Duke’s running back (21) and Mataeo Durant fumble the ball due to the defensive pressure of Alabama’s defensive back (22) and Jalyn Armour-Davis during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff on Saturday, August 31st at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 25600, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 600)]
The ultimate sports photo for me is when there is a conflict between players fighting for the ball, and I have captured the emotions of the moment shown in their facial expressions and body language.
Getting to the game early helps me to scout the best spots to shoot from. I prefer shooting from the endzone for football because that is where the offense is trying to go.
When you are not shooting the offense from the endzone, you can see the faces of the defense.
I grew up watching ABC Wide World Classic “The Agony of Defeat” by the skier Vinko Bogataj. When plans don’t go well, and there is an “Agony of Defeat” moment, it reminds us of how difficult it is to play the sport.
You can see in this series the competition and the emotions in the body language of both players.
Getting these moments takes high-end professional gear. It would help if you had a camera that could focus quickly and shoot enough frames, so you don’t miss the action.
While following the quarterback, you quickly transition downfield to the receiver. My Nikon D5 screams speed. From the focus to the frame rate to the way you can scrub through images on the rear LCD. With your eye to the viewfinder, a light press of the shutter release see’s the camera unleash its almost endless volley of image-capturing prowess. A minimal viewfinder blackout time makes it easier to see the action and follow your subject.
By arriving early, I could get onto the field before the kickoff and capture a light moment between the two head coaches for Duke and Alabama. For this moment, I went with my Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera. Other than for fast action sports, I love this camera. Seeing the image before you click the shutter is just incredible.
You can see if the exposure is correct. You can see the white balance. You can see the Depth-of-Field. You can see if you are in focus.
The mirrorless Nikon Z6 lets you see the photo before you shoot, except for the split-second you capture. The Nikon D5 doesn’t give you this ability through the viewfinder. You could do this in live view, but not as easy to see.
There is so much more than the plays on the field, making this a community event. The bands, the celebrities, and much more, but you must look for them.
Bands, Cheerleaders, and Color Guards help bring fans to their feet.
Just coming onto the field today with a football team is a spectacle.
To keep objectivity in sports media, a photographer cannot cheer for teams while doing their jobs. This is different if you are the team photographer because you are not reporting as the media.