Fan Reactions Caught with Nikon D5

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Last Saturday, I photographed the ESU baseball doubleheader. It was a great day for a number of reasons, which I reported in my last blog entry. I was looking through the photographs after the game and was pleasantly surprised to see some details I could not see initially.

The new Nikon D5 is an incredible camera and I continue to be amazed with the results I am getting at games. When I was cropping in on one image, to be sure I had the correct outfielder’s name, I saw the fans’ facial reactions as Left Fielder, Casey Saverio, made his acrobatic catch over the fence. Check these details out! This next photo is cropped from the original photo above.

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This is the next photo in the sequence and the details are incredible! Don’t you love those fan reactions?

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The amazing thing to me, besides the incredibly photogenic fans, is the results of such a high level of cropping in these images. The D5 has a full-frame sensor and the amount of detail it picks up is amazing! I still cannot get over how good these cropped images look!

The Nikon D5 is a winner and one I am happy to have in my sports photography arsenal!

What a Day of Baseball!

Some days when you’re behind the camera you just don’t know what you’re going to see. Today I got charged by a groundhog, witnessed incredible wind gusts, saw an acrobatic catch over the outfield fence, and photographed the East Stroudsburg Warriors’ Baseball Team sweep a doubleheader against Lock Haven!

The bullpen catcher, during the game, said, “Here he comes.” A groundhog charged his way from the outfield, down the line toward me, jumped over a piece of trash, ran along the dugout, behind home plate, and slipped under the visitor’s dugout! The rodent stole the show and gained the attention of the amused fans, players, and umpires for a few moments!

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The wind gusts stopped the game momentarily at one point so the players could regain their visibility.

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A defensive play in left field was a game-saver. Left Fielder, Casey Saverio, went back to his right, on a long-hit ball deep into the outfield. It looked like the ball was going to clear the fence and be a homerun, but Saverio leaped up and snagged the ball out of the air as he toppled over the top of the fence! It was an absolutely incredible play! And there was still more to come!

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Both games of the doubleheader were well played by the Warriors. Strong pitching, consistent defense, and aggressive bats made the difference, and resulted in the two victories.

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All-in-all, it was quite a day of baseball at ESU!

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ESU Lacrosse Wins Over Fighting Raiders

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The Warriors started out comfortably ahead of the Raiders, but it became a battle. The contest started off with ESU scoring four straight uncontested goals. It looked like it might be a landslide, but Shippensburg took a strategic timeout and weathered the storm bravely. The battle was on!

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I still find capturing a scoring shot in Lacrosse to be difficult. Busy backgrounds and competing players blocking a clear view are among just two of the challenges. This goal (above photo) was scored by Cassidy McKenna in the second half.

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Shippensburg kept the pressure on and would not go away. The Warriors knew they were in a fight and they did not back down. The score was closer but they never lost the lead. Nicely timed goals made sure they kept the upper hand in this well-contested game.

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It was a beautiful day for a Lacroose game at Whitenight Field in East Stroudsburg. Fans from each team were cheering and encouraging the players from start to the very finish of this game. The Raiders would not go away and showed tenacious play time after time.

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The final score was ESU 14 – SU 12. It was a well-played game on both sides and bids well for these teams going into the homestretch of the season. On a day when Alyssa Oxenford was remembered for her battle with Leukemia, it was fitting for these teams to fight each other to the bitter end.

Big Day for ESU Baseball

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ESU hosted Kutztown on Monday afternoon for a doubleheader on a beautiful day. The weather was just right for baseball and the ESU players were just right for this matchup. Solid pitching and consistent at-bats were the plan of the day. Coaches just love it when a plan comes together!

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The Warriors scored 10 runs in the first game off two homeruns. RBIs resulted from getting men on base, moving them into scoring position, and then letting the bats at the plate do the work. With ducks on the pond, it looked almost easy.

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Baserunning is not as easy as it appears. Pickoff attempts, stealing bases, and line drives can wreak havoc for a runner on the basepaths. But ESU won these battles, too.

 

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An early collision at first base had some holding their breath for a moment or two. Fortunately, the play did not result in any serious injury. Play resumed with the runner on first base looking to get into scoring position.

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The second game seemed just as easy for ESU even though they scored half as many runs. Consistent hitting continued and the runs kept coming.

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Speed from the batter’s box to first base was also apparent in both of these games. Runners beat out a bang-bang play several times.

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ESU definitely had Kutztown in its sights. Most definitely!

Stingy Defense

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East Stroudsburg University faced West Chester University in a double-header softball game Monday afternoon. West Chester is on a roll this season, but ESU played tough and was definitely stingy on defense. Each game was close: 3-1 and 3-2. Plays at the plate, like this one above, kept the games close and within reach.

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Gritty defense and a willingness to get dirty are key components of a strong defensive effort. They say that defense wins games. Not always, but it sure does help!

