High School Football – Pullman vs Toppenish – Sept. 10, 2021

Friday was a big day for me as a photographer. I started with doing photos at Chief Jim Krouse’s funeral. He died in the line of duty fighting a wildland fire near Colfax.

That evening I was in Pullman to shoot the first game of the 2021 football season. Pullman had a tough time playing against Toppenish High School. Toppenish has a top-ten wide receiver who had more than 200 yards receiving. Congratulations to that young man, Jason Grant.

Pullman got out to an early lead scoring their only touchdown while the score was zeros. After that it was all Toppenish. In fact, as I was going through my photos I found many more showed Toppenish in the favorable light. I was able to pick around 35 photos to display. I had more than 1,000 photos to choose from.

The way I started to shoot photos last year, with the camera on high resolution JPG and no RAW increased the number of photos I take by almost 100%. I also like my other settings, such as Auto ISO, which have helped me get high quality photos, overall. I went into more depth in a previous post. Unless I learn something better I think I will be keeping the settings.

Due to the weather it was a light misty-rain when I arrived, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get photos. As it turned out there was no rain to speak of once kick-off happened. But due to the worry about the rain I only had one camera with me. These all were shot with the Canon 6D with the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 lens.

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 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.

High School Football – Pullman vs East Valley – Oct. 4, 2019

This evening I was shooting photographs at the Pullman High School football game at Hobbs field. The game was between Pullman HS and the East Valley Knights.

Pullman dominated the whole game with the final score of 41 – 0.

During the game I used by my Canon 6D with the Canon 70-200 lens. I also was using the Canon 70D with a 50mm prime lens. I used my Spider Pro camera holster system. It worked very well for what I was doing.

I was able to speak to the sports photographer, Kai Eiselein, who works for the Daily News. He game we some pointers and tips about the camera settings for shooting the game. A little more than half the photos were shot with my adjusted settings and the others were shot at the settings I was using last week.

I seem to always be playing around with the settings in the manual mode in order to find the right balance between the shutter speed, ISO setting, and f/stop. I also changed the focus point on the 6D which made a huge difference in getting my photos later in the game.