Below is an example of text and image quality with links to galleries that should be the standard to shoot while attending high school or college football games.
Each year I have students go and shoot high school football games at Killeen’s Leo Buckley Stadium, where by the end of October it’s pretty much dark by kickoff. Why did I shoot? To show what’s expected. That even a 50+ year old can shoot football. And . . . . it’s been 4 or 5 years since I last shot a full game, so tonight. . . . no time like the present.
Friday Night Lights in Texas with two schools who should be going in different directions. The Ellison Eagles with 3 wins and 5 losses, and the Belton Tigers at 5-2 for the season so far. The sky was dark by the time victory lines formed and the choir gathered around the microphone. To shoot the game I used my Canon m50 mirrorless and Canon 5Dmkiii cameras with an array of lenses. Started the night with ISO at 2500 and went up from there. Aperture lens settings were wide open either f/4 or f/2.8 for most of the night. As you’ll see noise made appearances in the images throughout the night, so did fog both natural and man made.
I’m thinking I did good for pre-game. Got both sides of the field I’ll have time to switch from Canon fisheye lens 8-11mm f/4 and Canon 24-105mm f/4. To the big lenses of Canon 300mm f/2.8 and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8. I said you’ll have plenty of time before the action gets going. NOT. I was way wrong. 17 seconds into the game Ellison scores. Next kickoff and Belton scores. I’m still putting on lenses. Arrrgggg.
This game had lots of action and scoring thus the high five chest bumps by both teams. By the end of the first quarter it was Ellison leading 19-14. Both sides of the stadium were loud and carrying gear from one in to the other was getting back in rhythm for this old guy. By the second quarter my ISO was up to 5000 and my shutter speed never went below 1/250.
To be in position was the key all night. I shot with the 300mm as long as the team wasn’t to the 20 yard line yet. This was using the m50 mirrorless. Once inside the 20 I shifted to the short lens but hated the 5Dmkiii because of the slow shutter. Oh my gosh the number of images I lost to slowness. I thought the picture shown below that I shot before this one was better when chipping through the images on the sideline. Once in Lightroom I realized it was out of focus – that’s another story. The below was cropped, checkout the original in the gallery.
When halftime came Belton was in the lead 44-25. Should have done some math and looked at the time by then. That was to be an issue as the game resumed, but for now it’s halftime. I really want a cold ice tea right now but was switching lenses back to the Fisheye.
Up first Belton Marching 100 and then Ellison Screaming Eagle band. No Belton band pics because I took a break knowing the start of the 3rd quarter would be like.
Halftime over. Sideline performances begin. Think of it like going to Walmart on Thanksgiving night. You can’t move but if you think fast enough the images just make themselves. Did I plan rule of third? Nope, just happened. Composition is a must when shooting, if it’s ingrained in you then it just takes over the capturing.
The scoring went back and forth, so did the lenses and where I pointed the camera. From sideline to field to stands. Knowing I had another game to shoot the next day I begin to look at my watch. You see for every score it takes more time to play the game.
Normally a high school football game that starts at 7:30pm ends somewhere right after 10pm. Tonight was NOT that night. At 10:05 it was still 7 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Yes you read that correctly.
Tension heated up and so did the scoreboard. I left at 10:10pm and the score was Belton 55-36. As you can see by the emotions of the sidelines players and coaches alike were still invested in the action. In Texas there are two types of high school football. There’s small schools with 6-man football where the same Friday night Zephyr beat Evant 94-48. I was shooting large 6A high school football where scores like that are never seen until this game. Final score Belton 86 Ellison 55. The game didn’t end until almost 11pm.
Some shooting stats during my 3 hours. 1400 photos taken. Choose the best 200 from the memory cards. Narrowed that down to 150 then picked the best 51 to edit. And from that group choose 20 to put on this post. To see the complete gallery of edited and SOOC (Straight out of Camera) images click here for the Pixieset online gallery.