High School Football – Pullman vs Rogers – Apr. 9, 2021

This evening Pullman High School took on Rogers High School from Spokane at Hobbs Field at Pullman High School. It was senior night and I wanted to make sure I got photos of all the seniors. I wrote down all their numbers and checked them off when I got several photos. This photo set is a little larger than most because of the extra photos of the seniors. I also was able to get a photo of all the seniors after the game when one of the coaches was taking photos.

The game itself was pretty well controlled by Pullman the whole way. At half time Pullman had a 14-0 lead. Then in the second half Pullman scored three more times to win 35-0. It was a sweet way for the seniors to finish at home.

I used the same set-up I have been using this season with one change. I went from a 50mm prime lens on the 70D to a 18-135 zoom lens. This allowed me to do even better when there is a play that happens incredibly close to my location. Prior to the game I was doing some test shots of the team practicing. I found my back-up SD card I was using was not up to snuff. Although it is a higher end card it was slow when saving when I took a bunch of photos. So I changed it back to the primary SD card and from there forward there were no issues with just holding down my shutter button.

The seniors, according to the Pullman High School roster are:
Hyatt Utzman #2
Carson Coulter #8
Ryan Bickelhaupt #10
Justin Tran #15
Maxwell Wolsborn #19
Jason Tran #23
Mason Emerson #24
Joel Moore #30
Jace Wright-Druffel #44
Zackary Farnsworth #45
Tanner Richartz #53
Gabriel Westensee #54
Kyle Volk #58
Kaleb Wilke #68

High School Football – Pullman vs Clarkston – Apr. 2, 2021

This evening I shot the Pullman High School football game against our Quad City neighbor, Clarkston High School. Clarkston got out to an early lead. They lead the whole game until the final minute of the game. Pullman had tied up the game at 34 to 34 with a chance for a PAT to go up by one. It failed but the opportunity for the game winning field goal was not missed and Pullman went on to win 37-34.

I shot with my normal setup — a 70D with a 50mm prime lens and a 6D Mark II with a 70-200mm lens. But with the crop factor of the 70D the lens acts like a 70mm. That is pretty much what I am already using. I used to put a 18-135mm zoom lens on the 70D but it is not fast glass and I miss some shots.

I have two things I am going to learn from tonight’s game. Number one is to periodically check my shutter speed. I accidentally dialed it down to 1/350 which is way too slow for football. I started the game at 1/1000. After I got home I found some blurring in a lot of photos because the shutter was too slow to stop the action.

Secondly, after tonight I realized having a camera set up that does exactly what my other camera does is pointless. Next time I will use the zoom lens even though it is slower glass.

High School Football – Pullman vs West Valley – Mar. 12, 2021

The Friday Night Lights were illuminating Martin Stadium as the Pullman High Greyhounds battled the West Valley High School Eagles. The kick off was at seven o’clock in the evening and the air was brisk.

Pullman scored first but missed the extra point as the ball bounced off the left upright. With a bit of a back and forth battle the Eagles took a lead late into the 4th quarter. The Greyhounds had two chances late in the game but couldn’t get a sustained drive.

Today I used the Canon 6D body with the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 as my primary camera. I used the Canon 70D body with a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens as the secondary camera. Just like the last football game I choose to use Auto for the ISO setting and high resolution JPEG-only shooting.

Both of these settings are money. I found a couple times where I was able to just keep the photos flying. With the RAW+JPG setting I would run into buffering issues and I would sometimes miss shots. I have yet to run into a buffering issue using JPEG-only. The auto ISO setting has been helpful especially because I am not shooting in RAW mode. Without RAW I feel like my ability to do some of the necessary lighting adjustments would be hindered. With auto ISO I am getting well adjusted photos. So I am not missing the better editing qualities of the RAW photos.

Before the last game I had read some blogs about the camera settings for shooting football. I used the settings and have been very happy with the results, as I mentioned last week. One of the other things that I read about which I didn’t mention last week was getting the player’s eyes in the photos. Last game, after looking at the photos I really noticed it added a dimension to be able to see the eyes of the player.

