East Stroudsburg South Rolls Over Pocono Mountain East

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East Stroudsburg South racked up a huge game up on the mountain Friday night! They scored 42 unanswered points and never looked back. It was a game of excellent runs, passes, and interceptions.

This first photo is featured in the Pocono Record online edition. It shows running back Changa Hodge running East Stroudsburg South’s first offensive play of the game, which resulted in a 53-yard touchdown. And with that, a victorious night was ignited!

I still find the lighting at these high school night games a real challenge. There just is never enough light for us photographers. This second photo features quarterback Nicholas Boushell winding up for a throw down field.

You can view the full gallery of photos here.

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Friday Night Football

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Friday night football is back! I had the privilege to photograph the Friday night football atmosphere at Pleasant Valley High School as they hosted Easton last night for the opening game of the season. The excitement and enthusiasm of pre-game on Friday nights is hard to beat!

PV played a hard-fought battle against Easton and showed some definite signs of promise for this season. Yes, they have a new quarterback and a new head coach, but they will be okay.

The above photo ran in today’s Pocono Record. You can see the full gallery of my photos from Friday night’s game here.

My New Sports Photography Portfolios

Sports Photography Portfolios by Bob Shank

US Women's Open - Tuesday Practice round

I just finished updating my photography portfolios. Periodically, I go through my portfolios to add some of my better photographs to share my work with others. I believe my sports photographs are getting better over time and I hope you agree!

One of my frustrations is finding a good way to present my photo portfolio so the viewer does not have to wait long to view the photos. I appreciate any feedback you can provide on this matter because I want to be able to get my photos out quickly and efficiently.

The link at the top of this post will direct you to my newest portfolios: published photographs, baseball, football, and golf.

There are some upcoming sporting events I will be photographing and I am always looking to broaden my horizons and get better at the craft. I now have well over 60 photographs published and my sports portfolio is growing!

 

Harvest Moon on a Football Friday Night

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain East

 

A full moon created a fitting backdrop for the upcoming Halloween season last Friday night at Pocono Mountain East. It was homecoming, it was Friday night football, and it was a Harvest Moon!

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastI always enjoy capturing the exciting atmosphere of a high school Friday night in the fall. The anticipation is high and enthusiasm streams through the air like no other time of the year!

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastThe referees were aware of the moon in the background. At first, it was very low in the sky and it appeared to be so close you swore you could almost reach and touch it! At the very least, it provided a very interesting added feature to the football photographs.

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastEven the routine shaking of the hands before the coin toss had a different appearance with the Harvest Moon in the background.

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastEven as the game progressed into the night and the moon rose higher in the sky, it still provided some fascinating photographs.

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastCoaches, referees, and players are the typical subjects on a Friday night under the lights. Add another light–a Harvest Moon, and the sky is the limit! Well, not literally of course, but at least figuratively!

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain East

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain East Photo Gallery in the Pocono Record

Coughlin v. Pocono Mountain EastPocono Mountain East hosted Coughlin in high school football action on Friday night. It was a beautiful night for football and it was Homecoming for the Cardinals!

This photo was published online by the Pocono Record on Saturday. Today a photo gallery of several of my photos appeared online, too. I like these online photo galleries because they really give the viewer a broader sense of the action on the field. There are just so many plays that make up a game story and it is really tough to capture everything in one or two photographs.

You can check out my gallery here.

 

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!

 

 

Photo of the Month

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

September’s Photo of the Month was likely to be a football photograph. For one thing, this is the time of year for football. After all, is there any better season than fall, and is there any better season than football season? I think not! We are definitely in the midst of football season!

It is incredible to me, but I still find myself getting butterflies on Friday nights before the games. I certainly did when I played high school football back in the early ’80s, but even now, as I am preparing to photograph a game, I find myself pacing back and forth a little bit and fighting off those nervous butterflies that fly around inside my stomach. Will I capture the moment at the exact right time with my camera? Will the photo be in focus? Will the referee run between my camera and the play? Yep, butterflies are still there flying all around in my stomach. There isn’t a feeling in the world to match it!

