Over the past few months I’ve covered prep sports at Meridian High School in Laurel north of Bellingham, Wash. Overall it’s fun and yet challenging.
But I must apologize to the Lady Trojans softball team for not making it to enough games. Unfortunately, due to circumstances like rain, schedule conflicts, and more rain, I missed out on covering the Lady Trojans softball games. The games were postponed or scheduled when I had other plans.
For the Cure:
As a result, I missed all but their last two home games. It would have been nice to be able to attend more and give them better photographic coverage.
Photographing fastpitch softball is like baseball: you have to be on our toes, be mobile to move to different spots, and pay attention to the game.
Watching The Runner:
This is the first year for the new head coach Jordan Chambers. Being as it’s the coach’s first year, so it’s a building year. New teams tend to take a few seasons to work the bugs out. But I believe with a little extra hard work, the team can become contenders.
As the games tend to be high scoring, you have to concentrate more on the game when runners are on base. They tend to defy logic and run full tilt to home when given a chance. So paying attention is extremely important.
Two major challenges I had to overcome: lack of rosters and a 7 foot high silver fence around the field.
As I don’t like not having names for people in photos as I think it looks like sloppy and lazy journalism. Having a roster would be nice so I can at least identify the girls. Who doesn’t like their photo in the paper and not their name?
Over the past few years, Meridian invested in improvements to the field. One of them is a new galvanized fence. Unfortunately, the fence is still shiny silver and very difficult to shoot through. It is 7 feet high so photographing over it is nearly impossible.
To get around it somewhat, I step into the dugout and shoot through the open door. Gotta try to get clean photos. For the photos I do end up shooting through the fence, I just burn the flare down in Lightroom or Photoshop. Just enough to get rid of the spot and add contrast.
I think next year I’m going to bring a ladder and hook it to the top of the fence so I can shoot over it. I’ve had to do something similar when I was in college at Western Kentucky University. My friend Daniel Wallace (he now works at the St. Petersburg Times) and I put a picnic table against the fence so we can stand on it. We were shooting the game for the College Heights Herald and the Bowling Green Daily News.
We got the same photo, but since the Herald published that night and the Daily News was an afternoon paper, his was published first. As a result, the editor at the BGDN saw it and pulled mine. We had nearly the same photo. Here it is: Western 2nd Baseman Jumping.
Ready For Action:
One of the things I do when covering sports, I just don’t wait for action. I find compositions for players as they wait, seek subtle moments, and keep focused on the game. Again, you never know when the play happens that changes the game.
Another Serious One:
For the above two photos, I can’t decide which one I like better. In the top she has an intense look on her face, in the other she is ready to pounce.
Which one do you like better and why?
I see a lot of potential for Meridian as they begin to coalesce into a well-rounded team.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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