All posts by Ashley Conti

Capturing sports isn't just about the peak action shot, it's about capturing who these people are and how hard they worked to get where they are. This is what this blog will help show. Not only will I showcase hardworking athletes and coaches, but it will also be a place to show some of the more unique sports that are featured in Maine.

Hermon Pond Ice Shacks

After seeing a New York Times post on different ice shacks in Canada, I was inspired to document some found in Maine.

I headed out to Hermon Pond, a pretty quick drive from the office, to see if I could find any.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a good amount of all different shapes and sizes spread throughout the pond. I threw on my micro-spikes and started the long walk down the plowed runway.  No, I wasn’t a real Mainer and didn’t drive my Jetta on the ice.

I’ve never been on that large of a frozen body of water. To be honest, it kind of freaked me out. Every time the ice released pressure, I jumped a little, even though I knew the ice was over a foot deep.

By the time I started shooting, the sun was starting to set. Some of the shacks were illuminated by a golden light, while others were cast in a blue shadow. I played with both lighting situations and seemed to like the deep blue better. To me, it almost lets you feel the cold in the photos.

After about 30 minutes of shooting, I started my haul back to my car and was pleased with what I came away with.

Any day where I can spend most of it outside making photos is a good day.

Sports photography from different angles

This past Saturday I was assigned to shoot three classes of the high school cheerleading competition at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

I’ve never shot any sort of cheerleading before, but knew that after a few routines it would become a little visually boring.

So, I wanted to do something different.

Cheerleading is all about being in formation and all about being synchronized, so I wanted to capture that in a unique way.

Cue the overhead camera.

After getting approval from the Maine Principals Association and the Cross Insurance Center, I overcame my fear of heights and headed up to the catwalk to mount my camera.

I used a 5D Mark III with a 70-200 at 70mm attached to a Manfrotto magic arm and a Manfrotto super clamp. I pre-focused the camera and set my exposure. Everything was safety cabled to the arm rail just incase the clamps failed.  My camera was triggered by PocketWizard Plus II’s.

The scary thing about remote cameras, besides the risk of things falling and breaking, is that you could set everything up and still not get a single usable photo. Sometimes your remote trigger won’t fire, or you didn’t focus the camera correctly. But when it does work, it’s worth it.

I walked away with some cool images and a really interesting perspective that you couldn’t see from the floor. It allowed our viewers an even more unique way to view the event.

I hope to be able to do more remote cameras in the future.


Ashley Conti: 2014 in review

I can’t believe 2014 is almost over. It’s been a crazy year, for sure. I definitely feel like I’ve grown as a photographer, especially in the last seven months that I have been apart of the BDN.

I’ve been able to take visual risks and have been rewarded for doing so. It’s so refreshing to be able to work in an environment where you are not only allowed to experiment, but where it is encouraged.

It amazes me how open people in Maine allow you to become apart of their lives so quickly. As I said in my six-month introduction, I’ve seen people at the happiest days of their lives and I’ve seen them at the worst.

This selection of photos shows all of that.The lowest lows, the highest highs and everything in between.

What I really love about the BDN is the focus on multimedia and video. It helps give our audience a whole different level of connection that words and photos can’t do alone.

My three favorite video pieces from 2014 definitely do just that.

I’m positive 2015 will be even better. I’m stoked to bring you guys even more amazing photos and video to help tell your stories.