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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Little League All-Star Action

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Sports photography is my passion. There is nothing more challenging, and thrilling, than trying to capture the action on the field. Today, I had the opportunity to photograph the 9/10-year-old All Stars between Pocono Mountain East and West End.

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I really enjoy this age for baseball. The players are serious about the game and yet still want to learn the finer points of the game. They are plain down teachable! The games are fun to watch, too. Parents sit on the edge of their seat or pace back and forth like an expectant father in a maternity waiting room!

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No, these Little League All-Star games are not for the faint of heart! And my job is to capture the action on the field with my camera. It is a challenge I embrace and enjoy thoroughly! Today I carried three cameras at times because a lot was happening and a lot was expected of the sports photographer.

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Shooting sports is not only my passion, but I am learning it is one of my real talents in photography. I am not trying to brag; I am just learning more about myself and I am learning that of all the types of photography out there, sports photography is what I do the best. I believe my nine years of coaching Little League and three years of coaching Middle School football have a lot to do with this, too.

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Serving as a freelance stringer for the Pocono Record and the Easton Express-Times teaches me a lot, too! I don’t get it right on each and every shot, but I am getting more consistent at getting it right at every game. The task of a sports photographer is to capture the action of the players and tell the game’s story in our photographs. Knowing the game is essential and learning each player’s tendencies is crucial. For example, when you are looking down the barrel of your zoom lens through your viewfinder, can you predict when the batter will swing his bat? If not, you will most likely waste a lot of shots, and worse, you might miss some key moments. Learn to pay attention to minute details like the slight twitch of an arm muscle. This might be all you need to know to make the best next great sports photograph!

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Pleasant Valley Girls Advance to the MVC Championship Game!

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Kiersten Griesback took the mound for the Pleasant Valley Bears and pitched a solid game allowing only two runs. The Bear’s defense was solid, too. They did not commit an error in the game!

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Madison Shaneberger was hit by a pitch during her first at bat. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured and remained in the game. In fact, she laughed it off with Coach Beck when she reached first base.

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Jess Altemose slid across home plate to score an early run for the Bears who didn’t look back. They kept the pressure on Pocono Mountain East and scored runs in each and every inning of the game!

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The Bears now advance to the MVC Championship Game against Stroudsburg. The game will be played at Pocono Mountain East – a neutral field for both opposing teams. If they can play another solid game like this one, the Bears should be able to secure the MVC Title.

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A Great Night of High School Wrestling!

Stroudsburg Wrestling

Nazareth against Stroudsburg and Pocono Mountain East against Northampton. What a night for high school wrestling!

Both matches were filled with excitement and well into the bouts, both matches were tied! The enthusiastic crowd cheered on.

Stroudsburg Wrestling

Nazareth pulled away from Stroudsburg about three-quarters of the way through the match with a couple of well-placed pins. The other match, however, went down to the last and final bout. Northampton was leading by three points going into the final matchup. The crowd was stirred into a frenzy as the final and deciding bout began. The decision went to East and they won the match 31-30!

Even the winners looked worn out on this night!

Stroudsburg Wrestling

See more photos here.

 

 

QBs & RBs

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Running backs and quarterbacks get a lot of action in a football game. They handle the ball a majority of the time and play after play have the opportunity to make the difference in a game.

Keeping an eye, or viewfinder rather, on the quarterback is fairly easy. Even tracking a handoff to the running back is pretty easy to follow. But you have to be ready for anything: fakes, pitches, throws, and reverses are just a few of the possibilities.

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The action can get pretty furious at times, which is all part of the excitement of sports photography. There is nothing like it! These athletes put their game on the field and we get the privilege of capturing the action with our cameras. We have to pay attention and be quick, too, with our cameras at least.

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I played football in high school–a receiver on offense (back in the day it was called “split end” and cornerback on D. I recall fondly the excitement of Friday night football in the pre-game warmups. There was absolutely nothing that came close to matching that feeling! Now, behind the viewfinder and along the sidelines or behind the endzone, I still have the opportunity to feel this feeling on Friday nights!

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Running backs take a lot of punishment on almost every carry. They seek the running lanes created by the lineman but typically meet face-to-face with linebackers and other defensive players waiting to lower the boom on them. Quarterbacks take some punishment, too, especially when they are sacked. These two positions are fun to watch and a thrill to photograph during a game!

 

 

Harvest Moon on a Football Friday Night

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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!

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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.

 

One Friday Night Shoot Produces Five Published Photographs!

