – Purgatory Golf Cub will host “Ballerinas on the Green” art reception on January 13th from 6:00p.m – 9:00p.m. Christine Merchent, co-owner of Purgatory Golf Club, is the artist and vision behind “Ballerinas on the Green.”

 

Merchent’s vision for this project came to her after seeing a photo by Joe McNally, of a ballerina in surroundings that were a strong contrast to her delicacy and beauty. She thought ballerinas juxtaposed against a golf course would be a beautiful setting for a photography project, but also provide a platform to bring attention to involvement in junior athletics.

 

“In the world of sports, the PGA and other organizations are always trying to find new ways to get young people interested sports. If a young man or woman looks at these images, I hope it will inspire them to get involved in golf or ballet,” Merchent said.

 

The project came to life as Merchent lined up local young athletes from the Ballerinas Academy of Dance, the Academy of Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre and the Noblesville High School boys golf team. She took inspiration from the 21,000 images of the golf team she captured last spring as the team’s photographer. Merchent even had a secret Pinterest board of ‘bad ballet’ photography that inspired her on what not to do. Soon enough, her vision and story developed over time, and the project took on a life of it’s own.

 

The “Ballerinas on the Green” event is free and open to the public. All of the artwork will be available for purchase. “Ballerinas on the Green” will remain on display and available for purchase to the public from January 13 – February 17 at Purgatory Golf Club. The evening will be filled with attendees dressed up according to the theme, Gowns and Golf, food available for purchase and a cash bar. The golfers and ballerinas will be presented at 7:15 and available for photos and autographs immediately following.

 

Upon the opening of the show, Merchent hopes this is only the beginning of “Ballerinas on the Green.”

 

“I plan to approach galleries, and other places that display fine art photography. Publishing this project as a book may be in the future as well. I will also plan to take this to New York in the fall for portfolio reviews,” says Merchent.

 

Merchent has an eclectic background that influences her art and photography. She has a degree in economics and comes from a corporate background. However, her talent and passion for story telling, art and photography has never let up. Being a co-owner of Purgatory, which is run by a management company, has allowed her to combine her love for golf and the arts. At Purgatory, 98% of the photography used comes from Merchent. She is also the motivation behind the new 11’ tall sculpture behind the 1st tee.

 

Merchent has taken numerous classes, been mentored and received private tutoring from several respected photographers in the industry. She was recently accepted to The School of Visual Arts in New York, one of the top photography schools in the world.

 

You can learn more about “Ballerinas on the Green” here: http://www.christinemerchentart.com/ballerinas-on-the-green

 

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Press Contact:

Rachael Coverdale, Coverdale Consulting

317-518-2243

rachael@coverdaleconsulting.com

 

12 Essential & Detailed Steps to Amazing Golf Course Images

By: tenna on March 5th, 2016

How to Create Amazing Golf Course Images

1. Do your homework first

  • Get on the golf course’s website and look at their photography, illustrations, and yardage book.
  • Try to figure out which holes you would like to photograph. Do they have a signature hole? A signature hole is usually the most visually appealing, most photographed and most recognizable hole. (Yes I realize I just used ‘most’ three times in a row, but it’s worth the emphasis.) Why would you want to photograph something everyone else has shot? Because you want to put your spin on it, add your style, maybe hand paint it, or just beef up your portfolio.
  • Read about the architecture; are there any important golf course architecture elements you want to make sure you capture?
  • Find out who is in charge at the pro shop, the title will normally be Head Professional (called head pro) or Director of Golf. Also find out the name of the Superintendent, this is the person who is in charge of the grounds crew.

2. Call the Head Pro or Director of Golf

  • Don’t e-mail, send a Facebook message, or drop by. Pick up the phone and call. Golf pros are getting solicited all the time for all kinds of stuff, be considerate. Introduce yourself. Briefly explain your credentials and goals for the shoot. Offer to send a link to a gallery of your best landscape images (not portraits or travel). Better yet, if you have a book of landscape images offer to mail it or drop it by the course.
  • Explain that you’d like to come out on two separate days. One day to scout and another to take pictures. Do not try to scout and shoot on the same day that is a recipe for lame images.
  • Your ability to gain access depends on the course. If it is a public course this increases the odds they will let you on. If it is a private course many pros will still let you on if you offer to let them use some of the images you create.
  • When you talk to the head pro ask:
    • Which holes are the prettiest, most unusual, talked about, hated, where do people lose the most balls? These questions can spur great image titles, “The most terrifyingly beautiful green in the Midwest, Purgatory Golf Club’s 8th hole.”
    • Where are the most ‘hole in ones?’ People who shoot a hole in one often want to buy a picture of that hole.
    • When is the course at it best, daybreak or sunset?
    • What day of the week is the least busy? Is there a morning when the golf course is closed for maintenance? If there is, that is the day you want to be there.
  • After the pro has warmed up to you, ask if they can provide a guide. Why do I recommend a guide? When it comes time to go out of the course you either need to: 1) understand how not to piss off the golfers out there, and not damage their beautiful golf course, or 2) have a guide. I suggest a guide. Even though I own a golf course, and have played golf for years, when I go out to shoot, my mind is on one thing, getting the shot. I am not thinking about what kind of trouble I am going to cause for their clients or grounds crew. If I shoot in the morning I want someone from the grounds crew driving me around because then if we come to a hole where the maintenance crew is working, my guide can ask them to step aside while I shoot. If it’s at night and I don’t know the course I’d like someone from the proshop to drive me around.

