Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Golf Landscape Photography at Army Navy Country Club

Blue 9-2

For quite some time I have planned on combining two of my passions – golf and photography.  Specifically, I have had a work list item to shoot the beautifully renovated holes at Army Navy Country Club (ANCC) in Arlington Virginia.  It has remained on my list for too long because I was patiently waiting for the right confluence of events; light, color and time (my availability and the difficult choice between golfing and shooting).

Blue 2-1

On Sunday and Monday of this week, everything came together.  With the fall colors blazing, that element was perfect – much more interesting then the dominant green fairways and white bunkers.  As the sun dips low on the horizon as the days shorten, the light was similarly great and gave me a long window to shoot with near horizontal light and long shadows.  And thanks to a frost delay on Sunday, I did not have to choose between golf and photography.

Blue 4

On Sunday, I was able to shoot about half the course as I raced around in a golf cart, setup the shot and quickly moved on.  I had such great success on Sunday, I returned on Monday to get the rest of the course.  It was important to me to do this immediately so I could capture the whole course under the same conditions.

Blue 4-1

From a photographic perspective, these shots are all HDR – mostly three exposure compositions with the exception of the shots looking directly into the sun which are five exposures.  Using HDR in landscape photography has become common practice for me.  The only aspect of this photography that is atypical for me is color.  I am quite biased toward black and white photography, but the vivid fall colors were compelling.

Blue 9

From a golf perspective, I cannot pile on enough complimentary adjectives. ANCC Arlington is comprised of three nine hole courses that were recently renovated.  The renovation was true to the rustic nature of it’s beginnings when the course was constructed with mules and lots of back breaking work.  The course has deep bunkers with furled rims to prevent washout, ample “no mow” areas that provide wonderful texture to the course (and reduce maintenance, pesticides, fertilizer, and water), plentiful woods to bound the holes and give a sense of seclusion in a urban setting, and dramatically sculpted fairways and greens that enhance the beauty of the course.

White 7

If you get the chance to combine other passions in your life with your photography, I highly recommend you do so.  I know I enjoyed it.  If you go to my flickr link at the right and go to the “ANCC” set, you will find more photographs of ANCC Arlington.  I have quite a few more to process, so check back.

Red 9

Have fun, and go make some great photography.



  1. Craig, great shots and advice about combining the two passions! Wish I could visit the blog more often but will do so when I can. Hope you've discovered the high-speed shooting mode to do your HDRs. I've found that, especially in low light, one or more exposures might cross the 1/4-2sec shutter speed line where you need to use both a cable release and mirror lockup to prevent vibrations and blur.


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