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Stroudsburg v. Pocono Mountain East

Stroudsburg v. Pocono Mountain East

Stroudsburg v. Pocono Mountain East

Stroudsburg v. Pocono Mountain EastFriday night I photographed the football game in Swiftwater, PA featuring Stroudsburg vs. Pocono Mountain East. It was a typical night for high school football and I was in my favorite place — right by the action with my camera!

I am getting better and progressing in my photographic skills in trying to capture the action at these Friday night games, but in no way was I prepared for what was about to happen after this game!

I went about my business as usual, trying to capture the action and tell the game story with my camera. I knew I had some decent shots, and maybe even a pretty good one, by halftime. I  transmitted several photos to my editor, then went home to create a photo gallery and sent that in, too. Typically, one photo runs in the newspaper the following day.

Well, later that night I saw two of my photos were published. The next morning I realized a third one was published in the next day’s paper. One more was published on Monday, and a fifth photo was published in Tuesday’s paper!

So how did five photographs from one Friday night football game get published? Well, the first two were of a touchdown with the running back dragging would-be tacklers into the endzone. These were pretty good shots telling the essence of the game with a touchdown being scored; not a bad start. The third photo was a group shot of five athletes being inducted into the Pocono Mountain East Hall of Fame, which was celebrated at halftime. Knowing this was going to happen, paying attention enough to capture some group shots, and capturing all five names helped to get this photo published. The fourth photo surprised me when I saw it in the newspaper, but it was in the “Fifth Quarter Notes,” a wrap-up of the weekend football action, so that made sense. It was actually one of my favorites because it showed a defensive back intercepting a pass in front of a receiver, both of whom were in the air at the time with the ball just being caught. Finally, the fifth photo from Friday night’s game was printed in today’s newspaper in a feature written about Stroudsburg’s running back, Gerald Douglas. I knew this was possibly going to happen because the writer asked if I captured any good photos of Douglas at the game. Fortunately, I did capture a few decent photos and one fit the bill for this article today.

You never know what might happen. I photographed Friday night’s game just like many other ones before, but this time five of my photos were deemed worthy for print in the Pocono Record! I was surprised by this but obviously pleased. Now I have an additional goal on my photo list: get six or more photos published from one shoot!

In the meantime, I will continue honing my photo skills and try to perfect my craft. The moment I rest on my laurels or feel satisfied with my results will be the day I fail. Nope; I have to keep getting better and I have to keep moving closer to meeting my many photographic goals. Each game provides plenty of opportunities to capture the exciting action and tell the game story! I am already looking forward to the next game!

 

The Coin Toss

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Before a high school football game, the referee flips a coin to determine who will first receive the ball to start the game. This happens just after the Friday night warmups in my area, so the gathering at midfield just before kickoff is merely ceremonial. The actual coin toss occurs even before the pre-game activities, including the marching band’s performance.

Inspired by Peter Read Miller’s book, On Sports Photography, (which really is a great sports photography book) I wanted to make an attempt at photographing the coin toss last Friday night. You’ve got to check out his coin toss photo in his book captured at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium!

As most of you know, lighting at these high school games is not typically very good nor very bright. However, this is not an action shot, so I thought I might get something decent even with the thin lighting.

The coin toss began with a few words from the referee and then the shaking of the hands of both teams. It is more like an amoeba conglomeration of people and I had to keep an eye on a videographer, too. This is the shot I ended up with during Friday night’s coin toss.

It is okay at best; certainly not stellar. The one good thing is the coin is in the with that dark blue sky and the referee is looking up at it. The main problem is the lack of any other faces being visible in the shot. The one almost face is obscured by the other official. I am thinking I should use a wider angle lens the next time and certainly get into a better position to capture the faces of the players. I am learning!

 

Two Sports Photographs Published

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Stroudsburg v. Pocono Mountain East

Rain fell in Swiftwater as the Stroudsburg Marching Band played the pre-game ceremony. Once kickoff ensued, the action was fast and furious. Stroudsburg struck first, but Pocono Mountain East answered back in record time. The game was tied 7-7 late into the second quarter, but Pocono Mountain East was driving and knocking on the door.

The Cardinals punched it into the end zone with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Stroudsburg received the kickoff but could not drive the ball before the half ended. The second half was a different game for Stroudsburg.

Rushing and throwing seemed to come a bit more naturally, but an early muffed punt resulted in a turnover and a quick touchdown. Stroudsburg scored another follow-up touchdown to make it 28-14.

The Cardinals made it interesting by scoring a touchdown very late in the game but their on-sides kick was recovered by the Mounties who hung on to win 28-21. These two photographs of #21 Gerald Douglas crossing the goal line with the go-ahead touchdown are online at the Pocono Record. You can view the article here.