Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm Starting to Hate Volleyball a Little Less...

But, only a little bit. I'm still not going to be jumping to cover volleyball over any other sports. But at the same time, I'm not going to contemplate calling in sick every time I see a volleyball assignment if I keep getting decent matches like I did the other night. Now, it does help that Abilene High and Cooper were playing each other, and as big as this rivalry is finding good emotional shots aren't that hard. I think if these two teams had a chess or checkers match there would be 1,000+ people there screaming and shouting for their team.
This match really didn't have a whole lot riding on it. Abilene High had been eliminated from the playoffs and Cooper was nearly locked in to where they would play. Basically this one was for pride and bragging rights. I was kind of expecting Cooper to win it, AHS had looked awful in the last few matches I saw them play and Cooper was improving. But, as it always seems to go, when you get to a rivalry game you throw records out the window, they just don't matter. And Abilene High proved that, taking a bite out of their crosstown rivals despite not having much left to play for. That is the great part about covering girls sports, the pure raw emotion shown by the players in their win made for some decent shots.







Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making the Shoe Fit...

It's my turn in the photo column rotation again. Having been short a photographer for nearly a year now it's getting tougher to come up with decent ideas that I like. So I've resorted to cruising craigslist to drum up some ideas for my old standby, people with unusual/interesting jobs. That's how I came across RJ Little. He's a farrier, he shoes horses and trims their hooves. I had actually found another one a little earlier but he wasn't from the area. So, I called him up and after talking to him for a bit he told me he'd be working on a bunch of horses on Monday.
This actually really worked out well, given that I'd be able to spend most of the day hanging out and shooting photos. It take about an hour per horse and I shot RJ working on about five different horses. The first one I got a bunch of safe shots and seeing how he works and the whole process he goes through. after that I could anticipate what he was doing and be ready for each step. It was really cool seeing the way he worked and how good he is with the horses. It made for a really fun story to shoot and was a nice change from shooting sports once in a while.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

College Homecoming isn't as Bad...

After a late night of shooting a long high school game it was kind of nice to shoot a game without a tight deadline. And, while this was also a homecoming game, the nice thing about college halftimes is they aren't nearly as long as its high school counterpart. Plus, I don't have to shoot the homecoming queens, so that's one less thing to worry about.
ACU was playing West Texas A&M which is usually a pretty big rivalry game as both teams are usually pretty good. WT, this year, isn't quite as good as they have been in the past. But one thing that can usually be counted on is a whole lot of offense. A couple of years ago, during a playoff game, ACU beat them 93-68.
This time though, the defenses got an invite to the game. There wasn't the typical marching up and down the field constantly for 60 minutes. There were, however, some really nice defensive plays. If I'm watching a game, I like seeing a lot of good defensive plays and a fairly low scoring game. But, when I'm shooting, I prefer a good dose of offense, that just wasn't happening on this day, so I had to make the best of what I was given. Luckily there were a few decent TD's in my direction. Add that in with some nice defensive plays and it turned out to be a decent day.







Monday, October 24, 2011

Hatin on Homecoming Halftime Shows...

Homecoming football games are never fun to shoot. Here's the problem... Most of the time the opponent is not very good because teams schedule teams that they can beat. So, not only am I going to the stadium knowing the game won't be great, but then I have to deal with nearly an hour-long halftime! One of the few good things about it is the halftime, however. There's usually a nice reaction shot from the homecoming queen.
Due to scheduling Abilene High was at least playing a district game for their homecoming against Midland Lee. After watching Lee get blown out the week before by Cooper I wasn't figuring this would be much of a game. But, Lee came ready to play and adding in two onside kicks they kept the game close. The game never really felt like there would be an upset but Lee stayed pesky pretty much the whole game. This just pushed things later and later and made me start to get a little nervous about missing deadline. Luckily Abilene High started to put things away toward the end and I could rush up and get some pictures sent quick.





Saturday, October 15, 2011

Rainy Day Abilene...

Last Saturday was supposed to be a pretty easy day, two football games, starting an hour apart and then one other event and done. These "easy" days never seem to work out that way. As I was pulling into the parking lot at Hardin-Simmons rain started pouring down, then the thunder and lightning came. I was hoping this would be short and the big rains would come in later at night. Too bad the weatherman was wrong, again.
I sat in the press box for a little over an hour waiting to see if they were going to play the game. I grabbed a shot while I was there. After getting word the game was going to be delayed at least a few hours I figured it was time to go look for weather photos. As hard as the rain was coming down and with all the lightning in the area, it was a pretty futile trip. Everyone was indoors and rightly so, sadly this didn't make for great photos.
By the time I got back to the office, I was told the football games that were supposed to be 1pm kickoffs would finally start at 7pm. When I got to Hardin-Simmons the rain was still coming down steadily and I was standing in about an inch of water on the sidelines. The game was sloppy and the real grass field didn't suck in the water nearly as well as it did across town at McMurry who has FieldTurf. I gotta say though, Hardin-Simmons was a lot more fun to shoot in that night! With all the water on the field the players were sloshing around and sliding all over the place. It wasn't real pretty to watch but made for some nice photos. The field goal shot pretty much summed up the day. I never thought I'd have a photo of a plain old 27-yard field goal make the front page of the newspaper, but when you get 3.5 inches of rain during the day, things seem to change.


Friday, October 14, 2011

District Opener...

Cooper played their district opener against Midland Lee last Friday. After having a tough start the Cougars righted the ship winning three straight. Lee was coming in to the game undefeated, but not having played anyone really tough. On paper it looked to be a pretty good game. Then the game started. Lee's offense was horrible and Cooper's defense was playing lights out. Not the best combination for Lee, and a really favorable one for Cooper.
The only problem with the game is Cooper was getting things done so easily they played a pretty vanilla offense. Not a lot of really great plays just pounding the ball and throwing some short passes and getting good yardage with it. Luckily the defense was playing well and making some nice plays. One really cool thing about this game was the high school kids mimicking the pros and the players and the coaches wearing pink in support of breast cancer awareness month.







Thursday, October 13, 2011

Volleyball Doubleheader...

It's no secret my dislike for volleyball. It has nothing to do with the sport or that is a girls sport. In fact there are a lot of thing I like more about women's sports than the men's. Like emotions, the girls tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves more often, win or lose. But volleyball, I think the best answer is, I just suck at it. And, everything I seem to shoot tends to look the same.
Anyway, I had to shoot both Wylie and Cooper playing at the same time. Well, Cooper ended up starting a little later because their JV took forever. Unfortunately, I went to Cooper first. Luckily I work with some really good reporters who are willing to help me out and keep me informed of what going on at the games. This helped out a lot. I had the reporter working the Cooper game text me when the game started and the end of the first game. The plan was to miss the first game at Cooper while I went to shoot at Wylie.
Normally I try not to shoot two games playing at the same time. However, both of these games were being played for the lead in district. For Wylie this was expected. For Cooper, well not so much. By the time I got to the Wylie game they had easily won their first game and were looking like they'd take the match pretty easily... which they did.
The good part about that was since the Cooper game started so late I was able to make it to Cooper at the end of the second game, and the teams split the first two, so there was going to be at least two more games. Just what I needed to work out. This gave me time to make a few shots from the floor as well as being able to go up high in the stands and shoot from there too. It's not often I look at my volleyball photos and am happy with them, I guess this time the stars aligned for a few decent shots.