Some of my goals for a good, quality football photograph include: 1) the face should be showing in the frame and hopefully the eyes will be visible, 2) the ball should appear in the frame, 3) a special moment or peak action should be captured. This photograph accomplishes all three of these goals. It was a special moment in time captured by a camera so it can be recorded for all time. This to me, is the goal of good, quality photography. It is a worthy pursuit and it keeps me coming back time after time to the field to try to capture another special moment.

The next day, this photo ran six columns wide in the sports section of the Pocono Record.

You can view this new Photo of the Month and previous ones here.

The Heisman Pose – Pleasant Valley High School Style

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

The classic pose of the Heisman Trophy is renowned among athletes and fans. It is an easily recognizable pose, which many tend to emulate in their own style. Quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers are known to strike the pose both for a photographer but also on game day out on the field in the heat of battle.

Such was the case this past Friday night on the high school field at Lehighton. Pleasant Valley traveled to face the Lehighton Indians, and both teams were 2-1 coming into the matchup. Austyn Borre gained 132 yards.  Brandon Leap carried for some yardage gains, too, and in this photo he is shielding himself from Lehighton’s Tyler Cann. Leap is running to the right and displaying that classic Heisman Trophy pose!

This photo and one of Borre appears in the Pocono Record today, Sept. 21, 2013. You can check it out here.

Got game? Brandon Leap and Austyn Borre did Friday night under the lights in Lehighton!

 

Friday Night Football’s Aerobatic Action

Lehighton v. Pocono Mountain East

This Friday night’s football game, featuring Lehighton at Pocono Mountain East, included some aerial attacks down field from the quarterbacks. Some amazing acrobatic action ensued!

Many fans enjoy and prefer the passing game. It’s exciting to see a quarterback drop back behind the line of scrimmage and toss a throw to a sprinting receiving. It’s even more awesome when the receiver makes an acrobatic catch! This night had it all: throws, incomplete passes, receptions, and interceptions. What is not to like about all this?

Capturing this in-the-air action with a camera is not always easy. I am sure I’ve missed plenty more than I got with my lens! However, I do believe I am getting more consistent, which is imperative when working as a freelance stringer for the local newspaper; in my case, the Pocono Record. It is crucial to get some action shots that might be deemed worthy of print by the editor. Football players jumping high into the air to catch a ball is one of the money shots. Get the ball in the shot as the players are in the air and you’ve got a chance. Oh wait, did you remember to get good focus? What about the composition of the photograph? Is your exposure right? These are hard enough to manage on a sunny day; now try to accomplish them at night under high school stadium lights! (I just have to get a new camera!!! In my case, I am dreaming about, hoping for, and trying to save my pennies for a Nikon D4! This camera is newer than mine and boasts some incredible high ISO shooting for these low-light conditions. Anyone willing to offer me a loan?)

I am passionate about sports photography and I live for this challenge to capture the action in the air!

My next game is tomorrow night and I can’t wait to have a crack at it again!

My New Portfolios

PV Tournament 2012-079 Matte

Sports photography is my passion! There is just nothing more exciting, challenging, thrilling, and, yes, sometimes frustrating, than photographing a sporting event. Football season is now in full swing and I am learning more and more about how to photograph the game to capture the story-telling action. I love it!

I am slowly but surely adding better quality photos to my website, so I decided it was time to create and build new sports portfolios. One of my hopes was to create a slideshow-style portfolio featuring my photographs so viewers, editors, and potential clients can easily view my work. I also wanted the portfolios to be simple, yet attractive.

My newly updated sports portfolios can be viewed here: http://bobshankphotography.com/Baseball%20Portfolio.html

I think I achieved what I was hoping for in this redesign. Take a few moments to view my photo portfolios. Let me know what you think of the new design. Does it work well to show and highlight my sports photography abilities?