Wednesday, September 17, 2008

When I arrived home from football and field hockey on Saturday I took a shower. It was the best shower I've taken in my entire life!

But on Sunday I was back out in the sun for another field hockey game. The matchup between the Maryland Terrapins and the unranked Northwestern Wildcats was expected to be a relatively easy win for the Terps but the Wildcats played a tough game in the early going. I was just happy to be back on the sidelines shooting after being away for several weekends and missing the opening of the field hockey season.

I started sports photography in December 2006 by taking photos of the Maryland Women's Basketball team. When spring arrived I launched into baseball but found my 70-200mm lens to be really insufficient for most shots. As spring progressed I attended some softball games and the 70-200mm lens was perfect size for the infield. I was turned away from men's lacrosse but I did manage to get into a few women's lacrosse games. Again though ... 70-200mm is just too underpowered for that sport.

By the time Fall 2007 rolled around I had become a more serious sports photographer and I had acquired a 400mm f/2.8 lens off Field Hockey was the first sport where I really had a good chance to try it out because I was denied entrance to soccer games and volleyball doesn't need long glass. The field hockey field is really well suited for 400mm glass and likewise the stadium is very accessible and shootable from outside the official fence. As a result it was the first sport I felt like I could attend without being pushed around and take my photos from outside the fence without being hassled.

I got to know the team from a numbers and names standpoint because it was also one of the first teams where I actually captioned my photos individually.

When this year rolled around and I noticed that several games were being played while I was away on vacation in late August early September I was a little bummed. Naturally when I saw 2 open games this weekend I jumped on covering them.

Greg Fiume, the Maryland team photographer, came out for today's event. Yuchen Nie, my coworker from the DC Sports Box, was also there for our group. Another photographer from the Diamondback was present - I've seen her at baseball and soccer games but I've never introduced myself. I had a good time with everyone and got some decent shots. With 10 goals it's pretty hard not to walk away with a bunch of publishable photos!

Yuchen agreed to write the article for today's game and that took a bunch of work off my shoulders. I've been writing and posting photos like crazy and truth be told I'm a pretty lousy writer. I write so that I can shoot, and if someone told me tomorrow I could shoot without writing I would give up the pen in a heartbeat. When I arrived home I post processed my photos in about 45 minutes and had them published and ready to go. It was such a good feeling.

You can view my photos of Maryland's 10-1 win over Northwestern in Field Hockey over on my Flickr page. Or you can read Yuchen Nie's article on the Terps win over the Bears on the DC Sports Box page.


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