Archive for the Football Category

Photo of the Month

Posted in Brandon Leap, Football, High School Football, Lehighton High School, Photo of the Month, Pleasant Valley High School, Pocono Record, Poconos, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by bobshank

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

September’s Photo of the Month was likely to be a football photograph. For one thing, this is the time of year for football. After all, is there any better season than fall, and is there any better season than football season? I think not! We are definitely in the midst of football season!

It is incredible to me, but I still find myself getting butterflies on Friday nights before the games. I certainly did when I played high school football back in the early ’80s, but even now, as I am preparing to photograph a game, I find myself pacing back and forth a little bit and fighting off those nervous butterflies that fly around inside my stomach. Will I capture the moment at the exact right time with my camera? Will the photo be in focus? Will the referee run between my camera and the play? Yep, butterflies are still there flying all around in my stomach. There isn’t a feeling in the world to match it!

Some of my goals for a good, quality football photograph include: 1) the face should be showing in the frame and hopefully the eyes will be visible, 2) the ball should appear in the frame, 3) a special moment or peak action should be captured. This photograph accomplishes all three of these goals. It was a special moment in time captured by a camera so it can be recorded for all time. This to me, is the goal of good, quality photography. It is a worthy pursuit and it keeps me coming back time after time to the field to try to capture another special moment.

The next day, this photo ran six columns wide in the sports section of the Pocono Record.

You can view this new Photo of the Month and previous ones here.

The Heisman Pose – Pleasant Valley High School Style

Posted in Football, Heisman Trophy Pose, Lehighton High School, Pleasant Valley High School, Pocono Record, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on September 21, 2013 by bobshank

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

The classic pose of the Heisman Trophy is renowned among athletes and fans. It is an easily recognizable pose, which many tend to emulate in their own style. Quarterbacks, running backs, and receivers are known to strike the pose both for a photographer but also on game day out on the field in the heat of battle.

Such was the case this past Friday night on the high school field at Lehighton. Pleasant Valley traveled to face the Lehighton Indians, and both teams were 2-1 coming into the matchup. Austyn Borre gained 132 yards.  Brandon Leap carried for some yardage gains, too, and in this photo he is shielding himself from Lehighton’s Tyler Cann. Leap is running to the right and displaying that classic Heisman Trophy pose!

This photo and one of Borre appears in the Pocono Record today, Sept. 21, 2013. You can check it out here.

Got game? Brandon Leap and Austyn Borre did Friday night under the lights in Lehighton!

 

Friday Night Football’s Aerobatic Action

Posted in Acrobatics, Football, Lehighton High School, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Record, Poconos, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by bobshank

Lehighton v. Pocono Mountain East

This Friday night’s football game, featuring Lehighton at Pocono Mountain East, included some aerial attacks down field from the quarterbacks. Some amazing acrobatic action ensued!

Many fans enjoy and prefer the passing game. It’s exciting to see a quarterback drop back behind the line of scrimmage and toss a throw to a sprinting receiving. It’s even more awesome when the receiver makes an acrobatic catch! This night had it all: throws, incomplete passes, receptions, and interceptions. What is not to like about all this?

Capturing this in-the-air action with a camera is not always easy. I am sure I’ve missed plenty more than I got with my lens! However, I do believe I am getting more consistent, which is imperative when working as a freelance stringer for the local newspaper; in my case, the Pocono Record. It is crucial to get some action shots that might be deemed worthy of print by the editor. Football players jumping high into the air to catch a ball is one of the money shots. Get the ball in the shot as the players are in the air and you’ve got a chance. Oh wait, did you remember to get good focus? What about the composition of the photograph? Is your exposure right? These are hard enough to manage on a sunny day; now try to accomplish them at night under high school stadium lights! (I just have to get a new camera!!! In my case, I am dreaming about, hoping for, and trying to save my pennies for a Nikon D4! This camera is newer than mine and boasts some incredible high ISO shooting for these low-light conditions. Anyone willing to offer me a loan?)

I am passionate about sports photography and I live for this challenge to capture the action in the air!

My next game is tomorrow night and I can’t wait to have a crack at it again!

My New Portfolios

Posted in Baseball, Football, Golf, Portfolio, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on September 10, 2013 by bobshank

PV Tournament 2012-079 Matte

Sports photography is my passion! There is just nothing more exciting, challenging, thrilling, and, yes, sometimes frustrating, than photographing a sporting event. Football season is now in full swing and I am learning more and more about how to photograph the game to capture the story-telling action. I love it!

I am slowly but surely adding better quality photos to my website, so I decided it was time to create and build new sports portfolios. One of my hopes was to create a slideshow-style portfolio featuring my photographs so viewers, editors, and potential clients can easily view my work. I also wanted the portfolios to be simple, yet attractive.

