The Gators Victory Through Our Eyes

Football capped an exciting September by defeating USF 49-21 to move to 4-0 on the season. The month included the big win over the Gators and we documented the game with our latest time-lapse film, which can be seen in higher resolution on our YouTube channel with our other short films and time-lapse footage.

We also produced a commemorative print of the event from a still image pulled from the time-lapse. You can order a print here.

We collected so much material from the Florida and Savannah State games we split them into separate galleries. We also started to post the “best of” gallery from each game as the massive amount of material we needed to edit kept us from posting the games for a few days. All of the galleries from the 2013 football season can be accessed here.

Ron Fraser 1933-2013

Former Hurricanes baseball coach Ron Fraser passed away today after a long illness.

Much has been written about what an outstanding coach and promoter of college baseball Ron Fraser was. Off the field, Fraser was an even better person. One of the many random acts of kindness by Fraser I witnessed over the years was the one that happened after Fraser coached his last game in a 8-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton in a semi-final game at the 1992 College World Series. Under pressure from CBS to play a championship game the next day, on time, the game was played in a nearly constant downpour. An emotional Fraser (below) used the press conference to rail against the NCAA for playing the game in such poor conditions.

The following is what I wrote for UM’s Ibis Yearbook back then:

OMAHA, Neb. – The day from hell.

Upon arriving at NCAA media headquarters to pick up my press credential for the College World Series, the secretary handed me a seat cushion and a poncho.

Noticing the bright and sunny weather conditions outside, she deadpanned about our planned use of the rain gear at the game later that evening.

Little did we know she was a meteorologist. In the third inning that night, the skies opened up and our ponchos came out.

One good moment, though, came following the No. 1 Hurricanes’ dismal 8-1 loss to Cal State Fullerton in the semi-finals of the CWS.

As retiring coach Ron Fraser, after the final game of his 30-year career, left the stadium, he was met by a young boy waiting for an autograph in the pouring rain. Instead of his signature, “The Wizard of College Baseball” removed his hat and gave it to the young fan.

Over the years I came to know “The Wizard,” he did absolutely nothing to change my mind. This great university has lost a legend.


If you were at the last home game vs. FSU and were in your seat between the 1st and 2nd quarters, you may be able to find yourself in the 360º panorama we shot.

You can view and interact with the image at this link.

Is it a GigaPan, the iconic panoramas made popular in part from Major League Baseball’s “TagOramic” and the famous image of the Obama Inauguration?

No. Despite being hosted on GigaPan’s server, it is technically not a GigaPan. In order to capture the image, our own Eric Espada had only about 45 seconds to capture the images needed by going to midfield between quarters and handholding the camera. After a test pass of a portion of the stadium, he has just enough time to make adjustments and shoot 26 images, starting and ending with the 50 yard line on the FSU side of the field. Typical GigaPans can take upwards of 10 minutes to capture.

Late last week I used GigaPan’s software and server to assemble and upload the image, after tweaking the images in Photoshop.

Classic Canestagrams

Classic Canestagrams - Series 1 Composite

With the recent popularity of smartphone app “Instagram,” I have experimented with re-creating the look of the iconic square images using images from my Miami Hurricanes Archive.

I started by making “Canestagrams” out of studio poses of our Volleyball team.

Recently I started working on making “Canestagrams” from my ‘Canes football action archive.

I hope you enjoy the first series of 49. You can view them all individually on the mother site. A square composite print (shown above) is also available.

