Friday Night Lights for the Bogus Pro Photographer

My view of the field with my sideline pass

My view of the field with my sideline pass

Guess who got to pretend to be a big-time, fancy-schmancy sideline photographer Friday night? Yep, little ol’ me! In fact, the above photo shows what my view looked like at the boys’ high school’s football game at one of our district stadiums.

Friday night's lights

Friday night's lights

My friend Heather had asked if I would shoot photos for the high school’s booster club’s website. As much as I hate the high ISOs that shooting under the lights at 7 p.m. and later necessitate, I could hardly say no. Not when I have a blog that needs fresh photo fodder five days a week!

Sidebar: Look at the different colors in the lights. It’s little wonder that sports photographers have so much trouble dealing with a consistent white balance. And it’s even worse indoors.

Quarterback Matt rolls out and start his pitch.

Quarterback Taylor rolls out and starts his pitch to his imaginary tailback.

For most of the first quarter before Heather caught up with me to give me the necessary sideline pass, I shot from above the action with my Nikon D300 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. This gave me a great opportunity to eventually contrast the difference between shooting above and at ground level. I captured a good series of photos (at ISO 1600 and f/2.8) in which our quarterback Taylor (Heather’s son) pitched the ball to our tailback Brelynn. It starts above where you have to imagine where Brelynn is (oops!).

Here's Brelynn!

Here's Brelynn!

Welcome to the photo show, Brelynn! Now get going!!

Anthony (28) and Matt are ready to block for Brelynn.

Anthony (28) and Taylor are ready to block for Brelynn.

I really liked the angle from above on these photos. It allows you to see a lot of the action on every play. Now let’s move to the sideline, shall we?

Brelynn tries to escape the defense.

Brelynn tries to escape the defense.

Here’s our buddy Brelynn at ground level trying desperately to avoid being tackled. This was taken at ISO 2000 and, of course, f/2.8, cleaned up by the ever-lovin’ Noise Ninja. As you can see, I could get photographically closer to the action while on the sideline.

Brandon takes a dive, helped by the defense.

Brandon dives forward.

It was easier to isolate on players while shooting along the sideline, but I did have to make sure to stay out of everyone’s way, especially the coaches. Didn’t want to get yelled at by one of them! Oh, and I didn’t want to get run over by any of the players. I only had one close encounter, but it did have me backpedaling the rest of the game!

Tyler tackles the runner.

Tyler tackles the runner.

See number 5? That’s Tyler, a defensive back. The #1 son played Little League baseball with him way back when. He was a good baseball player, too.

Tyler knocks away the pass.

Tyler knocks away the pass.

This was my favorite photo of the evening. Our opponents were getting close to scoring, but Tyler jumped up and knocked the pass away from the receiver. He really played well all night!

Cale smiles.

Cale smiles.

The best part of shooting on the sideline? Getting photos up close and personal of the players, like Cale. As long as they’re not knocking you over when they barrel into where you’re standing!

3 responses to “Friday Night Lights for the Bogus Pro Photographer

  1. Oh, those photos make me want to yell, “Watch out Susan!!!”…….some really GREAT close up shots…glad you didn’t get mowed down!


    • Suzanne: It’s nice having a long zoom lens, but you still really have to keep one eye open to make sure the action you’re shooting isn’t coming straight at you!

  2. Pingback: Obscured Band Faces and Where’s Waldo « Random Snippets & Apertures

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