Archive for November, 2012

PV Wins a Thriller in the Rematch

Posted in Football, Pleasant Valley, Rematch, Sports Photography, Stroudsburg with tags , , , on November 14, 2012 by bobshank

It was a rematch from a week before–Pleasant Valley vs. Stroudsburg, and it was a thriller!

As sometimes happens, all the hard-fought battles came down to a few huge plays. A flea flicker, a field goal, and an interception were the big plays as PV fought to victory on Saturday night. It was a game for the ages!

The first big play of the game didn’t take long to develop. A flea flicker put the ball back in Leap’s hands and he threw a bomb to his receiver, Romeo. So began the rematch  and subsequent plays would not disappoint. PV scored three touchdowns in the 1st half, which was reminiscent of the previous week’s game when Stroudsburg did the same.

The battle was fought out in the trenches on the line of scrimmage. This is typical from two well-matched teams, but few fans ever notice the battles fought here. Most watch the quarterback, running backs, and receivers, as they focus on the ball. But without these battles being won, the big plays would never develop. Stroudsburg fought back twice to eventually tie the game at 21. PV’s kicker, Jordan Caffrey was called on to break the tie with a 28-yard field goal attempt. Here, in the photo below, all eyes were on that ball as it made its way toward the goal post. The kick was good and this would be the play that propelled PV to victory in this thrilling rematch!

Stroudsburg was not finished though. They put together a final drive with hopes of getting into field goal range before time ran out. But Romeo had other plans. Just as his big reception started off the scoring for the evening’s rematch, an interception late in the fourth quarter stopped the scoring and the final drive. It was then just a matter of running a few plays for PV as time ran out.

The scoreboard shows the vital statistics of a game, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. It does not, for example, show the preparation that goes into a game like this, nor does it show the hard work of each player on the line of scrimmage as they battle it out play after play. Still, the scoreboard does indicate the victor, and on this night PV would not be denied. The rematch was a thriller and lets PV continue playing deeper into the playoffs! You can view more photos of this game here.

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Don’t Fence Me In

Posted in Fence, Gilbert Viewing Area, Pennsylvania Elk, Porcupine Run Viewing Area, Wildlife Photography, Winslow Hill with tags , , , , on November 12, 2012 by bobshank

“Oh give me land, lots of land, under starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in;
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.”

These photos were taken at the Gilbert Viewing Area, also known as the Porcupine Run Viewing Area. I prefer to call it the Gilbert Viewing Area, after the family who last owned the farm before it was purchased by the Conservancy and then became an addition to State Game Lands 311. Today there is little evidence that this was a farm because the Game Commission burned down the old farm-house and the barn, which is their standard policy when they acquire land.

The fence in the foreground was put in to keep the elk viewers from venturing too far into the elk country. There is a bit of a controversy with this idea because typically State Game Lands are open to the public. The idea here in the viewing areas, however, is to keep human contact to a minimum to allow more people to view the elk. This same policy is in affect to the surrounding area of the Elk Country Visitor Center. Visitors can see the obvious red signs depicting the area off limits along Winslow Hill Road just above the Elk Country Visitor Center entrance.

This cow put on quite a show for me last month on a day that was quite on the hill. The rut was just about over and elk viewers were few and far between during the week days. I enjoyed photographing this cow with only one other elk viewer in the area. I thought it was comical to see the elk behind this fence, as I wondered if the elk was thinking, “Don’t fence me in.” My mother-in-law, Edna Rosenberry, used to sing this song to our children, Lydia and James, when they were just babies! Few of us like to be fenced in, including the wild elk of Pennsylvania!

Obviously, these elk are not fenced in. The fence in the foreground of these photos only covers a small area at the top of the viewing area. Still, I thought it made an interesting perspective. What do you think?

 

Photo of the Month Posted

Posted in Action Photography, Photo of the Month, Sports Photography with tags , , , on November 10, 2012 by bobshank

I posted the most recent Photo of the Month on my Perfect Game Photos website.

