Michigan vs. Penn State Softball

in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

I spent the last two days photographing some incredible games on the softball field at State College. These women sure know how to put a game on the field and the action was incredible! The first half-inning ended with a failed attempted steal as shown in the photo above.

 

in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Penn State face the two-seed, Michigan, in a matchup that was sure to be a test. Penn State matched up very nicely in this first game. This is exactly why the games need to be played. On paper, this matchup did not look like much, but the fist game was way more than some scribbled prediction on a flat piece of paper.

in State College on Friday, April 29, 2016.

Efforts like this make for some mighty long-lasting memories. Penn State should be proud of its softball team and players who played this weekend. It was a memorable experience for all of us fortunate enough to be there in person!

 

Sequence Shots

The new Nikon D5 shoots 12 frames per second. It produces a very cool sound when you stand on the shutter and shoot away! Timing, however, is my preferred method for shooting sports. Even after watching a batter for a few times I can often tell when they are going to swing or not. I certainly take the situation and the count into consideration, but subtle twitches and slight movement are very telling. Sometimes, however, it is nice to lay on the shutter and shoot a sequence of shots to capture the play. These sequence shots were taken on Saturday, April 16 as Penn State Softball defeated Maryland. Third Baseman, Shelby Miller, knocked down a ball in front of her. She had to take a couple steps to pick up the ball and throw it to first. It was a bang-bang play and Miller threw out the baserunner by half a step. It was awesome! Here are the sequence of shots that I captured. I love Miller’s expression after the play was over. She was like, yeah, just another routine out!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

 

 

Penn State Softball Wins Against Maryland Again!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The Penn State Softball Team continued their winning ways on a beautiful Saturday afternoon against Maryland. It was a sellout crowd, which smashed the attendance record for the most spectators watching Penn State Softball!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

This time they started out in front with a 2-run first inning. They never looked back and posted a 4-0 shutout victory.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Alyssa VanDerveer socked a homerun for the teams fourth homerun in two days. There was no doubt about this one!

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The team is gaining momentum as they approach the final stretch of the season. This timing is perfect before the Big 10 Championships, which will be hosted at Penn State University for the first time!
on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

Penn State Softball Wins Over Maryland

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

The Penn State Softball Team won 9-6 over Maryland last night in an exciting game featuring three homeruns! I had the privilege of shooting the game from the photo wells beside the dugouts.

on Friday, April 15, 2016.

The Lions had to come back from a 1-0 deficit but quickly matched the score and then broke out in rally fashion.

on Friday, April 15, 2016.

Three homeruns in one inning attributed to the amazing rally leading the Lions to their victory.

on Friday, April 15, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

on Saturday, April 16, 2016.

I Love Football!

2015-08-30 ESU WebsiteLast week I attended the Penn State football game in State College. The Nittany Lions were hosting the Buffalo Bulls for the second game of the new season. I took my good friend and former football coach, Al Van Houten. We met my brother and my son for the pre-game activities and we visited some other friends in the RV tailgate area. Then it was game time! There is nothing quite like college football on a Saturday afternoon!

Just two days before the game I received a call from the Sports Information Director, Greg Knowlden, at East Stroudsburg University asking if I could photograph some of their football games this year. Yeah?! Of course! The only thing better for me than watching college football on a Saturday afternoon as a fan is photographing the game down on the field! So this Saturday I will be on the Eiler-Martin Stadium field to photograph the ESU game.

I covered one game last year for ESU and a few of my photos were published on their website and in the local newspaper, The Pocono Record. However, as I was doing my research before this weekend’s game, I discovered that one of my photos is featured on the 2015 East Stroudsburg University Football Media Guide! (You can see the cover below and my photo is in the upper left.) This photo was also featured in the local newspaper’s pre-season football issue.

Did I say I love football? Well, I do, don’t you?

2015 ESU FB Media Guide

 

The Importance of Perspective?

This photograph provides some perspective. It shows where on the diamond this play is taking place: home plate. There is no doubt where this is happening and it clearly provides information to the view about exactly what is happening: the catcher is tagging out a base runner at the plate. Perspective helps in many ways.

Without perspective I cannot tell a lot about where a photograph is taken. In life, without some perspective, I could jump to wrong conclusions or make assumptions that in the end prove to be incorrect. Perspective keeps me grounded and provides an anchor of sorts to keep me from sailing into choppy and dangerously uncharted waters. Yes, I definitely want to have more than a little perspective! Don’t you?

In light of the news coming out of Penn State University, I think many reporters, talk show hosts, and sports fans have lost a little perspective. Do not misinterpret me here. I know how heinous and despicable these allegations are and they are absolutely awful. No doubt about it. If my child was violated in this way I would be beyond angry.

The question in my mind comes down to what exactly did Joe Paterno know? If he knew all the details and only passed word about it up the chain of command, then he should be held accountable morally. Time will reveal the truth. So far we do know, that as far as Pennsylvania authorities reported, they are not charging Paterno of any crime. The moral question is a different matter. What should have Paterno done? Remember, this was ten years ago, too. What would have you done? Are you convinced you would have acted this way? Do you ever look the other way? What if the violator was a close friend? What if he was in a position of authority over you? Would this ever make a difference?

At least a little perspective is always needed. Matt Millen was quoted as saying, “The last time I checked we live in America where we are innocent until proven guilty.” Not only are many talk show hosts, reporters, and sports pundits already crucifying Sandusky, but they are making Joe Paterno sounding as bad or worse! Is this the right perspective?

Perspective teaches us that there is a bigger picture than many of us realize most of the time. As a visual example, look at this photograph.

What is this? Okay, yeah, it’s an animal’s eye. What kind of eye? Whose eye? When we focus too closely on something or too long on something, we lose perspective. Lose perspective and we can’t see all the details clearly and we certainly cannot see the big picture.

Tonight, the Board of Trustees made the decision to fire both Coach Paterno and the president of the university. Did they listen to the media frenzy before making their decision? According to them, they did not. I wonder about this, but I can see this decision being based on good business sense for the university. Certainly responsibility and accountability need to be placed in the appropriate places. There is no doubt about this. However, what do we know? Do we have all the facts? Do we have enough facts? The Board of Trustees did not give a specific reason for the firing of Coach Paterno. I find this interesting even though I can understand their difficult position and their ultimate decisions.

Sandusky will be held accountable by a court of law. Coach Paterno appears to be held accountable to popular opinion and the Board of Trusteees.

This is a sad week in the world of sports. Sad for the victims who suffered these awful acts. Sad for those who their parents, too. Sad for a football team that had nothing to do with these allegations. Sad for students who look up to coaches and adults. Sad for a coach who left an indelible legacy and devoted his life to coaching college football. Yes, it’s a sad week for many, many reason.

What is your perspective?