Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On Friday it was my birthday and after a quick nibble at home with Julie I headed out to Ludwig Field to shoot the Terrapins face their first ACC opponent of the season.

The weather was great for the 8pm start and the crowd was of good size. It wasn't a sell out but both sets of seats in the endzone were fully occupied and that always helps to amp up the teams and create better atmosphere. As usual there were very few photographers present: just Jackie from the Diamondback and I were there.

The last men's game I shot at Ludwig turned out pretty well so I decided to again go with ISO 4000. The noise is really quite reasonable on the D3 and having the sensitivity turned up so high allows me to shoot at 1/500th of a second. Going any slower in soccer is pretty risky because you can get a lot of motion blur.

It was surprisingly easy to get into the game tonight. The operations staff moved the media entrance down to the opposite side of the field but once I found it I was able to get through pretty quickly. My name wasn't on the list but Al's name was and the girl working the desk didn't seem to care much.

Your mileage with operations staff really seems to vary. On one hand at Volleyball I was told to go get a wristband or to move aside. But then at soccer, a revenue sport, the operations person practically let me through just based on seeing my camera gear.

I've noticed that most of my soccer photos involve headers. I'm not sure if it's because those are the most common or if it's because those are the shots where you typically only have 2 people in the frame. Soccer is so hard to shoot because there are just so many players on the field that tend to be exactly between you and the ball. Likewise, the players run up and down the sidelines to warm up, a practice that no other sport seems to do. When a play unfolds they tend to stop directly in front of me to watch whats going on. Then you have the off-sides referee who always manages to find a way to park himself directly in front of me. And lastly the ball-boys (or girls): they too find a way to deposit themselves right in my field of view.

When 2 players go up for a header they're up above the rest of the players on the field and most of the sideline crews don't stop what they're doing to watch.

So as I'm going through my photos the ones that tend to come out uninterrupted are the headers. But I don't want to be one-dimensional in what I turn in for my work. It's difficult finding the right balance between quantity, quality, and variation.

When I arrived at home I quickly got through all my photos and wrote up a quick article on the game. It was a brief article because the outcome was 1-0 Terps and there wasn't much to talk about other than how equally well both teams played.

You can go take a look at the Maryland Terrapins vs Boston College men's soccer game photos over on Flickr. Or, you can read about the Terps vs BC on the DC Sports Box.


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