The Volleyball Photo Day Portraits Are Not Instagrams

For the past six months I have downloaded and tested over 20 photography apps for the iPhone. While many of them were excellent, there were two main issues that I had with using them. One was image quality and the other was the time needed to include shooting a few images during my shooting workflow. Early on with my iPhone photo app experimentation I stumbled upon an app named Pixlr-o-matic. Six months later it’s still my favorite app. The geniuses at Pixlr also created a Mac version of the app. It’s the same app I used with those ‘Canes Baseball Portraits back in May. The portraits I shot during yesterday’s volleyball photo day at UM were taken by a Nikon and cropped into high-res square images in Photoshop to resemble the 1:1 ratio of Instagram images. I then ran those images through Pixlr-o-matic to easily add a filter, vignette and border to get the results you see here. The images are also 4000 pixels wide, so larger prints can be made than with a regular Instagram image. So what to call these Instagram-like images? How about Canestagrams? Or more specifically, #Canestagrams (gotta keep things social media savvy!) Above are the “Canestagram” images of the 15 members of the 2012 Hurricanes Volleyball team. The entire edit is available at

Yes, I Said iPhone

Recently I spent two weeks traveling the West Coast visiting many national and state parks, monuments and recreational areas. Those of you who follow me on Facebook saw my daily updates accompanied by a photograph.

Along with my conventional Nikon gear I took a seemingly unconventional photographic tool: my iPhone.

Every photograph I posted during the trip was shot and processed with my iPhone.

I was on the receiving end of many odd looks from fellow tourists as I continually pulled my iPhone from my pocket as my Nikon sat on a tripod nearby.

While my intention was to edit my takes daily, the sheer volume of material I shot coupled with the travel prevented nightly editing. The simplistic approach to photography the iPhone and its various applications made updating possible in seconds.

As I have experimented with various apps over the past few months I have settled on two apps: Pano and Pixlr-O-Matic. Pano allows an iPhone shooter to effortlessly shoot and stitch together multiple frames to make a panoramic photograph. Pixlr-O-Matic offers several filters, vignettes and frame edges. I often use both apps in my iPhone images.

Use of the iPhone camera has crept into the professional mainstream of late. New York based photographer Nick Laham shot portraits of Yankees players with an iPhone and Instagram on the team’s photo day this past spring. San Francisco based photographer Brad Mangin has used the same combination during Spring Training in Arizona earlier this year.

Will the iPhone replace DSLR’s with higher resolution, frame rates and professional lenses? Not for some applications. But millions of people now have a capable camera in their pocket for those “Kodak Moments” they would have otherwise missed with the old technology. The rest of us have a new toy in our tool box of creativity.

Who’s to say the next Henri Cartier-Bresson, who nearly exclusively used cameras with a simple fixed 50mm lens his entire career, won’t be using an iPhone?

NSD = National Signing Drama

I’ve witnessed plenty of National Signing Day drama through the years, shooting exclusively for Canesport every year since 1996. What has changed in those 16 years is kids are learning to take advantage of their initial 15 minutes of fame and play to the media with dramatics better suited for acting school. For some, it’ll be the only 15 minutes they’ll ever get.

Therefore, don’t sweat the ones that get away, because more often than not, we don’t hear much about them afterwards. I present these three examples I’ve witnessed firsthand:

Kayvon Webster, DB, Pace HS, 2009 NSD.

Pace Monsignor High School defensive back Kayvon Webster stuffs his Miami Hurricanes tie underneath his South Florida Bulls hoodie before signing his National Letter of Intent with USF on February 4, 2009 at Pace Monsignor High School in Miami, Florida.

Dressed with a USF hoodie and a Miami tie on the outside, Webster sat down with two of his classmates and placed a Miami and USF hat in front of him on the table. Webster then flipped the Miami hat behind him, put on the USF hat and then tucked in his Miami tie under the USF hoodie.

In three years at USF he has a grand total of two interceptions, although he does have a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown on his resume.

Deonte Thompson, WR, Glades Central HS, 2007 NSD.

Glades Central High School wide receiver Deonte Thompson makes a phone call with family members behind him after signing his National Letter of Intent with the University of Florida on February 7, 2007 at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida.

Thompson also chose to dramatize his moment for the cameras. He had been wearing Miami gear and downplaying Florida before he appeared for the media with offers from UM, UF, USC & Ohio State on the table in front of him. No one, except his family, saw what was coming, the shocking reveal of Gator hats for he and his girlfriend.

