Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Local Kids Playing Big Time Football...

Last weekend I went to Lubbock to shoot the Texas Tech football game against Oklahoma State. The main reason I was going was for a story about some Abilene kids who are playing for Tech. But, only one of them gets any significant playing time. Most of them are backups. So, I was there to shoot the game as well, since after all Tech is the number two team in the country.
There are four players from Abilene, wide receiver Lyle Leong, #19, is the only one who gets any regular playing time. Backup quarterback Taylor Potts, wide receiver Landon Hoefer and defensive tackle Britton Barbee are the others that played for the local schools.
However, even though he never played here, quarterback Graham Harrell also has deep roots in Abilene. Both of his parents went to Abilene Christian University and his younger brother just transferred from the University of Tulsa to ACU to play football. So, I was also shooting him.
Since most of these guys don't see regular playing time I was able to get shots of all of the players during warmups to cover myself. The only way I would see many of these guys was if there was a blowout and the backups came in. With Okie State being ranked so high I didn't think this was going to happen, heck I wasn't even sure Tech would win.
Since the game was late, I had to really push myself to get something worth sending at the end of the first half. Well, it sounded good at least, the problem is the I was on the wrong side of the field for the Tech's two big touchdowns... it happens, but I also knew if I kept trying to be on the right side I may never be there, so I figured I'd just stick it out. Normally, when I'm shooting football I tend to camp out in the end zones as much as possible. However, in looking through my stuff, I saw some decent images but nothing real tight that I liked, so I knew I had a nice touchdown catch by Tech receiver Micheal Crabtree, so I figured I could challenge myself to get some tight stuff.
My feeling about shooting higher levels of football after shooting years of high school is it is easier. Both have their pros and cons, the college and pro games are a lot faster but offer more "big" moments, since high school games don't, my feeling is I need to make sure to get EVERY moment. I think that prepares me better, I hold myself to a lot higher standard, I expect to get THE shot from every game, no matter what level I'm shooting. The big difference is usually THE shot in a high school game is the only shot. In college and the pros, if you miss one, you can usually get another. I expect myself to get both of them.
The great thing about digital cameras are I can do some quick editing to find what I'm missing. I knew both that I had a few good shots, but also told me I needed some of the tight stuff, including some more shots of Harrell doing something other than just throwing the ball. Especially this year, Harrell was doing a lot more than just throwing the ball. He was getting under center and diving for first downs instead of just dropping back and passing, like he had been doing the last couple years. Five or ten years ago, you only needed a couple shots for the next day's paper. Now, there is a slideshow with nearly every sporting event I shoot, so now instead of needing one or two great shots I need 20-30. Ahhhh, isn't the internet a wonderful thing?

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