Ten Tips To Help You Make Better College Football Photos
One question that I get from time to time is how to make better football photos. I am far from an expert. There are plenty of those out there. I have from time to time put together these ten tips posts to help you make better photos. They are just little things that took me way too long to learn, and I hope that I can share some of that info with you. In the past I made a post about high school football here that covers quite a bit of the same ground. Once you get to the college game though some things change. Most of those involve access in some form. Here are ten tips to help you make better college football photos.
10. Get to the Game Early, Stay Late – One piece of advice that I give any photographer that asks me is to get to the game early and stay late. Before the game starts you have a chance to warm up along with the players. Sometimes you get something that you would never have expected by getting to the game early. The photo directly above was made well before the game started as the team was getting ready to stretch. It was one of my favorite photos from last year, and one that I would not have gotten had I not gotten to the game early. Unless you are on deadline for the wire hanging out on the field after the game can yield good results as well.
9. Plan Ahead – One huge difference from the high school to the college sidelines is the amount of people that you run into. You are not allowed in between the 30 yard lines, and the rest of the field can get crowded when the play gets there. Knowing when to move to get to a spot you want is essential. I wanted to be in the end zone as Penn State came towards me, and shortly after I moved there I was rewarded with a long touchdown run right at me. Had I waited to move I may not have had this spot, or I would have missed the action. The same can be said for switch at the quarter as well. The egress behind the benches is not optimal so if you can move a fraction quicker at the end of the quarter than everyone else you can get to your spot just a little faster.
8. Get The Jube – When I first started shooting games the first thing that I would do after a big play was to chimp and look at my LCD screen to see if I got the big play. As I did that I missed the celebration that would ensue. I still chimp a lot. Tagging photos on the fly is a great way to knock down your editing time. There is a time to do that. Right after the play is not that time. As I move on as a photographer I find that the photos that I like the most from the game are usually the photos of the jubilation after the play. The jube is usually different each time, and it is real emotion. If you follow this blog then you see a lot of my favorite photos from each game end up being some form of jube. Follow the player that makes the big play until the jube is over or they are off the field. Often you can make a good shot of a coach congratulating the players as well.
7. Shoot Wide…or Tight – It sounds crazy, but during a game change up what you are using. When on the road with the team I will sometimes sacrifice a tight action shot for one like the above shot that shows a sense of place. It breaks up the look of the photo gallery a bit, and it helps you tell the story. When you are in tight on the action though get tight. Fill your frame as much as you can. If that means moving with the play because you don’t have a long lens then do it. Continue reading “10 Tips For Better College Football Photos”