Archive for the Sports Photography 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.

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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!

 

Sports Photograph needed for an Article

Posted in High School Football, Lehighton High School, Pleasant Valley High School, Published, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on September 18, 2013 by bobshank

Lehighton v. Pocono Mountain East

The sports editor gave me an assignment to capture a few photos of a specific high school running back because they were doing an article on him this week. That was Friday. The problem was I only got the message after the game!

Fortunately, I took plenty of photographs and hoped I had some of this specific player. It turned out that I had six photos, which wasn’t bad. I learned my lesson though–check messages immediately before a game!

This sports photograph is not stellar but it does tell a story and is somewhat captivating. First, the good things about this photo: It shows the eyes of the running back, which really helps our eyes focus on him. The ball is visible in the photo. The player has good lean, which shows action. The blocking in the background by the linemen helps to add energy to the photo.

Now the bad things about this photo: I should have zoomed in closer. The subject is not isolated from the background enough. It would be better to have both of the subject’s feet in the air to reveal even more action. As you can see, I still have a way to go in improving my sports photography. I will keep trying and can’t wait to be out on the field this Friday night!

 

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?

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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Friday Night Football

Posted in High School Football, Lehighton High School, Sports Photography, Stroudsburg High School with tags , , , on September 7, 2013 by bobshank

Stroudsburg travled to Lehighton on Friday and took home a victory.

The Stroudsburg Mounties traveled to Lehighton to face the Indians in Friday night high school football. They found a team worthy of battle and a close contest the entire night. Stroudsburg struck first but it wasn’t until the second quarter. It was a defensive battle on both sides. Fans cheered as each stop was made and pads clashed. It was a nail-biter almost down to the wire

Stroudsburg travled to Lehighton on Friday and took home a victory.

The Stadium was abuzz with fans on both sides cheering for their team. The teams came into the game looking equally matched, having both won last week. Defense was stingy and yards hard to come for both sides. Some sizable runs were snarled by linemen and linebackers filling holes and making team tackles.

Stroudsburg QB Nickorak calls out the play against Lehighton on Friday night.

The final score, 13-6 in favor of the Mounties was indicative of the close game. Both teams put a quality team on the field and played a solid game. It was a great night for high school football!