Monday, November 12, 2007

FOOTBALL: A Heartbreaking ending follows a thrilling season...

A goal of mine recently has been to try and capture emotion. Now, that sounds kind of obvious, but it's really easier said than done. I've shot many sports, and I've gotten progressively better at following the action, getting any old action shot. This generally works for the paper, but I've tried to branch out a bit--capturing the emotion and the critical plays that elicits this reaction.

It's the playoffs, and Conestoga is playing at West Chester Henderson High for a District One AAAA matchup. It's a comfortable night, a little rain here and there, but nothing too threatening to the equipment.

Conestoga is coming off a tremendous victory vs Marple Newtown, and tonight will not disappoint in the thrilling category. But the dice rolled the other way for the Pioneers tonight. It's a game full of photo-worthy fumbles and plays, but the emotion of the night is not in a pass or a catch, but what's on the sidelines as the clock ticked down. This shot was taken after the 'Stoga QB threw an interception as the team was down by one and the fourth quarter is slipping away. The intended receiver was #8 Bryan Barley, and he was stunned as he walked off the field and crouched down. This, I think, captures the emotions of the game, more than:
This play happened right in front of me, and those plays can be scary. I shoot with a Nikon D70, normally with an 80-200 (average sports lens). So, with a fair amount of zoom on board it can be tough to figure out when that 200 lb football player running at you is really going to hit you. Fortunately I escaped unscathed from this game, but there have been games when players run right at you, and the athleticism of a photographer shines: rule #1: save the camera!

When plays are right on top of you, there are other opportunities for cool shots, color shots as they're sometimes called. They don't show emotion, they don't show action...they're just neat to look at:

Yes, it was a first down.

There are just so many angles to football. This game happened to sadly be the last game of the season; high school football will be missed by this photographer.

Click here for photos

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