Thompson had only one 100 yard receiving game in four years at UF, and even that was against a Division 1-AA opponent.

Jonathan Colon, OL, Miami Central HS, 2000 NSD.

Jonathan Colon signs with someone during National Letter of Intent Day at Miami Central High School, February 2, 2000.

Colon’s story is in a league of its own, and might be one of the all-time bizarre NSD stories.

Torn and conflicted, Colon was near tears as he signed with Florida on NSD in front of the media and his very unhappy father, who wanted him to go to Miami. But a signed Letter Of Intent also showed up on Miami’s fax machine that day. Colon had signed with both schools.

While UF and UM haggled over where Colon belonged, the NCAA spent a week sorting through the mess before finally making the ruling Colon belonged to the Gators, as he had signed his Miami LOI the night before signing day – making it invalid.

Ironically, Colon ended up at Bridgton Academy in Maine in the fall of 2000 and re-signed with the Gators on NSD in 2001.

Colon started only 22 of 43 games during his career with the Gators.

Zooming Through Ohio State

The Ohio State Buckeyes visit the Miami Hurricanes at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on 9/17/11

See a larger version of this image with expanded web tools here.

The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.  ~W. Eugene Smith

Last Saturday I took those words to heart when I climbed up to the overhead camera position just before the start of our game against Ohio State.

While I took a standard fisheye shot of the stadium with a modern digital equivalent of a 35mm camera, I had something else in mind and in hand.

I had a GigaPan Epic robotic unit holding a Canon G12 camera, which shot 66 individual pictures across a grid from that same overhead camera position at the top of Sun Life Stadium early in the 1st quarter. Those images were then downloaded to a personal computer where software stitched, rendered, and projected the image together into a single image. The massive image was then uploaded to the free user community site, which allows high-resolution images to be stored, shared, annotated, commented, linked, geolocated, and embedded on any website.

The GigaPan process is far from perfect at public gatherings, such as a football stadium. It’s impossible to keep people from moving for a second, let alone the seven and a half minutes it took to complete this image. You’re going to find duplicate people who appear in more than one frame, or parts of people who were at the edge of a frame. Items that move during the process also can oddly appear. There were also a few spots where frames did not align correctly.

There is also new technology which allows users to tag themselves and/or their friends to post on Facebook. Licensing of that technology is still a bit pricey for us.

Photographer and UM alum (and my old college roommate) David Bergman embraced the technology early, creating this famous GigaPan image of President Obama’s inauguration, and these GigaPans for Major League Baseball. Ironically, Bergman was at the game Saturday, shooting conventional images for Sports Illustrated, and can be seen in my GigaPan image.

You can access all of’s tools to explore this photo here. We are also making a print of this image available for purchase at

GigaPan Statistics for this image:

Date Taken: September 17, 2011
Size: 0.58 gigapixels
Field of View: 144.7 degrees wide, 59.1 degrees high
Panorama size: 581 megapixels (37720 x 15404 pixels)
Input images: 66 (11 columns by 6 rows)
Field of view: 144.7 degrees wide by 59.1 degrees high (top=24.0, bottom=-35.1)
Camera model: Canon PowerShot G12
Single image size: 3648×2736 (10.0 megapixels)
Capture time: 2011-09-17 19:41:53 – 2011-09-17 19:46:50
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure time: 0.004
ISO: 800
Focal length (35mm equiv.): 142.3 mm
Digital zoom: off
White balance: Automatic
Exposure mode: Manual
Horizontal overlap: 7.4 to 20.6 percent
Vertical overlap: 6.6 to 8.4 percent
Computer stats: 4096 MB RAM, 2 CPUs
Total time 7:33 (6.9 seconds per picture)
Alignment: 1:06, Projection: 28 seconds, Blending: 5:59