My newly updated sports portfolios can be viewed here: http://bobshankphotography.com/Baseball%20Portfolio.html

I think I achieved what I was hoping for in this redesign. Take a few moments to view my photo portfolios. Let me know what you think of the new design. Does it work well to show and highlight my sports photography abilities?

High School Football Kickoff

Posted in Football, High School, Nazareth, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Record, Poconos, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on August 31, 2013 by bobshank

FB20130830-1137The High School football season kicked off last night in the #Poconos . I attended the Pleasant Valley v. Nazareth match up. Excitement was in the air well before the kickoff as fans drove and walked to the stadium, some bringing their back-supporting chairs for the bleachers. The bands’ music added to the excitement. The crowd was filled with excitement and enthusiasm for the first game of the season!

The above photo was printed in today’s Pocono Record, our local newspaper here in the #Poconos . I work as a stringer for the Pocono Record and enjoy photographing sports, which is one of my passions. There is something exhilarating about being on the field on a Friday night! It brings back many fond memories of my days of playing high school football and now I get to capture the action on the field with my cameras!

FB20130830-1161

The anticipation rose to a crescendo as the two teams were announced and ran onto the field through banners held by the cheerleaders. Then the players stood at attention as the Star Spangled Banner was played by the home band. The kickoff to open the game and the new season was greeted with cheers and the game was under way!

The Blue Eagles attacked first by putting up 6 points after a missed extra point. Then they struck again by tacking on another touchdown, this time with a successful extra point. The game was 13-0 going into halftime.

Nazareth's Marion Johnson receives a pass in the first half against PV.

The visiting band of Pleasant Valley took the field at halftime to put on a show that maintained the enthusiasm of the crowd on this opening night to the football season. The opposing band cheered loudly at times in support of the band on the field. Trumpets blared and drums kept steady beat as the band marched across the field.

Pleasant Valley v. Nazareth, 8/30/2013

The second half started with as much enthusiasm as the first. The teams rushed onto the field and the kickoff ensued. Nazareth received the kickoff this time and ran the field to score a TD on the opening play of the second half and went up by three touchdowns. PV could have rolled over. Instead, they put up 9 points of their own.

By the end of the game the players were showing some battle wounds and the final score was 31-9 in favor of Nazareth. Players and fans exited the stadium through the gates. The first game of the new season was complete!

PV's Austin Borre looks for daylight in the opener against Nazareth.

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.

The Ups and Downs of Coaching

Posted in Austyn Borre, Coach Terwilliger, Coaches, Coaching, Football, Pleasant Valley High School, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by bobshank

All coaches, no matter what sport, know full-well the ups and downs involved in coaching. One moment might be an absolute high feeling of success and achievement, while the very next moment can be a feeling of emptiness and discouragement. Few people can truly appreciate the time, commitment, and widespread feelings coaches experience!

Coach Terwilliger and his coaching staff at Pleasant Valley know and live these ups and downs every day of the football season. The spotlight is obviously on them during games under the bright lights on Friday nights, but few can appreciate all that goes in to preparing for a game each week. Film is watched over and over, practices including calisthenics, drills, play execution,  and conditioning consume hour upon hour each day leading up to the big game. Coaching is not for the faint of heart! The reward is when all the hard work comes together as the team puts into practice all the effort, learning, and coaching of the previous week.

Teamwork among the coaching staff is critical. Each coach has his specialty on the team and in a combined and orchestrated effort, the coaching staff builds on one drill after another and one week after the next. Positive attitudes and a healthy degree of humility can go a long, long way as the coaching staff tries to implement its plan for the season. A sense of togetherness and give-and-take are both required throughout the season. When these elements break down it can be a long season for both the players and coaches. Even worse, one bad call by an official can not only threaten the outcome of a game but an entire season. Talk about pressure! Remaining calm and steady; not getting too high or too low, helps tremendously.

 

Sometimes it all comes together beautifully. Such was the case last Friday night when Pleasant Valley not only won an important game, but also witnessed their freshman running back break a school record! Austyn Borre broke the season rushing record and stands to add to this total in the upcoming weeks.

Coach Terwlliger and his coaching staff certainly experience the ups and downs of coaching, but they remain steady and confident as they play through this football season. It is fun to watch, especially because all the hard work is paying off in positive ways. Skills are increasing among the players, the team is growing closer together, and lessons learned on the football field will eventually be played out in the game of life. Coaches and their importance are often overlooked. We must remind ourselves that these guys are not only teaching boys how to play the game of football, but they are turning these boys into men both on and off the field.