[NIKON D5, Sigma 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8 Sport + TC-2001 2X Converter, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 8000, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 440)]
I first started shooting college football when I was a student at East Carolina University.
Back then I was just trying to get a good action photo. I would shoot sports for newspapers, Associated Press, Wire Services and for Georgia Tech.
I was either looking for the play of the game, or the reaction to it.
Shooting for Georgia Tech is public relations and not journalism. I was essentially advertising the school for Georgia Tech.
You look for the celebrations after the touchdowns.
When I was working for a newspaper I was usually covering the hometown team mainly. When I was working for Georgia Tech I was always covering it for the school. Wire Service I was more balanced.
Back in 2008 I started covering the event for the Sponsor of the Peach Bowl–Chick-fil-A. Now I was still looking for the same shots, but now with a twist. I needed branding.
I am often shooting a little looser to get the logos into the shot.
For the Kickoff Games this year the teams do not have the logo for the Kickoff on the uniform.
In 2013 you can see the patch on the uniform. This made it so much easier. I was shooting tight shots and still had the brand.
However this year when I shot a tight shot, I often had no branding.
My job is to find the logos around the field and position myself where the action takes place between me and those logos.
Nick Saban, the head football coach for Alabama, put on the Trophy Leather Helmet which does have the logo on it.
Had I tried to do this when I was just starting to shoot sports it would have been impossible for me. You need years of understanding a sport to anticipate the action.
After a while it is no longer luck, but persistence that yields the results.