This monthly feature shows a sports photograph that I like with a story behind it. I simply show a photo and then add some text to help tell the story why this particular photograph made the cut. It is a feature I enjoy including on my sports site and I find it encourages me to keep trying for better photographs month after month.

You can see more of my sports portfolio here.

 

Bulls in Late Fall

Posted in Fall, Patience, Pennsylvania Elk, Weather, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by bobshank

The colors are not nearly as brilliant as they were a month ago, but capturing a bull in the late fall in its natural setting is still worth capturing. Some photographers limit their outings to the fall rut when the elk activity is at its peak. This is understandable, but there is not a bad time throughout the entire year that is not worth the effort to be out photographing the Pennsylvania elk.

This is true for any photo subject. The best way to get better is to be out photographing your favorite subjects as much as possible. Cal Ripken, Jr. says this: “Perfect practice makes practice.” His theory reflects that it is not just practice, but perfect practice that helps us get better. This is true in baseball as well as in wildlife photography. One problem is that we can tend to crawl up beside a warm, comfy wood stove as the days get shorter. This is a mistake for any serious photographer, especially wildlife photographers. The sun sets differently in the late fall and winter sky than it does in the summer, which creates a different sunset to capture with our cameras. As a matter of fact, I was standing out in a misty rain with my long johns on during this particular photo shoot.

The late fall sees the elk habits change, too. Sure, a few bulls are still anxious to breed a cow, but now things are slowing down and the elk are thinking more about putting on weight to endure the upcoming winter. They gain weight by eating, so the photographer has to be patient, waiting for an elk to look up from eating. Patience is a virtue and this is no more true anywhere than with wildlife photography!

So, put on some warm clothes, grab your camera gear, and venture out into the wild this late fall season. When you come back into the warmth of your home or cabin, you will be glad you braved the elements to photograph wildlife. After all, to be a good wildlife photographer we have to spend more time in their habitat throughout the whole year!

Wet Elk – Don’t be Afraid of the Rain!

Posted in Bad Weather, Elk County, Nikon, Pennsylvania Elk, Rain, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2012 by bobshank

I traveled to the beautiful mountains of Elk County after making sure that Hurricane Sandy didn’t do any damage around our home. My departure was only delayed a day and a half due to the hurricane. The forecast didn’t look promising, but I ventured out anyway. I was blessed with one of the best elk photography trips and I didn’t mind getting a little wet. Elk were everywhere, I’m assuming since the worst of the storm already passed. The conditions were excellent for wet elk photography!

You can see some of the rain drops in most of these photographs when you click on and enlarge the photographs. I think it makes a cool effect. I also like the detail of the wet fur that comes out in these photographs. Many photographers prefer fair or sunny weather. Snow and rain can potentially damage our electronic camera gear, too, so many wildlife photographers simply don’t venture out into the wild on rainy or snowy days. I think this is a big mistake. The Nikon gear that I own is weather sealed. The manufacturer says so, but I’ve also tested this out in some severe conditions on my own. Recently, I had to walk about a mile in a heavy rain with my tripod, camera, and lens riding over my shoulder. Everything was soaked when I got back to camp! I dabbed the excess water off my gear with a towel and then allowed it to all dry out slowly. The result was some interesting and different photographs and gear that was ready and workable without any damage.

This photo (above) is a case in point of what I’m talking about with the wet weather wildlife. Just look at the detail in the forehead of this cow? You can also see the raindrops come down alongside her. And the fact that she has a mouthful of nature-food adds some action to this photograph. Rainy weather does require wide open apertures and oftentimes higher ISOs. Some photos will be unusable, but the effort is definitely worth it to me!

Don’t let a little rain hinder your spirit. Grab your camera gear and get out there anyway! Wear good, warm rain gear and you’ll be able to stay out longer. After all, the wildlife do not seem to mind the wet weather and they present perfect subjects if you take the time and energy to be out there with them!