Illinois Knocks Notre Dame Into the Loser’s Bracket
Game two of my long Sunday was this big matchup between Illinois and Notre Dame. There was just enough time between games for me to stop and watch the fans and the players. They were both equally pumped. This was the big game of the tournament. The team that won the game would be in the drivers seat to advance to the next round. They could take the rest of the day off, and someone would have to beat them twice the next day. The team that lost the game would have to play a game less than an hour later with their tournament lives on the line. The game lived up to the pregame hype as Illinois used one big inning to win the game 3-0. Both pitchers had a good game, but one was just a little better.
Finding the Small Moments
The nature of Illinois Field made it hard to get dugout reaction shots. They are below the field level with a chain link fence directly in front of them. I really wanted some candid shots, but due to the nature of the event they would not allow it. Had I known that I was not allowed on the field I would have shot many more pictures on the first day when I was on the field. Instead on that day I focused on some things for the Notre Dame marketing staff. Just before the start of the game though I noticed Torii Hunter Jr. at the end of the Notre Dame dugout. With the NCAA logo just outside of his body I waited for him to look my way. When he did so and blew a bubble I was thrilled. It is not often that you get excited with a photo of a player blowing a bubble, but I like this one.
Trying the Multi-Exposure Again
As the game wore down I was starting to feel like I was making the same photos over and over. I was 16 innings into my day so I wanted to spice it up a bit. I wanted to try a slow shutter speed on the base runners, but my position wouldn’t allow it. I decided to try to make a multi-exposure of the Notre Dame pitcher Ryan Smoyer. He was having a good game, and I saw that his motion would allow me to make a really tight photo. I used the Canon 400mm f/2.8 on my Canon 7D Mark II to get in really tight on the pitcher. I have made a lot of multi-exposures, but never one this tight. I usually shoot a little loose so I have room. I can always crop in later. When it comes to this point in the game though you can afford to try something. I decided to go for it, and I was rewarded. I am very proud of the fact that this photo has not been cropped.