First Sports Photos from My Nikon D5

BB160331 0293Well, today I had the opportunity to put my new Nikon D5 through a real test. I photographed the Millersville v. ESU baseball game for the university today. The sky was partly so I did have to keep adjust some of the camera settings and I am still learning the new camera, too.

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Overall, I am extremely happy with the results. The frames per second speed is phenomenal. I still prefer to time many of the shots, but having the rapid fire ability is helpful to capture the ball in the frame a little more consistently.

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I still have a ton to learn about the settings on this camera. The learning curve will be a little slower than I’d like at first. The focus settings, for example, are extensive with a variety of options. I need to narrow down what will work best when tracking a player through a play on the field. Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with the functionality and performance of this new D5. So far, it is even passing my exponentially high expectations!

Winning Ways

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Steve Harris dunks home two points for East Stroudsburg University against Lock haven on Saturday, February 20, 2016. I love the expression of total intensity in his face as the ball went through the hoop. ESU’s basketball teams, both men and women, are continuing their winning ways, as they are both headed to the PSAC playoffs!

This reminds me of the wonderful opportunities I have as a sports photographer to follow in their footsteps. A winning sports photograph should show action, have the ball in the frame, and tell a story. I believe this photo does all three.

I played sports and now keep close to the games and players through my photography. I’ve always believed that lessons learned on the court or field are helpful in life, too. We learn a lot about life from winning and even losing. One of my goals in life is to continue winning ways!

I Love Football!

2015-08-30 ESU WebsiteLast week I attended the Penn State football game in State College. The Nittany Lions were hosting the Buffalo Bulls for the second game of the new season. I took my good friend and former football coach, Al Van Houten. We met my brother and my son for the pre-game activities and we visited some other friends in the RV tailgate area. Then it was game time! There is nothing quite like college football on a Saturday afternoon!

Just two days before the game I received a call from the Sports Information Director, Greg Knowlden, at East Stroudsburg University asking if I could photograph some of their football games this year. Yeah?! Of course! The only thing better for me than watching college football on a Saturday afternoon as a fan is photographing the game down on the field! So this Saturday I will be on the Eiler-Martin Stadium field to photograph the ESU game.

I covered one game last year for ESU and a few of my photos were published on their website and in the local newspaper, The Pocono Record. However, as I was doing my research before this weekend’s game, I discovered that one of my photos is featured on the 2015 East Stroudsburg University Football Media Guide! (You can see the cover below and my photo is in the upper left.) This photo was also featured in the local newspaper’s pre-season football issue.

Did I say I love football? Well, I do, don’t you?

2015 ESU FB Media Guide

 

East Stroudsburg University Tops Millersville University to Advance to the PSAC Final Four

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East Stroudsburg University won big over Millersville University in PSAC quarterfinal action on Wednesday night. The Warriors split the two regular season games against the Marauders but came up with a huge victory to advance to the PSAC Final Four. They will face Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Saturday in the semi-final. I was covering the game for The Pocono Record and the above photo was published on Thursday.

Here are some additional photos from the game at Koehler Fieldhouse.

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at Koehler Fieldhouse in East Stroudsburg on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

 

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at Koehler Fieldhouse in East Stroudsburg on Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

 

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September Photo of the Month

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For a few years now, I highlight one photo each month as “The Photo of the Month.” It typically features one of my favorite shots or one that stands out in some way above the others.

This concept gained some momentum even among the players I photograph. Some of them even mention one of their goals is to be featured in my photo of the month! I enjoy getting to know these athletes both on the field and the sidelines. They are real people who do some amazing things that I am fortunate to capture with my camera.

This month’s photo of the month was captured at an East Stroudsburg University football game. It includes some of the goals I aim for in sports photography. You can see the description of this photo here.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Division II Atlantic Region Final

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I had the opportunity to photograph a big basketball game tonight! It was the final of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division II Atlantic Region and I was there for the Easton Express-Times.

Koehler Fieldhouse was abuzz with much excitement as I arrived, first going through the Media Room to pick up my credentials. Both teams were warming up and getting ready for the game.

The action was fast-paced, as is the custom of both of these teams. In fact, the pace was fast and furious most of the night! This made photographing the action a real challenge, but the newspaper published my favorite photo of the night, which is displayed above.

It was a great challenge and a wonderful opportunity. I felt privileged to be there!

Mercyhurst v. East Stroudsburg University

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyThe third college game I photographed this year featured East Stroudsburg University hosting Mercyhurst. The action was back and forth in the first half and it was fast and furious! It still took some concentrated effort to keep up with the pace of the college game, but I could definitely see a difference in my performance from the first college game of the season.

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This photo was not quite as easy to capture as I expected. There were many problems I encountered before capturing this shot. Many times the QB rolled out to the opposite side of the field, going away from me. Other times, the pocket was formed around the QB and linemen were in the way. Still other times, the referee was smack dab in the middle of my frame! It took me well over half the game to capture this pose, but I think it turned out pretty well.

College Football: Mercyhurst v. East StroudburgSometimes the QB pulls the ball down and has to scramble for yardage. And sometimes the play is a designed QB-keeper. Either way, keep the QB in your viewfinder and track his movement. This is probably one of the easier photos to capture. I like this shot because both feet are airborne. I think this pose just portrays action! I really enjoyed the three college football games I photographed this year. I learned a lot and got a little better. All-in-all, it was a very good football season!

 

 

 

Game Day Celebrations

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Chest pumps, high fives, spikes, and dances are just some of the celebrations you will see on game day after a touchdown or a big play. Photographing these celebrations helps to tell the full story of the game. Keep your camera on the player who scored the touchdown long after the play. Keep following and shooting, and you will get shots likes these.

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyTouchdown celebrations have changed over the years. Some include a simple spike of the football. Other times it is a complicated and well-rehearsed combination of moves. Either way, these can be great photographic moments! Tracking the players and always being ready are the keys to success.

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyCapturing the faces of at least one of the players is a good goal with celebrations. Using a wider angle lens is often a good idea, especially if the celebration breaks out in the endzone near your spot. Pay attention to the backgrounds, too.

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyChest pumps are all the rave these days. From the pro games down to the pee wees, chest pumps are often seen on the football field. Capturing these celebrations is simply a matter of being prepared and following the players after the whistle blows and the play is over. Give it a try.Millersville v. East Stroudsburg Universtiy

 

 

 

Football Action Photos

Millersville v. East Stroudsburg UniverstiyAnother college game produced some great action for me to photograph this past Saturday as East Stroudsburg hosted Millersville.

It was not a close game–ESU ran away with it actually. But the action was thrilling nevertheless! I was more successful in following the action with my camera and the athletes provided some great action on the field!

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What do you think about these action photos?

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