[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 trying to get a good action photo. I would shoot sports for newspapers, Associated Press, Wire Services, and Georgia Tech.
I was either looking for the game’s play 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 working for a newspaper, I usually covered the hometown team mainly. I constantly covered it for the school when I worked for Georgia Tech. Wire Service I was more balanced.
In 2008 I started covering the event for the Sponsor of the Peach Bowl–Chick-fil-A. I was still looking for the same shots, but now with a twist. I needed branding.
I often shoot 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 the position 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 has the logo.
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.