High School Basketball – Pullman vs West Valley – Feb. 11, 2022

It’s been nearly four years since I shot a basketball game. I took my Canon 6D with my trusty 70-200 lens. I got a new f/1.2 30mm prime lens. I put that on the 70D. As I shot I noticed the 70D consistently produced images with more grain. My 6D is a newer body. I set both of them to around f/3.3 with a shutter speed of 1/800 and auto ISO. As I look through the photos I can tell which ones were from the 6D and which were from the 70D based on the grain.

Tonight’s game against West Valley high school was senior night. It also meant Pullman would win the leave championship with a victory. Throughout the game Pullman pretty much controlled everything. Shortly after the third quarter started West Valley made a bit of a run and made it close but it didn’t take Pullman long to start running away again.

Following the game I got a few shots of the players celebrating their league championship.

I am not expert at shooting basketball. It is challenging because it seems bright inside the gym unless you’re shooting photos. So I have to compromise on the f/stop and shutter speed to get the photo without too much noise.

On top of that I have no idea what I am doing when cropping the photos. Obviously, I am trying to tell a story. I re-cropped these photos a second time. In some cases I thought the facial expressions of the players were being missed due to all the extra information in the photo. I am happier with the second cropping. In some photos I left the full body to show the height of the jump or the other battle taking place. In other cases it is upper body to show the facial expressions.

I have a friend who loves black and white sports photos. I changed all the photos I chose for this collection into black and white photos. I chose several that I thought looked pretty cool and included them in this upload.

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.