Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One Down 16 to go...

The final game of the weekend was another area match up between Colorado City and Merkel. Both were expected to have big seasons and whoever won this one was off to a good start. The game started off looking pretty good Merkel scored first, but Colorado City moved the ball well. The biggest problem is Colorado City kept shooting themselves in the foot in the red zone.
In the second quarter Colorado City started to put things together, but Merkel was still playing really well on both sides of the ball, it was just looking like one of those games that looked like it would go back and forth all night. It was a lot of fun to watch but made things a little stressful to cover given earlier deadlines on Saturday, than the normal later Friday night deadlines.
I shot until the middle of the third quarter and after I got photos that would work for both teams I ran to the pressbox to edit. Things stayed close all through my editing. I was kind of hoping one team or another would pull away, but that just wasn't going to happen. So, I sent two photos, one that would work if CCity won and another that would work should Merkel win. Finally, towards the end of the fourth quarter Merkel pulled away with the lead and with less than two minutes left they scored a TD to put things away. This was easily the best game I got to see of the weekend, I just wish I wasn't so squeezed for time. Nonetheless I was happy with what I got. Hopefully things will only get better from here.






Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Opening Weekend Day 2...

Abilene High's season opener against El Paso Hanks on Friday was one of those games I'm not sure many people knew what to expect. Last season coming off a state championship and with so many returning starters and great players coming back there were super high expectations. This year, it started without a whole lot of hype. So, when the game started and the AHS defense shut down the opposing team's offense it was starting to look like old times. Then, after they blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown it was looking like the team hadn't missed a beat from the past couple years.
Now the team they were playing, El Paso Hanks was not really a good team. But, when you rush for over 400 yards, score on every possession and don't turn the ball over during the game, it doesn't matter who you're playing, it was a good game. They won the game 77-13 with scoring the last couple touchdowns on really basic plays. Next week, though, they'll face a much tougher test so the season should be interesting, but it is always more fun to cover a winner than a loser.




Monday, August 29, 2011

Season Opener...

After a month of shooting football practice, mug shots, portraits and scrimmages it was finally time for a real game. Thursday was the first day in Texas that football teams are allowed to play a game. I think last year was the first time I didn't have a Thursday night game to shoot, so it was nice to get a game to start out the weekend. And even better, it was in town.
Something else also happened that hasn't much lately. It rain, not very much, but it still rained. As little precipitation that fell wouldn't have even been a problem normally, however, the lightning in the area that caused a 30 minute delay was. Thursday games are kind of tight for deadlines, so have a 30 minute wait during the game wasn't helping any.
The wasn't all that fantastic, it was two area teams, Munday and Stamford. On paper it looked to be pretty good and from the start it looked like it was going to be pretty high scoring. Which always helps when your shooting on a tight deadline. Well, Munday's quarterback got hurt on the last play before the lightning delay and when the game resumed it became real one-sided real quick. Stamford couldn't be stopped and Munday just couldn't answer. The game ended with Stamford winning 47-21. There was no shortage of big plays, which I missed a plenty of shots, luckily it was only the first game of the year, and there's going to be plenty more.





Friday, August 26, 2011

Cover Stories...

I'm beginning to believe the worst part of football season happens before the season even starts. It certainly seems like it may be the busiest. It has a lot more to do with the deadlines that seem to get tighter every year and not with the grind of shooting the photos... that's always the fun part. The biggest problem is the logistics and trying to make my schedule end up fitting in with kids' and coaches schedules.
Luckily, we have a lot of really good coaches in the area who make life a lot easier in getting their players back after practice in order to let me shoot the photos. Now, it wouldn't be so bad if this was all I had to do, however, for the first four days of this I'm shooting mug shots of all our area 11-man schools. Some of the cover shots work out when I'm able to get them shot after shooting mugs. However, most of them require some creative scheduling, like driving 60 miles out of my way after finishing mugs, or waiting around for a practice to finish, of hoping a kid can come back a couple hours after practice is over. But, luckily they all worked out, and for the most part I was happy with the results.
For the front cover of the tab (above), the theme was about quarterbacks so we took the best of the local quarterbacks (Cooper's Clayton Nicholas) and the best area QB (Snyder's Keenon Ward) and put them on the cover. The problem was there was no way we'd be able to get them both in the same town because of practice schedules. So, the only option was to shoot them separately and put them together in a photo illustration. Now, this would have been easy enough, I've done similar photos, however, it's always a good idea, when you walk out of the office with the lighting kit to MAKE SURE ALL THE PARTS ARE IN IT!! Like the reflectors!! Because it truly sucks to be setting up the lights and notice you have no reflectors and knowing there no way I'm going to have time to come back to re-shoot it in time. So, after a slight panic attack, I pulled out the strobes I always keep in my car and set them up on the light stands, the strobist approach worked out well this time. Note to self: don't start one of the busiest weeks of the year right after coming off vacation!


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Here We Go Again...

Last week was the first week of August, that can only mean one thing... two actually: 1) It's the start of football season, with high school starting their quests for a state title with the first week of practice, and 2) It's hotter than hell!! And this summer, it's even worse, it hasn't rained here in, I think, like 3 months. Plus, we've set a record for most days over 100 degrees and they don't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Hell, it's in the 90's at 10pm!
However, that's not going to stop football from starting on time. Kids sweating their asses off in hopes of freezing their asses off in December. At least, I'm hoping the 100 degree temps are gone by then! My trip is always the same directions every day. It's actually kind of nice, the schedule has only changed slightly over a few years. That also helps in having the coaches know that we are coming and will have their teams ready for photos. The main part of my trip is shooting mugs shots and any cover photos needed for the football tab. But, I'm also shooting practice photos for any news stories (weather, hydration, general first day of practice, etc.).
So, anyway, not only was Monday the first day of football practice it was also my first day back from a much needed 10 day vacation. However, in hindsight, I'm not so sure I'm going to make my first day back from vacation such a stressful time. It was way too much of a pain and a logistical nightmare. However, despite a few glitches, I ended up making it through and getting a few decent shots. Now it's on to finishing up the rest of the football tab photos, I'll be glad when the real games start.