Pleasant Valley Wins in the Purple Pit!

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It might have been close at the beginning, but PV got stronger as the game clock clicked down. East Stroudsburg South connected on some early passes, like the one in the photo above. Quarterback, Jakob Cirillo, made some quality and accurate passes to keep PV’s defense on its heels early in the game.

in East Stroudsburg on Friday, October 9, 2015.

Penalties were costly for both teams at times and the referees had to consult on several occasions to sort it all out. The game actually took a lot longer due to all the penalties and especially because of the time it took the refs to get it all figured out along the way.

in East Stroudsburg on Friday, October 9, 2015.

PV’s quarterback, Mikey Brown, was a double threat with his arm and his legs. He connected on some crucial passes but also gained some positive yards against the Cavalier’s defense.
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Even though the Cavaliers got behind on the scoreboard they didn’t give up. Cirillo kept throwing to his receivers and made the game more interesting.

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These high school athletes certainly can put a great game on the field! It is a privilege to have the opportunity to photograph them and try to capture their athletic skills with my cameras!

Pleasant Valley Graduation

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Pleasant Valley held their 2014 Graduation on Friday night. The weather was threatening and produced some heavy rain, so the Commencement was held indoors in the high school gym. Parents, grandparents, and friends gathered to watch the special event as the seniors graduated.

I was there on assignment as a stringer for the Pocono Record. It was special for me because I know a lot of these students. After all, I photographed many of them in their sporting events over the past years!

You can view more photos of PV’s Graduation here.

Pride and Prejudice Dress Rehearsal

Pleasant Valley High School Fall Play: Pride and PrejudiceTonight I had the opportunity to photograph the dress rehearsal of Pleasant Valley High School’s play, Pride and Prejudice. Believe me, these students did a phenomenal job preparing for this performance! The stage presence put on in this play is absolutely astounding!

Pleasant Valley High School Fall Play: Pride and PrejudiceYou owe it to yourself to attend one of the upcoming performances of Pride and Prejudice. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday at the high school in Brodheadsville, PA.

 

 

 

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!

 

Sports Photograph needed for an Article

Lehighton v. Pocono Mountain East

The sports editor gave me an assignment to capture a few photos of a specific high school running back because they were doing an article on him this week. That was Friday. The problem was I only got the message after the game!

Fortunately, I took plenty of photographs and hoped I had some of this specific player. It turned out that I had six photos, which wasn’t bad. I learned my lesson though–check messages immediately before a game!

This sports photograph is not stellar but it does tell a story and is somewhat captivating. First, the good things about this photo: It shows the eyes of the running back, which really helps our eyes focus on him. The ball is visible in the photo. The player has good lean, which shows action. The blocking in the background by the linemen helps to add energy to the photo.

Now the bad things about this photo: I should have zoomed in closer. The subject is not isolated from the background enough. It would be better to have both of the subject’s feet in the air to reveal even more action. As you can see, I still have a way to go in improving my sports photography. I will keep trying and can’t wait to be out on the field this Friday night!

 

A Young Pleasant Valley Team Looks at the Positives

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A Young Pleasant Valley Team Looks at the Positives
by Bob Shank

A young Pleasant Valley football team took on a strong, well-played team in Nazareth as the high school football season opened up last Friday night. With the exception of three plays, PV’s defense played a solid game and put their offense in a position to win the game, according to Coach Terwilliger. He told the team after the game in the end zone, “This was the best our defense ever played in an opening night game.”

Terwillger was happy with the effort but not proud of the results in this opening game. He informed the offense that “we need to do a lot of work. We didn’t get it done tonight, and that’s an attitude.”

When asked how he thought quarterback Brandon Leap will respond after the loss, Terwilliger was nothing but positive. He said Leap works hard and will respond well in the preparation for the next game against Dieruff. He said they are looking forward to putting this game behind them but admitted this game was a good experience for them, even with the loss. PV is a young team and lacks experience, according to Terwilliger. “This game was a good experience builder and will help as we continue to build the experience necessary to compete in our league.” He continued, “There was no quit in this team tonight and I am very proud of them for that.”