4. Time of Day and Sunlight

  • You need to shoot at sunrise or sunset for film and DSRL cameras. The only exception to this rule is infrared cameras. For infrared, the middle of a sunny day is best. But if you are shooting traditional color or black and white images, it needs to be during one of the golden hours, no exception!!!

5. Scouting is your best friend

  • I scout the location at least an hour before sunrise or sunset. The day of the actual shoot I am on property about an hour before sunrise, probably 1 ½ hours before sunset, and in position to begin shooting 30 minutes later.
  • It isn’t just the time of day that is important. The light from the sun has to actually be hitting the putting green, or whatever aspect of the golf course is your subject. So if the putting green is surrounded by trees that block the rays of the sunrise, I come back at sunset, and vice versa. I need to figure that out during my scout, not the day of the shoot.
  • If you intend to shoot in the morning, the best-case scenario is to have the golf course Superintendent or assistant superintendent take you out on the course. That way if the maintenance crew is in your shot (which you don’t want) the superintendent can ask them to step aside while you shoot.

6. Get up as High as You Can

  • Your images will be better if you are looking down on the fairway and putting green. You can stand up on a hill or the back of the golf cart.
  • Do not try to climb up on top of the golf cart. I’ve even hired a cherry picker (also called a bucket truck) to get a good angle on the putting green.

7. The Subject of your image

Good subjects:

  1. The putting green, when in doubt shoot the putting green! This is what gets golfers all excited. Make sure you capture the undulations in the green; you show these with shadows, one of the many reasons you need to shoot at daybreak or sunset.
  2. A shot from the tees into the green
  3. Approach shot into the green, that means you’re in the fairway and if you were a golfer you’d be hitting your next shot onto the green,
  4. Shots from across the water towards the green
  5. Par three holes because you can often get the complete hole from the tees. This makes for a really cool image.
  6. The sprinklers going off in the morning over the putting green
  7. From behind the putting green looking across it towards the fairway
  8. The Clubhouse

Weak subjects:

  1. Images that could have been taken anywhere like a park
  2. Flowers
  3. Weeds, and if there are ugly weeds in an otherwise lovely shot, get rid of them in post
  4. Backs of golfers
  5. Average wildlife images
  6. Power lines are best avoided. Sometimes you can strategically place a tree between you and the power lines to get the shot.
  7. Clear skies are boring. Cloudy skies add interest.

Don’t shoot golfers without their prior approval. If a golfer hears the sound of a noisy DSLR during their backswing you are going to have a problem.

Decide if you are going to shoot at daybreak or sunset, then figure out where the sun rises and sets over the course. Where can you frame the most intriguing sunrise/sunset?

8. Gear

  • The good news is your gear does not have to be professional grade.
  • You can shoot golf course landscape images with gear that costs less than $2,000. I started with a Nikon D90 (cost less than $700) and a Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens (cost around $500) a basic tripod, and a cable release. I had a decent camera bag, a LowerPro Slingshot which cost about $45, and a couple of memory cards. But that was everything! Those images I took in my early days are still some of my favorites.
  • The brand of camera does not matter. I now own and shoot with Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Lumix, Sony and sometimes even my iPhone. But I didn’t start out with all this gear; I acquired it slowly over the years. I use different cameras for different purposes. And I rarely sell my old gear because as soon as I do I realize I now need if for some special project.
  • The camera body does need to the ability to bracket, shoot in raw, and offer high speed continuous shooting.
  • Lens selection – a wide-angle lens is the traditional choice for landscape. As I said, I started with an 18-280mm f/3.5-6.3. I now often shoot with a 14mm fisheye, which I put on a tripod, and carry a second body with a zoom that I handhold. I remember the president of my 1st camera club pompously lecturing me “Expensive lens are what separates the landscape pros from the amateurs!” That’s hogwash. You can create beautiful golf course landscape images with an entry-level lens. It’s everything else like light, preparation and artistic vision that separates you from the pack. You can’t buy talent and hard work.
  • You need a decent tripod that has legs where you can vary the length. If I am on the side of a hill, I need to be able to have one leg be short and the other two longer. I also like a reasonably light tripod. I’m already carrying so much gear I don’t want my tripod to be an albatross.
  • A cable release is essential.
  • Get your sensor cleaned, and check your lens for dust. If you end up combining your bracketed images with an HDR program every imperfection in the sky will show up. You will save yourself a lot of post processing time if you take care of your sensor and lens ahead of time.

