Archive for the Pocono Record 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!

Capturing the Essence of a Game

Posted in High School Football, Lehighton High School, Photo Gallery, Pocono Record, Sports Photography, Stroudsburg High School with tags , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by bobshank

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The Pocono Record published another gallery of my photos, this time from Friday night’s football game in Lehighton. You can view the photo gallery here. My assignment is first and foremost to get quality photographs that tell the story of the game for the following morning’s newspaper. Deadline for submission is 9:15pm, which means the game is often still going on and the final outcome may be undetermined as yet. Therefore, I need to provide photos from each team in action so the winning photo can be representative of the game and reflect the actual winner.

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Secondarily, I provide a gallery of photos for the newspaper to display on their website. The goal here is always to capture photographs, which capture the essence of the game and the atmosphere we experience in-person at a Friday night high school football game. The options are plentiful, but some thought, creativity, and camera skills are required to pull this off. It is one thing to experience the exciting atmosphere of a football game, but it is quite another to communicate it through photos to help the viewer get a taste of the action.

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I like to say it this way: Each game tells a unique story, which deserves to be told photographically. My job is to capture the action with my camera to tell this story and freeze the special moments to make them into lasting memories for a lifetime.

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New Sports Photography Slideshow

Posted in Pocono Record, Published Photograph, Slideshows, Sports Photography with tags , , , on September 3, 2013 by bobshank

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I have a photo website dedicated exclusively to sports photography. It is called Perfect Game Photos and you can view the site here: http://www.perfectgamephotos.com/

One of the new features I added to this sports photography website is a slideshow of my published photos. Initially, I created the slideshow in Adobe InDesign and then exported it as a Flash slideshow. This worked well but had some serious limits. For example, those of you who use a tablet or smart phone were probably not able to view this slideshow.

So, since it was another stormy day in the Poconos on Labor Day, I labored just a little in front of my laptop to create a new version of this slideshow. I wanted to use Javascript so the slideshow can be viewed on just about any device. After some prep and planning, I started working out the script. It did take some time, but I ended up with just about what I was hoping to produce. You can view the end result here: http://www.perfectgamephotos.com/Slideshow.html

This slideshow features my sports photographs that were published in the Pocono Record. I am still amazed that more and more of my work is being found worthy of publication, which was a long-time dream of mine. I continue to learn all the time! I hope the trend continues but I realize that I must keep my personal expectations high. I must also keep working hard.

Sports photography is demanding at times and capturing the winning shot is not always easy. Lousy lighting at Friday night football games and nasty backgrounds at other sporting events are just two of the dilemmas that present problems for sports shooters. Keeping alert and always being ready is absolutely necessary. Nothing beats good preparation and knowing the game. Combining these skills and being the recipient of some good luck isn’t a bad combination either!

I hope to keep adding to my published portfolio. Sports photography is my passion and capturing the exciting action on the field to make lasting memories is my goal. I hope my photographs tell a sports story. More important, I hope they evoke emotion!

 

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!

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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.

Two More Photos Published with the Pocono Record!

Posted in Baseball, Mountain Valley Conference, Newspaper, Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Record, Published, Sports Photography, Stroudsburg with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2013 by bobshank
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Pocono Mountain East players celebrate victory over Stroudsburg 7-4 in the MVC Championship.

This photograph appeared on the front page of the sports section in the Pocono Record on Friday, May 17th. My photo took up half the page!

Pocono Mountain East won the game against Stroudsburg 7-4. It was the very first MVC Championship title for East. I was given the opportunity to cover the story with my camera and arrived at the field early to check in and get into position. I first had to coordinate with the sports writer to get the lineups for both sides. Having the names and numbers is imperative for writing accurate captions, which is an entire art in itself. Fortunately, one of my textbooks from Temple University covers this in-depth and offers great suggestions and examples for learning how to write better captions. I also had great training when I was a student there but I am still learning, too.

The game was an exciting one. Every time Stroudsburg seemed to gain momentum, Pocono Mountain East took it away with a timely out, and in one inning, an inning-ending double play! Things got really exciting in the bottom of the last inning. Stroudsburg scored one run but couldn’t string together the hits and rbi’s needed to take the lead. At the end of the game, with the final out secure, the players from East started their victory celebration. Fortunately, I had my camera ready and captured many shots, two of which appeared in the Pocono Record, our local newspaper, on Friday.

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Pocono Mountain East pitcher, Austin Kollar, delivers a pitch in his save to secure the victory over Stroudsburg.

I am getting hooked on sports photography! I’ve enjoyed it for many years and think my repertoire is growing enough to allow me to capture the critical moments in these games. I’ve said a while ago that I wanted to take my photography to the next level. This week I think I did!

Here is a photograph of my photo as it appeared in the newspaper:

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Pocono Record featuring my photograph on the top half of the front page in the sports section.

You can see the actual article here.