I won’t lie, I’m really enjoying photographing these UM games. This week’s game was UM vs. Virginia Tech. Two teams that always play hard against each other and also a vital game in the ACC standings. What made it even better was that it was a night game and the temps were in the high ’60s.
My last experience with shooting at sports only two weeks ago at the UM vs. FSU game gave me great insight into how to shoot this game settings wise. What I did not expect was for the stadium lighting to be dimmer than the previous game. Thankfully I always get onto the field an hour before kickoff to catch warm ups and get my settings locked in. What I like about shooting under the lights is that my settings will pretty much remain constant unlike games in the day where I have to be mindful of the sun being out or clouds blocking the sun.
Prior to the game, Army paratroopers parachuted out of a plane and onto the field. I had a great view as they paratroopers flew right above me and onto the field. When they first jumped you couldn’t see them until they had some lighting thingamabob on and then you could see spirals of light through out the air. It’s the little things for me.
For this game I decided to switch it up a bit. For the first half I was running up and down the sidelines with the action and I did my fair share of running. With ESPN there again I had to be mindful of the cables on the ground and not trip. Lord knows the fans would never let me hear the end of it. For the second half I sat in the endzone waiting for the action to come to me.
The game was moving pretty quick in the first half. I had mostly shots of Virginia Tech because they had possession of the football longer than UM. I won’t lie, I thought I was covering the game for Virginia Tech because my photos were all of them. Luckily in the second half I was able to grab more UM photos.
I never stick around for the half time shows because I’m usually grabbing a Gatorade and a hotdog to refuel my lean, mean, muscle machine of a body. Well it sounded good right? Today’s half time was a different, they were honoring Cortez Kennedy and Jimmy Johnson, former player and coach for UM. I stuck around to watch and after found a spot for me near the goal post for the 2nd half. Thankfully I paid attention to my surroundings as warmups for the 2nd half started a punted football was kicked errantly in my direction and I was able to corral it one handed before it hit my gear.
Now I normally don’t interact with the mascots, but for whatever reason, tonight I was getting picked on by both team’s mascots. I found it funny. I won’t lie I always wanted to run and just tackle a mascot and then get up and run. I’m sure you can blame Ace Ventura for that idea.
It always feels like I shoot the same players over and over each game. I always try to get new players etc. but it’s always the same players with the ball in their hands and that is where the action is so I follow the action. It was funny I was standing next to an ESPN cameraman and on his vest was a list of players to keep an eye on and it was the same players I was shooting because they had the ball.
As the game wore on, it was obvious that Miami was going to win. I was happy, as a fan of course. I still have a hard time trying to separate the fact that I’m there to document the game unbiasedly but the fan in me still comes out. I take solace in seeing other photographers grapple with the same issue.
It’s taken a few games but now other photographers are more friendly towards me. I just wish we were good friends, say friends who let each other borrow their $5,000 lenses. I’m still working my up to that. Soon, because there is only one home game left in the season.