PV faced an uphill battle in the first half as Nazareth scored first and followed up with another touchdown. This forced PV to play catch-up the entire night. The defense was stingy, however, and kept them in the game. After a second-half opening kickoff return by Nazareth to open up a big lead, PV could have turned over and given up. Instead they battled back and scored 9 points. With their strong defensive performance and building on the experience this young team lacks, Terwilliger is excited to move forward and continue competing against their future opponents. If experience is a lesson on the gridiron, PV will be set to battle even harder this week!

Pleasant Valley v. Nazareth, 8/30/2013

Cross Country Photos

Yesterday I had the opportunity to photograph the Pleasant Valley Cross Country Team as they hosted East Stroudsburg North, East Stroudsgburg South, and Stroudsburg. This was my first time photographing Cross Country. I arrived early to get the layout of the course and try to find a spot on the course and then get back to the finish line before the end of the race.

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I found my spot and took photos on the course and then had to scramble to get to the finish line before the race ended. Fortunately, my planning worked out and I did make it in time! I tried a couple spots at the finish line and having my 200-400mm Nikon lens was good to have on my camera. This allowed me to stay back away from the finish line far enough so as not to intrude on the runners, but still get most of the finishing stretch with my camera. Sweet!

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I found my favorite location by the time the girls were getting ready to finish. I really liked being on the first lane, far enough past the finish line so I was not in the way of anyone. This vantage point provided the cleanest backgrounds because I could avoid the fence on the left and the spectators and athletes in the infield.

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I found myself zooming all the way in as a runner rounded the last corner of the track before the homestretch. Then as the runner got closer, I zoomed out to keep her in the frame. Finally, as the runner got even closer, I would get some closeup shots at the finish.

CC130930-1169You can see the photo gallery of yesterday’s Cross Country Meet here.

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PV Wins a Big Game in the Bottom of the 7th!

Shortstop, Dan Hrbek, charges a slow roller to make an excellent play in the field as PV went on to win 3-2 in seven innings

Shortstop, Dan Hrbek, charges a slow roller to make an excellent play in the field as PV went on to win 3-2 in seven innings

It wasn’t easy and it was just what the doctor ordered after a tough loss in their last game. PV went up 1-0 on an RBI single by catcher, James Shank. But the fightin’ Indians came back heartily to go up 2-1 in the middle innings.

First baseman, Jordan Caffrey, flips to pitcher, Howie Stevens to record the out.

First baseman, Jordan Caffrey, flips to pitcher, Howie Stevens to record the out.

Howie Stevens pitched a great game, pitching out of trouble in several innings to keep the game close. Without his effort, this game would most likely have ended up much differently. As it was, he pitched 6 strong innings by mixing an effective curve ball in with his fastball to keep hitters off balance just about every time it was needed.

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, flips to first baseman, Howie Stevens, to record an out in the 7th inning. Hrbek threw hard and recoded outs on all three batters he faced.

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, flips to first baseman, Howie Stevens, to record an out in the 7th inning. Hrbek threw hard and recorded outs on all three batters he faced.

Dan Hrbek came in to pitch the 7th inning with the game hanging in the balance, tied up 2-2. He threw hard stuff and recorded 2 Ks. His fastball was arguably as fast as its been all season. He was hitting his spots and throwing hard, which resulted in 3 up and 3 down in the top of the 7th inning. Then it was time for the PV Bears to have last dibs!

James Shank went 3-4. He lead off the 7th inning with a double down the 3rd base line.

James Shank went 3-4. He led off the bottom of the 7th inning with a double down the 3rd base line.

The bottom of the last inning was started off by a line drive double down the 3rd base line by James Shank. He rolled into the second, representing the potential winning run if PV could get him across the plate. Howie Stevens earned a walk and Troy Van Houten also earned a base on balls to load the bases with one out. Nick Domenici hit a fly ball to right field, but Shank did not tag up at third base, so the bases remained loaded with two outs. That brought up third baseman, Austin Yoffredo, who hit a wickedly spinning ball down the first base line. Somehow it snuck through the legs of the Lehighton first baseman. Shank crossed home plate and the Bears snagged the much needed victory!

James Shank celebrates the PV victory after crossing home plate.

James Shank celebrates the PV victory after crossing home plate.