Football, the final frontier!
Of all the sports I have shot, baseball, volleyball, basketball, and golf, the obvious gap in my portfolio has been football ... until now. Thanks to KVSS, a local Catholic radio station, I have an opportunity each week to attend a high school game and take pictures. From the first couple games I have shot, I know the learning curve is pretty steep!
My research showed that a good football picture includes "two faces and the ball," or so the photo editors claim. This isn't as easy as it sounds. You can get lots of shots of the running back in the open or the quarterback on a roll out, and lots of shots with lots of bodies ... but two faces and a ball? Not so easy.
The really interesting part of shooting the games I shoot is that the games start at 7 pm, with full light. Within 90 minutes, we have only the light from the stadium lights. I am constantly changing settings on my camera for the first 90 minutes as the conditions change, literally by the minute. I start the game with an ISO of 200 and a shutter speed of 1/2000 seconds. By halftime, I am at an ISO of 800 and a shutter speed of 1/250 seconds. I finish the game with an ISO of 3200 trying to get a shutter speed of 1/200 seconds. For the most part, I am taking pictures in the fourth quarter simply trying different combinations on the camera to see what works best. I have never had to work at changing the settings so much during an event, but that's what happens in an evening football game. As the weeks go by, no doubt the light at the beginning of the game will not be as good as it has been the past two weeks.
All in all taking football pictures has been a good experience. Check out the Photo Gallery tab and look at some of the football galleries I have taken so far. Look for how many "two faces and a ball" shots there are in the bunch.