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!

 

Undefeated!

East Stroudsburg South v. East Stroudsburg NorthEast Stroudsburg South is undefeated and are the Mountain Valley Conference champions for 2013! They rolled in their last game against rival East Stroudsburg North. The air was filled with anticipation well before kickoff. It was Senior Night for North, too.

East Stroudsburg South v. East Stroudsburg NorthNorth made it interesting early, responding to a 7-0 deficit by scoring a touchdown of their own. The extra point was missed, but the response was noted. Niko Petrone scored touchdown after touchdown and the undefeated season was secured.

East Stroudsburg South v. East Stroudsburg North

 

 

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.

 

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?

PV Wins a Thriller in the Rematch

It was a rematch from a week before–Pleasant Valley vs. Stroudsburg, and it was a thriller!

As sometimes happens, all the hard-fought battles came down to a few huge plays. A flea flicker, a field goal, and an interception were the big plays as PV fought to victory on Saturday night. It was a game for the ages!

The first big play of the game didn’t take long to develop. A flea flicker put the ball back in Leap’s hands and he threw a bomb to his receiver, Romeo. So began the rematch  and subsequent plays would not disappoint. PV scored three touchdowns in the 1st half, which was reminiscent of the previous week’s game when Stroudsburg did the same.

The battle was fought out in the trenches on the line of scrimmage. This is typical from two well-matched teams, but few fans ever notice the battles fought here. Most watch the quarterback, running backs, and receivers, as they focus on the ball. But without these battles being won, the big plays would never develop. Stroudsburg fought back twice to eventually tie the game at 21. PV’s kicker, Jordan Caffrey was called on to break the tie with a 28-yard field goal attempt. Here, in the photo below, all eyes were on that ball as it made its way toward the goal post. The kick was good and this would be the play that propelled PV to victory in this thrilling rematch!

Stroudsburg was not finished though. They put together a final drive with hopes of getting into field goal range before time ran out. But Romeo had other plans. Just as his big reception started off the scoring for the evening’s rematch, an interception late in the fourth quarter stopped the scoring and the final drive. It was then just a matter of running a few plays for PV as time ran out.

The scoreboard shows the vital statistics of a game, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. It does not, for example, show the preparation that goes into a game like this, nor does it show the hard work of each player on the line of scrimmage as they battle it out play after play. Still, the scoreboard does indicate the victor, and on this night PV would not be denied. The rematch was a thriller and lets PV continue playing deeper into the playoffs! You can view more photos of this game here.

The Ups and Downs of Coaching

All coaches, no matter what sport, know full-well the ups and downs involved in coaching. One moment might be an absolute high feeling of success and achievement, while the very next moment can be a feeling of emptiness and discouragement. Few people can truly appreciate the time, commitment, and widespread feelings coaches experience!

Coach Terwilliger and his coaching staff at Pleasant Valley know and live these ups and downs every day of the football season. The spotlight is obviously on them during games under the bright lights on Friday nights, but few can appreciate all that goes in to preparing for a game each week. Film is watched over and over, practices including calisthenics, drills, play execution,  and conditioning consume hour upon hour each day leading up to the big game. Coaching is not for the faint of heart! The reward is when all the hard work comes together as the team puts into practice all the effort, learning, and coaching of the previous week. Some Kratom, Kratomystic,https://kratomystic.com  for recovery helped them out significantly during downtimes.

Teamwork among the coaching staff is critical. Each coach has his specialty on the team and in a combined and orchestrated effort, the coaching staff builds on one drill after another and one week after the next. Positive attitudes and a healthy degree of humility can go a long, long way as the coaching staff tries to implement its plan for the season. A sense of togetherness and give-and-take are both required throughout the season. When these elements break down it can be a long season for both the players and coaches. Even worse, one bad call by an official can not only threaten the outcome of a game but an entire season. Talk about pressure! Remaining calm and steady; not getting too high or too low, helps tremendously.

 

Sometimes it all comes together beautifully. Such was the case last Friday night when Pleasant Valley not only won an important game, but also witnessed their freshman running back break a school record! Austyn Borre broke the season rushing record and stands to add to this total in the upcoming weeks.

Coach Terwlliger and his coaching staff certainly experience the ups and downs of coaching, but they remain steady and confident as they play through this football season. It is fun to watch, especially because all the hard work is paying off in positive ways. Skills are increasing among the players, the team is growing closer together, and lessons learned on the football field will eventually be played out in the game of life. Coaches and their importance are often overlooked. We must remind ourselves that these guys are not only teaching boys how to play the game of football, but they are turning these boys into men both on and off the field.