9. Camera Settings (We Photographers love our technical stuff)

  • I shoot at the lowest native ISO my camera supports. For my current camera it is ISO 100.
  • I shoot in raw, with my backup memory card set to jpeg fine, just in case something goes wrong with my primary card.
  • I set my white balance to cloudy, this can be changed in postproduction, but I put a lot of thought into my starting point and I want it to best my chance of success with the least amount of work.
  • I set my picture control to either portrait or vivid, I know some snob out there just gasped out loud when I said I use Vivid. Well I’ve tried them all, and I like the two extremes you can get from portrait and vivid. Portrait will give you the image with the least contrast and vivid will give you the image with the most vibrant colors. (You can also change this in postproduction).
  • I set my camera to aperture control with an F-stop of f-11 or higher. I’ve played with f-2.8 and a long lens and I HATED it. I stick to the classics now. If I want the sun, or lights on the clubhouse to create a star effect, I’ll go to the smallest aperture available on my camera lens body combo supports like f-22 or f-32.
  • I use bracket mode, one stop separation for each capture, and a minimum of three exposures. Sometimes I go as high as nine exposures with a one-stop gap between each. The downside to the nine exposures is on the overexposed side can take a long time, and I have messed up a series thinking it had finished.
  • I use high-speed continuous shooting mode so that when I hit the cable release the camera to shoots the entire series. If I don’t have it set to high speed continuous it just shoots the first bracketed exposure, and I have to count and keep clicking the cable release, and make sure I don’t mess it up.

10. Bracketing

  • Bracketing is crucial to my golf course photography. The dynamic range between the sky and golf course is often more than my camera and postproduction software can handle with one exposure. I’ve experimented with a lot of different bracketing settings. Today I use a minimum of three exposures with at 1 stop difference between each exposure. If I like the sky on the darkest exposure I will use just 3 exposures.
  • I’ll go to 5, 7, or 9 if I don’t like the sky. I’ve read and heard some speakers say they want the underexposed image to go almost to black. I don’t do that, I just want a rich sky with lots of detail. Over bracketing is really time consuming. I don’t want to waste my time.

11. The Night Before the Shoot

  • Charge your camera battery
  • Make sure you have freshly formatted memory cards in your camera, and backups in your camera bag
  • Pick your lens, and make sure it is properly attached and clean. The traditional lens for landscape is a wide-angle lens. Btw, I never change my lens out on the course, too much of a chance that dust will get on my sensor.
  • Select your camera settings so you don’t have to be fooling around with them in the dark if it is daybreak. I pick the lowest native ISO my camera offers, aperture priority, an f-stop somewhere between f-11 and f-22. I use f-22 if I want to get a star effect from the sun. I set it to bracket a minimum of 3 stops, and high speed continuous shooting so that when I hit the cable release it will shoot the whole bracket.
  • Pack a tiny flashlight, or if your phone has one that can work too.
  • Set out water repellant boots because you are going to be walking in wet grass
  • Take Kleenex, the cold morning air often makes your nose run.
  • Pack a bottle of water
  • Plan on wearing layers, it often starts out cold and gets warmer as the sun rises.
  • Get your tripod ready, and attach the quick release plate to the bottom of your camera or lens.
  • Attach your cable release to your camera. Since it’s daybreak, you’re going to be shooting in low light part of the time. It may seem obvious, but don’t swing the cable release, or yank on it or jiggle it. You want the camera to be very still.
  • Get a good night sleep and set your alarm clock so you are on time.

12. The Day of the Shoot

  • Wear bug spray,
  • Waterproof or water resistant boots,
  • Tuck your pants into your boots. You may be hiking in tall grass, and I have personally ended up with creepy crawly bugs up my pants because I didn’t want to look goofy. Suck it up and look goofy, it will be worth it because you will be comfortable and safe. I have also heard snakes inches from my feet. If there is tall grass, there is wildlife that you don’t want to take home with you.
  • Be at the course early, and in position to shoot at least 30 minutes before you expect to start shooting.
  • Get to your location, set your tripod up, make sure the cable release is attached properly, frame the shot and wait.

