Indiana State Opens Their 2017 Season Under the Lights
The day that I had been waiting months for had finally come. The start of the 2017 college football season is finally here. It has been an agonizing wait as the baseball season kind of fizzled out for me. Now football is here to save the day. What better place to start things off than under the lights in Terre Haute. This year is a fun one as both teams that I follow have new coaches and a lot of optimism for what both can do. Indiana State is full of new things. They have a new coaching staff, new uniforms, and new lights for the stadium. Every one of those things brings a little something extra to be excited about for this season. I was so excited that I was at the stadium over seven hours before the start of the game. You can view my pregame shots on yesterday’s post here.
The Will To Win
One thing that Indiana State had on Thursday night was the will to win. In a football game you are going to take some hits. Things don’t always go your way. The Sycamores came back every time with the common goal in mind. They were there to win that game. The little extra effort plays put them into the position that they were in as the clock wound down. It was fun watching them fight and claw their way back into the lead. This is a tough team that put it all out there. If that effort keeps up it excites me as that means that it will be a fun year photographing them.
Photographing In Interesting Light
As the second half was winding down there was some great light in the sky. I was struggling to get the amazing sky in the frame while still being able to make out the players. I was laying on the ground hoping that the play would come close enough that they could be silhouetted against the sky. Of course the play went to the other end, and I didn’t get that chance. I did make a couple of frames that I liked during that time though.
The Walk Out
Part of the fun of shooting for the team is getting the walk out. I love the way the players look as they stride to midfield for the coin toss. This is one of my favorite shots to get, and it looks even better with the 11-24mm lens making it. Next week in Knoxville this shot should be even better as the white away jerseys should pop against the orange backdrop.
Photographing Under the Lights
The new lights present ISU with the chance to play games whenever they want to. They are an amazing way to get some matchups later at night with less going on. They are not the best to photograph under though. It is a very contrasty (that is a word I assure you) light that is hard to balance. You want to get facial detail under the helmet while still maintaining the highlights in your photos. It was an interesting balance that made things interesting as the light faded. I moved with the play a little more as well to make sure I didn’t have to crop as much. I still think the atmosphere under the lights is worth the added work for me. It was a great night to watch some football.
A Fired Up Team
Late in the game the jube shots were coming hot and heavy as the emotions started to boil over. With the game on the line each play was bigger and bigger. I was getting good stuff, and despite being at the stadium all day I did not want the game to end. When the shots are coming you just want to keep shooting. Early in camp I thought that if this team was half as fired up as their coaching staff that they would be fun to shoot. They are as fired up as the staff, and that means that this should be a great year to photograph the team.
Brushing the Dust Off
Normally I am not so happy with my first football game of the year. I usually try and photograph something before the real deal starts so that I am not rusty. This year I was pleased with my take. With any game you have things that you wish you could do over. I have never had the perfect game, but I will keep trying to. I think that photographing some practice was great practice for me as it seemed easier to get into the flow of the game. Having a good first game means that the pressure is on next week. I always try to top my last game so if I can do that every week this year then it will be a great season. Today actually I will be at Lucas Oil Stadium photographing the start of the season for the Purdue Boilermakers. The game is just for fun for me, but the pressure is still there. A couple of nice venues in a row help a lot though as there will be more to photograph than the action.
The Best Laid Plans…
I am not going to lie. As time was winding down in the game I was on the ISU sideline. I was there when Indiana State had the ball as I wanted to get their reaction to what was happening. A missed field goal led to EIU having the ball with around a minute left in the game. I had a million things going through my head. I wanted to be by coach no matter what. Maybe he would get a Gatorade bath, or just be mobbed by his team. Either way it would have been his first win as head coach. As EIU was sacked with about 20 seconds to go with no timeouts I made the photo above. It was going to be the first of many celebration shots on that sideline. Of course two miracle passes later and I had a completely different scenario on my hands. A great gallery and photo story kind of fades into obscurity with those last two passes. What a great game and atmosphere though. The ending just did not go the way that I wanted it too. The photographers for EIU got the comeback they were hoping for. Now the Sycamores are off to Tennessee to take on the Vols. I will be there fulfilling a long time wish to see a game in Neyland Stadium. Even better than that I get to photograph it from the sidelines.