Friday, September 18, 2009

Field Hockey: Maryland Terrapins vs Towson

After shooting some soccer up at Ludwig I drove down to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex to photograph the Maryland Terrapin field hockey team play the Towson Tigers. The lighting at Ludwig was spectacular and I expected equally great light down at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. The Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex is lined with 50 year old oak trees that create really nice shadows on the field so I knew I would have lots of material to work with today compared to yesterday with the overcast skies.

There were so many great opportunities for unique photography with the light and the shadows from the trees today. Unfortunately the gamers (action photos) are what people are interested in. None the less I was shutter happy on the sideline before the player introductions and grabbed a lot of shots with shadows from the trees and bright blue skies that look really great.

For the first half I retreated to the side of the field where the Terps shot. This allowed me to shot my "rim" or "halo" shots. These are shots where the sun is located behind the player. Normally photographers want to shoot with the light behind them but shooting into the light can create unique exposures. In the case of field hockey shooting into the light is very advantageous due to the moist nature of the field.

Prior to field hockey games the facilities group waters the field. Interestingly enough this helps increase traction for the players. The benefit to photographers is that water droplets from the field are propelled into the air as the players race down the field and their feet impact the field. When they shoot or smack the field lots of water droplets are ejected up into the air.

The sunlight bounces off these droplets when you shoot into the sun. When you shoot with the sun to your back you don't see them very much.

I was very much looking forward to my first full-sun field hockey game this season because I really wanted to capture the light reflected off the water droplets.

I had to bail towards the end of the game so I didn't get to capture the entire game. However, the vast majority of my shots that I ran were into-the-sun style exposures.


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