Monday, October 22, 2007

I worked pretty hard on Saturday night to go through all of my field hockey photos and write my article for the DC Sports Box. I didn't go to bed until around 1am but I was happy I finished all my work on Saturday evening.

On Sunday there was a day home game between the men's soccer team from Maryland and the far-far out of town Cal State Northridge Matadors. This was the only men's soccer game this season that took place during the day, except for an exhibition game against Montreal. I was looking forward to shooting it!

It was another gorgeous day to get out and shoot. It's been unusually warm lately, and today it was around 80 degrees with decent humidity and a bright sun. Plenty of light to work with... My article is here.

I saw Yuchen and Greg at the game, as well as another photograph that Greg works with. I seem to recall Greg mentioning that he is the Capitals photographer. I've seen him at some Verizon Center events, as well as at Nationals games. I've only spoken about 5 words to him though so I don't even know his name.

Greg and Yuchen were on the far end of the field so I didn't speak with them during the first half. I know that Greg and his partner were there to shoot as much material as possible for the soccer book, and I understand Greg's presence at the far end of the field. I'm not sure I understand why Yuchen selected that position though.

I suppose he's following the "shoot where your team is shooting". I'm not sure how I feel about that approach. So far that's what I've done: I always follow my team and positioned myself to capture them scoring, shooting, or attacking. But lately I've been rethinking that approach especially when you're faced with difficult or poor lighting conditions.

The field hockey game is really what did it for me. The Terps weren't in the offensive zone at all, and the lighting shooting them in the offensive zone was really bad. If I had stayed in that position I had a low probability of getting my celebration shot after a goal, and even if I got my shot it probably wouldn't have come out very well because of the light.

When I changed my position it meant I was shooting more defensive players. But I shot a ton of them, and the lighting was great. So do you give up on field position in order to get better light? Or does field position always trump light? I don't know...

During the soccer game I decided to let the sunlight win and I stayed in my position the entire game. That meant that I shot the Terrapin defense during the first half and the offense during the second half. Not too bad of a tradeoff. The only downside is that if the Terps score in the first half and are scoreless in the second you lose your celebration shot (or you have to crop it pretty badly).

It's definitely something I'm going to think about and ask a few other photographers. I really don't know what they'll say...

I still have a difficult time seeing the LCD in broad daylight when the sun is over my shoulders. I think everyone has this problem though and it's not equipment or vision related. Maybe I'll look for one of those old photo viewers they used to sell us back in elementary school that allowed you to put a positive in it and hold it up to the sunlight to see the photo. Maybe I could get a big one and put it on some kind of necklace. Then I can cut off the end of it and have a protected little peeping tube I can use to look at my LCD.

My meter told me to shoot at 1/8000 on ISO200 with f2.8. I didn't believe it though and I decided to go with 1/6400th. After some review during a penalty kick I realized that even 1/6400th was too fast and I slowed down to 1/5000th. I didn't blow any highlights and the lighting looked good.

There was a lot of action on the field this afternoon, including a fight towards the end of the game. The police ended up arriving and walking onto the field. It made for a memorable shot (not a good memory, but a memory none the less).

I didn't get a chance to talk with Greg at all. That's unfortunate because I always enjoy hearing what events he's attended recently.

The game went into double overtime and Yuchen was really aching and tired from being in NC yesterday. I'm conditioned to a 6 hour driving because my wife and I own property in NC and frequently travel 6 hours to stay in our summer house over long weekends. But Yuchen said he doesn't like to drive and was very tired. He was really hoping for the Terps to pull away so that the game didn't go into overtime.

I was glad the game went into overtime because it meant more shooting opportunities for us!

This week we're going to approach Maryland again and request media credentials. I've covered 25 games so far this Fall, and that's way more than any other media outlet has achieved. I realize that one Terrapin Times or article reaches far more than our humble website, but there's something to be said for commitment and effort. I'm hoping Maryland sees it that way as well, but given what has happened to us so far I'm not holding my breath.

The next soccer men's game is Tuesday night and on Monday we'll put in our credential request. The last time we submitted our request we weren't denied or accepted: we were just ignored. I'm actually expecting the same thing to happen this time: we'll hear nothing. But one can hope!


Post a Comment