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Allowing only 6 runs in 14 innings against West Chester was a huge effort for this scrappy team. Solid defense kept them in the game and only one hit away from turning the tide the other way. This may have been Opening Day for Major League Baseball, but these women put an equally exciting game on the field today!

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What is a Tear Sheet?

A tear sheet is a way for a photographer to show and prove that he or she had photographs published. It is sort of like a visual resume of your accomplished work. I was introduced to the idea by Bill Weitzmann, an experienced and accomplished photographer, who called it a “Clip File.” He showed me his clip file, which was a physical portfolio with all the newspaper clippings of his published photographs. Looking through his published photographs was truly inspirational!

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I started my own clip file right away after being so inspired by Bill showing me his extensive clip file. Over the years, I keep building up more and more published photographs and many of them are published online. So, I decided to maintain an electronic version of my clip file as well.

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As you can see in this example above, I include my photograph, the caption, and the photo credit for use on my tear sheet. This way, I can see my accumulating photographs that are being published. Over time, it is enjoyable to see all the photographs that an editor saw worthy of publication. I can also track my progress as a sports photographer to ascertain if I am improving in the quality of my sports photographs.

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Many times the university where I shoot sports, puts my photographs on their website. The example above shows an upcoming celebration for the head football coach’s 50th Anniversary. They used my photograph and provided my photo credit on the arm of the coach’s shirt sleeve in my photo.

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Sometimes my photographs even end up on various publications, like this Football Media Guide from last year. I always try to obtain a physical copy of such material, but having a record of it in my tear sheet is also good and shows others how my photographs are being used in a variety of ways.

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My growing tear sheet will hopefully show potential clients and editors that I am becoming more accomplished as a sports photographer. The tear sheet is evidence of my photographic accomplishments to date.

You can view my tear sheet here: http://bobshankphotography.com/TearSheet.html This is also a sneak peak at my upcoming website redesign. I will be rolling out the revision in the coming weeks, once everything is finalized and ready to share. I am excited about this new revision and hope it will provide a better way to show my sports photography work and capabilities. You can be sure you will be reading about my new website design here once it is ready to go!

When You Know You’re Doing Something Right



Most of us go about our work from day to day not knowing the affect we might be having on others. I always had a goal of wanting to make a difference, but quite often this is very difficult to gauge and evaluate. I oftentimes joke that I much prefer to cut the grass in my lawn than working because at least when I am mowing I can see the progress. You know, there is is truth in jest!

Compliments are rare in the workplace it seems to me these days. Attaboys and attagirls are not often heard from most bosses or employers. Our parents worked for more loyal companies who appreciated their work forces and even told them so. Worker loyalty was returned. Nowadays many of us will have two or three different jobs at a minimum.

So, how do we know when we’re doing something right? I remember an episode of NCIS when Probie Tim McGee did something right and his boss just gave him a stare. McGee’s partner said, “That look is the closest thing you’re gonna get to a compliment, Probie.” Knowing we are appreciated for the work we do seems to be a rare luxury these days. When we receive a compliment we should file it away in our memory banks or in our files for safe-keeping and archiving.

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I remember one place I worked where a colleague shared a great idea with me. She kept a “Pick Me Up” file. I had never heard anything like this before so I asked for more clarity. She explained that each and every time she receives a compliment–an email or thank you note, etc., she filed it in her Pick Me Up file. Then, on those days when she needed some encouragement, she would pull that file and read some of the contents. I’ve kept such a file ever since that day.



Here are just two examples from editors that I have in my file:

“First, thanks for the tremendous art. The photos are dynamite and we’re very pleased with the composition, timely delivery and quality of the shots. Particularly liked the shot to the helmet from today! Wow!”

Chris Mele, Editor
Pocono Record
2012

 


“Hi Bob, I’m glad that the new contract was approved and delivered.  The quality of your work is exceptional and is a great benefit for us and our student-athletes.  Also glad that you’ll be able to get to Denver for some additional seminars and ideas for how to shoot! 
Hope you have a great summer, and look forward to continuing to use your great shots!”

Greg Knowlden, Sports Information Director
East Stroudsburg University
2016

I sometimes look at these two notes and just know I was doing something right at least two times in my life!

 

ESU Lacrosse Defeats Edinboro

L160402 2294 ESU’s Lacrosse Team played a well-executed and strong game against Edinboro University this afternoon. The Fighting Scots scored first, but that lead was quickly erased by a follow-up score by the Warriors.

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It was Senior Day after all, and this team would not be denied. Quick movement and strategic plays were the order of the day, as one goal after another was racked up on the scoreboard.

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All these photos were captured with my new Nikon D5. To say it is sweet is a gross understatement. I am still getting used to shooting with it, but it is an incredible camera. I am using the Sony XQD card and it keeps up incredibly well. Today, I ran it through some of my sports photography paces and it kept up with me every step of the way!

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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!