Cropping

Pleasant Valley v. LehightonThis photograph of running back, Austyn Borre, was taken at a Friday night football game when the Bears traveled to Lehighton to take on the Indians. He is obviously running with the ball and his eyes are focused upfield. However, there is at least one distracting element in this photo–yep, the referee. His body is cut off weirdly and having him in the photograph really doesn’t add any good quality.

Cropping is a method of taking a photographing and removing unnecessary and distracting items in a photograph simply by downsizing or cutting the size of the photo. It is a tool used by many newspaper and magazine editors, and it is a tool you need to learn as well.

Cropping can be done in a variety of ways, but I prefer to maintain the proportions of the original image almost 100% of the time. Strange results can be produced when original proportions are not maintained.

Some argue that cropping should never be done no matter what. Well, this might be a good goal–to get it right in-camera, but sometimes in the heat of the moment, some distracting and competing elements are captured along with the main subject. Cropping can be very helpful when used wisely.

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

The crop in this photograph removed the referee. I still do not like the two bright yellow vests appearing on both sides of this running back. They are distracting to me as well, but look at what happens when we crop even further while maintaining the same proportion.

Pleasant Valley v. LehightonNotice I switched the crop to a vertical format instead of landscape. This much tighter crop was needed to avoid cutting off limbs at improper places. The rule of thumb here is to never cut off a persons limb at a joint, like an elbow, write, shoulder, knee, or hip.

As you can see in these three images, cropping can have helpful and even sometimes dramatic effects. Used wisely, cropping can be your friend to make a good photograph even better. Learn how to crop and learn how to crop wisely!

 

 

The Ups and Downs of Coaching

All coaches, no matter what sport, know full-well the ups and downs involved in coaching. One moment might be an absolute high feeling of success and achievement, while the very next moment can be a feeling of emptiness and discouragement. Few people can truly appreciate the time, commitment, and widespread feelings coaches experience!

Coach Terwilliger and his coaching staff at Pleasant Valley know and live these ups and downs every day of the football season. The spotlight is obviously on them during games under the bright lights on Friday nights, but few can appreciate all that goes in to preparing for a game each week. Film is watched over and over, practices including calisthenics, drills, play execution,  and conditioning consume hour upon hour each day leading up to the big game. Coaching is not for the faint of heart! The reward is when all the hard work comes together as the team puts into practice all the effort, learning, and coaching of the previous week.

Teamwork among the coaching staff is critical. Each coach has his specialty on the team and in a combined and orchestrated effort, the coaching staff builds on one drill after another and one week after the next. Positive attitudes and a healthy degree of humility can go a long, long way as the coaching staff tries to implement its plan for the season. A sense of togetherness and give-and-take are both required throughout the season. When these elements break down it can be a long season for both the players and coaches. Even worse, one bad call by an official can not only threaten the outcome of a game but an entire season. Talk about pressure! Remaining calm and steady; not getting too high or too low, helps tremendously.

 

Sometimes it all comes together beautifully. Such was the case last Friday night when Pleasant Valley not only won an important game, but also witnessed their freshman running back break a school record! Austyn Borre broke the season rushing record and stands to add to this total in the upcoming weeks.

Coach Terwlliger and his coaching staff certainly experience the ups and downs of coaching, but they remain steady and confident as they play through this football season. It is fun to watch, especially because all the hard work is paying off in positive ways. Skills are increasing among the players, the team is growing closer together, and lessons learned on the football field will eventually be played out in the game of life. Coaches and their importance are often overlooked. We must remind ourselves that these guys are not only teaching boys how to play the game of football, but they are turning these boys into men both on and off the field.

A Big Night for Pleasant Valley Football’s #28 – Austyn Borre

It was a big night for #28, Austyn Borre, on Friday. Borre broke the Pleasant Valley rushing record for the season as he hit 1,083 yards by the end of the game against Allen. Rain fell on the field at times, but it certainly did not rain on Austyn’s parade!

The running back’s banner night started with some impressively strong runs. He put together one hard, fast run after another and found the end zone a total of four times! In addition to quick moves and strong runs, Borre found the seams made my his offensive linemen and quickly darted through them to add to his yardage. It was a clinic for running backs and propelled the Bears to huge victory to remain undefeated in the Mountain Valley Conference.

The run which broke the season record was an impressive 91 yard run where broke away from defenders in a flash going untouched into the end zone. The previous school season record was 1,081 held by Rob Getz who now plays at Widener. Borre is a freshman and brings with him a lot of running back power toward PV’s current season run for the MVC Championship. He also brings much promise for the next three years!

Pleasant Valley kept the pressure on Allen all evening and Borre kept running and adding up yard after yard. The final score was 42-0. He ran the ball 14 times for a total of 185 yards, which averaged 13.2 yards per carry. Not bad for a freshman who is definitely making an impact for the Bears when they face their opponents. Coach Terwilliger must be very happy to have such a weapon on his offense as the team comes down the final stretch for the MVC Championship. Two upcoming games against East Stroudsburg North and Stroudsburg will cap the season and determine the champion.

Photographing this game was a great experience for me as I tried to highlight the rushing record and tell the story of the game. Photographing a high school football game under the lights can be a real challenge to say the least. However, great subjects like Austyn Borre with his incredible running talent and Coach Terwilliger’s passion for football and his players makes it all so much easier by creating great subject matter!

Part of the problem with night games is the lack of light for our cameras. High ISOs and fast shutter speeds are the name of the game for sports photographers at these venues. The falling rain added to the challenge, but photographing the record-breaking run and the coach handing the game ball to Borre made this an historic game within the game! Fans were treated to a big win and a season high rushing record to boot! Now who wouldn’t want to photograph that?

To view all the photographs from this game, click here.