Tuesday, October 21, 2008
After 7 weeks, finally a good shot...
Saturday was a little unusual, I had to shoot a football game out of town. Now, in about three weeks this isn't going to be all that unusual when the high school football playoffs start. But this week's game was a college game. It's almost unheard of for us to go out of town to shoot a college game. This week's game was pretty big though, Abilene Christian University (#3 in the nation in Division II) went to Canyon to play West Texas A&M (#4 in the nation in Div. II). Not only was this game going to more than likely decide who the conference champion would be, it was also going to decide the number one ranking in the region... and who will probably get home-field advantage in the first three rounds of the D2 playoffs.
The game was everything it was cracked up to be. There was a huge crowd, the West Texas A&M fans know how to fill a stadium and give a hostile atmosphere. The crowd of 19,380 was the bigger than most college games I've covered lately (none of the local colleges bring in more than 5 or 6,000 a game, of course high school games are different... this is West Texas after all).
The game was a 6pm game, which on a Saturdays usually means you have the sports-front photos in by halftime. Luckily, ACU came out big in the first half, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first half. Then when WTAM was driving at the start of the second quarter a long pass was intercepted by ACU, and to add to things the WT wide receiver in an attempt to break up the catch yanked on the facemask of the DB as he was pulling it in. I don't often hold my breath after a play hoping I got the shot, I usually know whether I got it or not. On this one I swung my camera to get the shot and was hoping my autofocus was quick enough. Obviously it was, I breathed a huge sigh of relief, knowing I'd have something to send at halftime.
Now, just because I had sent a nice photo at halftime, that doesn't mean I sit in the pressbox the rest of the game and surf the internet. The web being the main reason. Also, if I got a better shot at a similar shape, the front photo could be changed out, or there was more room on inside pages. Plus, if ACU was going to win, a celebration shot was needed, so my job wasn't close to being done.
By the time I had edited and sent my photos and meandered through the crowd to get back to the field it was halfway through the third quarter, and WTAM was making a comeback. Both teams were lighting up the scoreboard, which always makes for nice photos. Passing is a double-edged sword, it makes nice photos, but it also extends the game. Luckily, ACU started running the ball more to kill the clock and the game was over by 9:45. That gave me 15 minutes to download and send my photos. At this time I knew the action shots I sent at halftime would work, so I concentrated on the post-game celebration stuff, which cut my editing time down quite a bit. After that, it was editing the slideshow for the web. I think I put in about 30 shots from the game, but the slideshow is a little more relaxed, since there is no hard deadline to get it done.