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trying to work through some football blues
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · trying to work through some football blues

So, Iím searching for something shooting football that I canít seem to find. Not sure what it is, but things are just not quite, well, for me, right. Lots of football shooters here from lands where it is religion, so.... here goes.

Six from a game this week with the beach ball up North in the CFL, which was a serious snooze fest. Iím reasonably happy with the backgrounds and the processing, while not perfect, is for me an improvement. But Iím still looking for that Zen thing to try and make the images Ďpopí in terms of dynamism, drama, excitement, serenity that sits at the heart of sport. My basic principle is Ďno eyes, no shotí and a search for clean backgrounds isolating the subjects. More in the sports info/second run news than daily newspaper style. The rate of pay is not driving my shooting Ė earning enough for a regular coffee would be seriously cool. Rather, Iím trying to build up and deepen skills for key projects next summer. All shot with a 500mm f4.5, 1/1000th wide open at way too high an ISO. Comments, critiques, and ideas very, very, very welcome.







Oct 01, 2017 at 12:35 AM
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · trying to work through some football blues

I agree, that game was a snooze fest. Not as big a snooze fest as the Riders last home game against the Stamps. 6-2 at the half, 15-9 final. Snore.

Anyhoo, I shoot Rider home games. Shoot me a PM and we can talk.

Oct 01, 2017 at 01:18 AM

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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · trying to work through some football blues

I like #3 & #5 the best.

I would crop #1 more tightly. Lighten up the eyes of the running back on #2. Fan shot is very nice but I would crop more. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

Oct 02, 2017 at 04:38 PM

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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · trying to work through some football blues

You have the right idea with eyes and backgrounds, but you have to go further than that to get what you say you are looking for. The images need to be real bold. And by that I mean up close, simple compositions, clutter-free, and real focused on what you are trying to convey, so the viewer is drawn in. You need to show the viewer something he/she cannot see standing on the field. Shoot low ALL the time. 1-2 elements in a picture at most. Get closer or wait until players get closer to fill the frame. Shoot from a position that will give you the best backgrounds. Shoot not just to freeze action, but to convey something. #1 is too busy, not impactful, and bodies don't look strong. #2 is just a "guy with a ball" shot. Not easy, but you have to go beyond that. I know what you are going for in #3, but the OOF foreground takes away instead of adding to the image IMO. #5 you are going for the eyes, but you need to be a lot tighter for it to be effective. It's not enough to just have the eyes in other words. #6, is that Tom Hanks with the orange hard hat? Take this as constructive criticism, even if harsh. It's the only way to improve. And look at other photos to see why they are good. I have a few that you may want to look at on my site if you click on it. Let me know. You have the mechanics down, it's now time to elevate your images, and you can.

Oct 03, 2017 at 12:16 PM
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · trying to work through some football blues

Bu82 -- thanks for the very useful reminders and critiques. Not harsh at all. Very constructive, in fact. All are things I try to do always, but also slip up on. This particular stadium also creates some specific challenges.

I'm with you all the way on the 'shoot low all the time', but.... here's where it gets complicated. We're pinned behind a three foot high electronic advertising hoarding that runs the entire length of the field. So that's as low as I can go in many places. There's a break at about the five yard line on each end of the field and I try to get in there as much as I can and hide behind the cheerleaders, sound guys, etc, to shoot up field from low. Problem is, if I go too low and get the angle wrong I then get wicked flare from the stadium lights. A bit of a strange balancing act.

I'm all over getting closer, too, and I think you've hit what is bugging me. I used to shoot college ball in the old version of this stadium and never had the feeling of distance I'm getting now. But, with the college ball I was literally a yard off the sideline. The setup now has us at least seven yards back. And keep in mind this is on a Canadian field, which is a lot wider. I was also shooting with a 1.3x crop on my 500, which is now on a full frame body, and it is WAY too dark to throw on a teleconverter. I'll have to sort a management strategy for this. I think you've maybe hit the nail on the head for me here.

I hear you on the backgrounds, too. But, I think I may have that about as good as it is going to get. We're set up to shoot across the field with at the bench of both teams -- they each get half the field. That means there's a thin wedge where you're not looking at a wall of uniforms. Even if I could shoot from the other side I doubt it would help because of the LED advertising boards. But... advice taken... next game I'm trying to think backgrounds and will redouble efforts.

You're comments are really helpful. Thanks!

Oct 03, 2017 at 11:05 PM

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