Saturday, September 19, 2009

Boerne High School - Redux

The last couple of years has been a bit different for Boerne high school athletics. 2008 was the year Boerne-Champion High School opened and Boerne High School was closed for a complete redo.

With the start of the 2009-2010 season Boerne now has Boerne High School reopening and playing 3A, while Champion continues as the 4A school. Both schools were affected by the reallocation of students, but it's Boerne High that is having to work the hardest to rebuild their sports program.

Friday night gave me my first chance to shoot the Greyhounds and I managed to squeeze in a varsity volleyball game prior to Boerne football taking on Lake Travis, a 4A, state championship level team. As was planned the football team got a good look at the level of play they will begin developing to achieve.

The neat thing about sports photography is there is always great action, no matter whether it's Pop Warner level play or the pros, whether it's a close game or a blowout. You just have to look for it. At the end of Friday nights game you didn't see anyone giving up or even looking overly depressed, personally I thought some of the guys looked like they wanted to go another quarter.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tunnel Vision

So far this year, I've managed to get run over by a softball player, come way too close to foul balls at both high school and professional baseball games, and backpedaled really fast when I had a quarter ton of football players coming at me.

I guess the point is, particularly with football, you really have to pay attention to the players when talking on the sidelines or looking through a 200mm or 400mm lens, either of which tend to give you a very narrow view of the world. Add all the folks just hanging out on the sidelines and things can get interesting fast.

So if you find yourself shooting from the sidelines or just hanging out and you aren't one of the guys in helmet and pads, you might find this message thread eye-opening.

Stay safe...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Boerne-Champion & TMI Football...the season is underway

Another busy weekend and it started on a Thursday. I'd forgotten the joys of shooting football in the afternoon with good light, but the images from Thursday's JV game between TMI, The Episcopal School of Texas, and Pearsall made for an easy reminder. Not only was the light good, but the photos show why you don't need to be shooting pro or college sports to get peak action, intense player emotion images.

The Boerne-Champion vs San Antonio East Central game on Friday started early enough to get some nice pre-game photos, particularly with the great yellow and black helmets of East Central. As I've written about in the past, to get really sharp images you almost always have to use strobe lighting at high school fields. The downside of strobes includes batteries, low light on long distance shots, uneven lighting depending where the play is on the field, setting ISO too high so you pick up the ambient light on the field when you really just want your flash to be doing the work...which usually means blurring.

So given all that fun stuff, when half the lights went out at Boerne High School stadium it looked photography was going to come to a standstill. But Forrest Gump would have been proud, with only half the stadium lights working we had some really interesting portrait light to work with and the players all had their helmets off. How cool... Here's one of my favorites...