In today’s shoot and with the photos I chose, many of them included the eyes. Because I liked how it added to the photos I adjusted my shooting this week. I decided to try to set up more shots were I would get the face of the player and see what they were looking at during the play. I still have photos from other angles but I had more this week from the front rather than the back of the action. Martin Stadium has great lighting so the eyes really show. I wonder how well this works when the field lighting isn’t as good.

One of the other things I have done for a long time is trying to recognize players prior to the snap as well as including the linemen. The linemen do the heavy lifting but don’t always get the recognition. I’ll admit that the action is where the football is and that will never change. But I will always try to get some shots with the linemen doing the grunt work.

The other thing I try to do is get some shots of players on the field of action. When I play sports and I come across a photo of me on the field ready for some action it is pretty cool. Knowing that in a high school setting there isn’t hundreds of cameras pointed at the action, there are many guys on the field who probably don’t get to see a shot of them lined-up and ready for action. I try to include such photos in hope the players will stumble on the shot and download it for themselves.

I do, internally, root for the Greyhounds to win. I try to remain neutral in appearance but I love Pullman victories. That said, when shooting a game I am there to get all the action, even if it is sometimes not a good play for Pullman. I don’t post a lot of them but I will post them for the same reason I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

High School Football – Pullman vs Othello – Feb. 27, 2021

With the delay of the 2020 high school football season we are in the later winter of 2021 playing the 2020 football season. Kick off was around 1300. It was the first time in a long time that I was at Washington State University’s Martin Stadium watching a football game on a Saturday with a 1300 kick off.

It was a cold afternoon and COVID-19 precautions were in place. Everyone had to wear a mask and all the players had to social distance on the sidelines.

Othello got out a quick 7 to 0 lead and Pullman scored to tie it up. Unfortunately, after that it was all Othello.

I did some research to the settings that other football photographers use. I decided today to try a few things because the game was being played in the middle of the day. I used my 2x extender on my 70-200mm lens. I wanted to see what it was like to shoot a game with a 400mm zoom. I also put the ISO on auto. This was a good decision as the field was partially shaded but mostly in the sun. I also shot only used JPG without the RAW photos. This was a suggestion of several bloggers. They wrote that for fast action the RAW slows down the writing of the photos to the card and you can miss some action. I had those problems in the past so I understood what they were saying.

I think the photos were pretty good overall. I ended up taking way more than I have in the past and I think that was due to the fact that I was using JPG only and my camera was working faster. I don’t feel that I lost ability to do the editing I needed to for the photos. So I will probably continue to use JPG for football in the future. I also was happy with the ISO set to auto for the most part. I had the shutter speed set to 1250 and the f-stop as low as it would go. Normally my 70-200mm would go to f/2.8 but with the 2x extender I could only go to f/5.6. I think with it being daylight that was fine. Where I had some issued was that if I was too close to the action the lower end of the zoom (140mm due to the 2x extender) hindered getting some shots. I did have a backup camera that would go much lower but it is hard to change cameras in the middle of a play. So if the team was close I would sometimes change cameras. But other times the action came to me and I didn’t have that chance.

2019 Ruck for the Fallen

This morning I was in Oakesdale, Washington shooting photos at the Ruck for the Fallen. It is a charity event dedicated to those in the military and first responders. As taken from their facebook page:

“‘Ruck for the Fallen’ is dedicated to our pledge of supporting our lost heroes. Our goal of unwavering support is achieved by raising funds for families who have lost a first responder, an active military member or veteran in the line of duty or who are experiencing mental, emotional and physical effects incurred by the risks they face every day.”

I used both my Canon 7D with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and my Canon 70D with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM prime lens.

I tried to get photos as people left and returned from the Ruck. Today there was a 3.1 mile and a 6.2 mile course. A number of people participated in the event. Because I was trying to get photos of everyone who was involved I have decided to upload the majority of my photos. I shot approximately 700 photos between the two cameras. A number of them were at the concert that was held after the event. That was a great challenge. The lighting was great for the concert but not the easiest for shooting photos. Many of the photos have a strong blue tint. That is due to the color of the lights that were in use.

The event was a very nice event for the local community and they hope to do it again next year.

This is the largest gallery of photos I have placed in a single post.