It’s a Christmas miracle! No, I’m not dead after all. However, the firm grip of graduate school has my schedule tied up in all sorts of knots. To make a long story short, I have found it nearly impossible to take time to pursue any photography endeavors lately, even paid opportunities. When you’re in five school music ensembles, preparing auditions for military bands, and still squeezing in a couple academic classes on top, any free time quickly gets assigned to eating and sleeping.
Sob story out of the way, I never know when I may get more free time. It may even be as soon as this coming semester, and I may also have more paid opportunities to persuade me to make more time for my secondary passion for photography. Regardless, I am so close to catching up with all my previous work. After this post, I just have to put together the last quarter of my grossly-overdue 2014 Project 52 (which may end up being posted in early 2015, whoops!), and I’m all set!
Earlier in the Fall, I got the chance to work as one of the photographers for the Great American Rivalry Series, a program presented by the United States Marine Corps that hosts football rivalry games between regional high schools. My game was in Cincinnati, between St. X and Moeller, two area Catholic high schools. In addition to the action of the game, I was assigned to photograph everything from crowd reactions to marching band entertainment to the booths of the sponsors, the latter of which helped warm my camera and my trigger finger up:
Before the officials even made it to the field, however, both student bodies were already hyped:
Eventually the marching band made it onto the field and the festivities continued:
And then the teams took the field:
The first half saw me juggling between adjusting settings for the quickly-fading sunlight, as well as getting a handle on the Nikon 400mm’s unforgivably-thin depth-of-field:
Halftime came around, and the lighting conditions finally stabilized:
Afraid I may not have been getting enough keepers with the 400mm (no time for chimping in football!), I eventually switched the 400mm for my trusty 200mm f/2, which I am much more comfortable with in nailing focus:
With only a few minutes to go and Moeller up by a couple touchdowns, I went ahead and moved over to their student body to capture any end-game celebrating:
After the crowd finally cleared out, I headed back to my gear storage location and got one last snap of the home team’s painted banner while it wasn’t blocked by fans:
Not only was this the first time in months that I photographed any sort of competitive sport, but it was also my first experience in American Football. Adding to the challenge of photographing enough offensive/defensive plays of both teams, very little could prepare me for knowing exactly where to place myself to get any serviceable shots that weren’t blocked by sideline players or the myriad officials. I pat myself on the back knowing I got more than enough to send in to my supervisor!
Gear used for this awesome evening was the Sony NEX-7 with the Nikon 200mm f/2, Nikon 400mm f/2.8, and Rokinon 16mm f/2, along with the Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 attached to a trusty Nikon d300.
That’s all for this post, guys and gals, thanks for dropping by! I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas today if you choose to celebrate it, and I can’t wait to catch up with all the photographs 2014 threw at me! Here’s to making it to the New Year, with photography in mind!