High School Football Games = ridiculously difficult to shoot!

It’s been an incredibly hot and busy summer, so I’ve had less ‘outdoor’ time than usual and haven’t been shooting very much. I’m looking forward to cooler weather and getting my garage lit for a shoot and playing around more with lighting. I feel like posts on the blog about new experiences will be fewer though, since learning photography seems to have this incredibly steep beginner’s curve followed immediately by a slow, steady, painstakingly difficult long climb over the rest of your life.

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Speaking of lighting, I shot a high school football game last night.

I love football. At the high school level it’s still played out of an aggressive love vs. a lot of the pressure to be noticed in college ball. A buddy of mine is a coach and invited me out to the field, directly appealing to a) my love of football and b) my love of special treatment and exclusive access.

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I took about 400 photos last night in the first half alone; I ended up with about 15 photos total I felt relatively positive about. Also, I finally realized what a 70-200mm 2.8 is for when I saw the lighting conditions. My 300mm 4.5 is way too slow to shoot high school field lighting, and I was grateful for my 105mm 2.8 and especially my 50 mm 1.4. I had to shoot between 2000-5000 ISO, so there was a lot of noise in every photo. :/

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I plan to shoot more of the team, so this morning I looked up tips for shooting football games. Some great tips in this Adorama article: http://www.adorama.com/alc/0011962/article/How-to-photograph-football-games, and it made me feel a little better that some of the key points are simply understanding the field position, formations and anticipating what kind of play is next based on what down it is.

The full gallery is below. 

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