Santa Caught Taking a Golf Course Selfie

By: purgatorygolf on December 20th, 2013

Santa Golf Course SelfieSanta apparently really likes our golf course, or he doesn’t get to play much or both. Here we caught him in the act of taking a selfie as he left the 17th hole.

 

Golf Cart Christmas Tree Delivery

By: purgatorygolf on December 19th, 2013

Santa Delivers the Christmas TreeDuring the snow last week someone that looks an awfully lot like Santa was kind enough to bring us a life Christmas tree, by golf cart no less! Thank you Santa!

 

Wood burned Turkey

By: purgatorygolf on November 28th, 2013

 

This is a photograph of a turkey we cooked and then used a wood burner to create the Purgatory Logo on the outside of it prior to serving.Woodburned Turkey Behind the turkey is a backdrop of the 3th hole at Purgatory just after sunrise.

We also did another photo shoot for Instagram. In this image, we have the 3rd hole in the background, a Lego turkey, yes, that’s right it is a turkey made from Legos. I purchased it from http://powerpig.storenvy.com, crazy name, but the creator (http://chrismcveigh.com) is a Lego genius. I lined the chimney of the tiny house with tin foil, and place burning incense in it. I put burning tea lights in the log cabin and the wooden golf cart Mike had in his office.Lego Turkey

 

Here are some behind the scenes shots, because photographers take pictures of the pictures we’re getting ready to take. Crazy I know, but fun.

 

 

 

Fun Stuff all in one Place

By: purgatorygolf on September 10th, 2013

We have consolidated all of our fun stuff onto one web page so you can easily find it. It is very cleverly titled “Fun Stuff,” and you can find it at the top left hand side of our web page anytime you want now. It has all been available for a while, but it has been shared in bits and pieces on our blog so you had to sort of dig to find something. But not anymore. Now you can find:

Purgatory Golf Ball iPhone case

 

Golf themed flip-flops

 

So don’t forget, Fun Stuff is at the top left hand side of all of our web pages when you need to find a cool golf gift.

Sunrise in Scotland

By: purgatorygolf on May 30th, 2013

Sunrise over Craigielaw golf course

Some of the Purgatory staff members are in Scotland right now for a junior golf tournament.

As a landscape photographer, Scotland poses some challenges. Good landscape photography is only take at sunrise and sunset. It was still light here last night at 9:45 p.m., then when I woke up at 4:15 a.m. it was light again. Yikes! I scrambled to grab my camera gear (which I should have prepared last night) and ran out the door. Luckily I made it out before the sun came up.

That 30 to 45 minutes around sunrise, goes so quickly. You want clouds because they make the sky more dramatic, but every time the sun ducks behind one, you lose that magnificent light.

In this image of the sun rising over Craigielaw golf course, I like the contrast of the highlights created by the sunshine hitting the putting green, and the shadows behind the rolls. This contrast creates the movement in the green for your eye.

In the distance you can see the north sea.

By the way, just because you can get out the fire door at 4:20 a.m., does not mean you can get back in that door at 5:00 a.m. Luckily there was a night watchman that was kind enough to let me back in the hotel. That would have made for a long morning 😉

Free iPhone book

By: purgatorygolf on May 28th, 2013

Front 9 iPhone book cover

We also have a book for your iPhone. It covers the front 9 for each hole it includes:

  • A description of how to play the hole
  • A flyover video
  • High quality images
  • An illustration of the hole including yardages created by golf course architect Ron Kern

It is only available from our website. We hope to have one soon that covers the back 9.

It is a large file and will take several minutes to download.

I made a brief video that walks you through how to import your new book into iTunes so you can read it on your iPhone.

You will also need to download the free ibooks app onto your phone to read this book.

 

Can You Guess the Golf Hole?

By: purgatorygolf on May 23rd, 2013

Can you guess the golf hole?This is a tough one, from the archives. I had to think about it for a while. I showed junior golfer Clay Merchent, and he had to think about it a while, but, we both figured it out. Can you?

Purgatory Artwork on Time Square & Las Vegas

By: purgatorygolf on May 21st, 2013

As part of our recent iBooks press release our artwork appeared on both Times Square in New York City, and on the Clear Channel sign in Las Vegas. So these images are the real deal, not something I Photoshopped together. Fun isn’t it?