Sports Tips & Tricks

Tournament Time: My Favorite #Basketball #Photos this Season

As high school basketball season here in Bellingham, Wash., and the Pacific Northwest begins to wind down, tournament time is beginning to ramp up. Here are a few of my favorite images from this season’s basketball games:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Lynden Christian guard Zach Roetcisoender (31) drives between Bellingham guards Austin Shenton (42), left, and Dante Check (15) during the third quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.15, 2014. Roetcisoender made the basket for two points with no fouls called

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden Christian guard Zach Roetcisoender (31) drives between Bellingham guards Austin Shenton (42), left, and Dante Check (15) during the third quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.15, 2014. Roetcisoender made the basket for two points with no fouls called.

 

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Lynden Christian guard Zach Roetcisoender (31) drives between Bellingham guards Austin Shenton (42), left, and Dante Check (15) during the third quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.15, 2014. .

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden Christian guard Zach Roetcisoender (31) drives between Bellingham guards Austin Shenton (42), left, and Dante Check (15) during the third quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.15, 2014. .

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Anacortes' Stella Gillman (20), left, and Lynden's Shaye Brandsma (14) fight for possession during the second quarter in varsity girls basketball at Lynden Christian High School in Lynden, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.1, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Anacortes’ Stella Gillman (20), left, and Lynden’s Shaye Brandsma (14) fight for possession during the second quarter in varsity girls basketball at Lynden Christian High School in Lynden, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.1, 2014.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Images from Anacortes Seahawks vs Lynden Christian Lyncs in varsity girls basketballl at Lynden Christian High School in Lynden, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.1, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Images from Anacortes Seahawks vs Lynden Christian Lyncs in varsity girls basketball at Lynden Christian High School in Lynden, Wash., on Monday evening Dec.1, 2014.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11), center,  gets the rebound over Ferndale's Sky Freeman (2) left, and John Weg (32) right, during the first quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 5, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11), center, gets the rebound over Ferndale’s Sky Freeman (2) left, and John Weg (32) right, during the first quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 5, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11) shoots over the head of Ferndale guard John Weg (32) during the second quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 5, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11) shoots over the head of Ferndale guard John Weg (32) during the second quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 5, 2015.

 

The Meridian Trojans take on the Squalicum Storm in varsity boys basketball at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan.  19, 2015.

The Meridian Trojans take on the Squalicum Storm in varsity boys basketball at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 19, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Squalicum’s Damek Mitchell (24), left,  Josh Vail (14), and Darius Powell (230, right, battle with Meridian guard Alex Martin (14) for possession during the thrid quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 19, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum’s Damek Mitchell (24), left, Josh Vail (14), and Darius Powell (230, right, battle with Meridian guard Alex Martin (14) for possession during the third quarter at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 19, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Western Oregon forward Marawan Sarhan (33), left, attempts to block a shot from Western Washington guard Kyle Impero (2) during the first half at Carver Gymnasium on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday evening Jan.24, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Western Oregon forward Marawan Sarhan (33), left, attempts to block a shot from Western Washington guard Kyle Impero (2) during the first half at Carver Gymnasium on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday evening Jan.24, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Western Washington guard Harris Javier (12) attempts a lay-up during the first half against Western Oregon Universiy  at Carver Gymnasium on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday evening Jan. 24, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Western Washington guard Harris Javier (12) attempts a lay-up during the first half against Western Oregon University at Carver Gymnasium on the campus of Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday evening Jan. 24, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Bellingham forward Paige Jacobsen (30), left, wrestles the ball from Sedro-Woolley forward Jordan Stapleton (33) to win the rebound late in the second quarter at  Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham forward Paige Jacobsen (30), left, wrestles the ball from Sedro-Woolley forward Jordan Stapleton (33) to win the rebound late in the second quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Bellingham guard Kylie Clark (2) shoots a free throw against the visiting Sedro-Woolley Cubs early in the first quarter at  Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Bellingham guard Kylie Clark (2) shoots a free throw against the visiting Sedro-Woolley Cubs early in the first quarter at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - The Sedro-Woolley Cubs play the Bellingham Red Raiders in girl's high school  basketball at  Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – The Sedro-Woolley Cubs play the Bellingham Red Raiders in girl’s high school basketball at Bellingham High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Jan. 26, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Sehome guard Marcus Montag (23), left, gets the rebound during the first quarter against Squalicum at  Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening Jan. 27, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Sehome guard Marcus Montag (23), left, gets the rebound during the first quarter against Squalicum at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening Jan. 27, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Sehome guard Marcus Montag (23) shoots and scores against Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11), right, during the first quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening Jan. 27, 2015.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Sehome guard Marcus Montag (23) shoots and scores against Squalicum point guard Harper Moore (11), right, during the first quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday evening Jan. 27, 2015.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Lynden guards Andrew Kivlighn (21), left, and Sterling Somers (13) attempt to block a shot by Sehome guard Leif Anderson (13) during the first quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Feb. 2, 2015. Anderson made the shot as Sehome went on to defeat Lynden 69 to 67.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden guards Andrew Kivlighn (21), left, and Sterling Somers (13) attempt to block a shot by Sehome guard Leif Anderson (13) during the first quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Feb. 2, 2015. Anderson made the shot as Sehome went on to defeat Lynden 69 to 67.

 

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Sehome forward Logan Deboo (5), left, knocks the ball from Lynden point guard Scott Hasting (23) during the second quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Feb. 2, 2015. Sehome defeated Lynden in overtime with a score of 69 to 67.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Sehome forward Logan Deboo (5), left, knocks the ball from Lynden point guard Scott Hasting (23) during the second quarter at Sehome High School in Bellingham, Wash., on Monday evening Feb. 2, 2015. Sehome defeated Lynden in overtime with a score of 69 to 67.

I’m looking forward to tournament time and the upcoming soccer, baseball, and softball seasons.

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Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

#MountBaker vs #Montesano #Football in #District1A #Playoffs

Just a quick post with a few photos.

This past Saturday I photographed Mount Baker Mountaineers as they soundly defeated the Montesano Bulldogs 41 to 28 in the first round of the Washington state District 1A playoffs. It was a cold bitter night as the Mountaineers took control of the ball from the start.

Missed Opportunity:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5)  during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Johnny Mata (23), right, evades an open field tackle by Montesano linebacker Logan Truax (5) during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

The Mountaineers play Saturday Nov. 22, 2014, and I’m looking forward to seeing them and their powerhouse offense against Eatonville.

You can view more images in the gallery Montsano vs Mt. Baker in District 1A Playoff

 

Behind the Line:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano running back Tanner Birdsall (22) is tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Mount Baker linebacker Jed Schleimer (4) for a loss of yards during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano running back Tanner Birdsall (22) is tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Mount Baker linebacker Jed Schleimer (4) for a loss of yards during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

 

Interception:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano's Logan Truax (5) intercepts a Mount Baker pass  during the final minute of the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano’s Logan Truax (5) intercepts a Mount Baker pass during the final minute of the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

 

Line Dancing:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) attempts to stay inbound after Montesano line backer Jake Herzog (9) misses the tackel during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014. Schleimer was called out of bounds by the sideline referee.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) attempts to stay inbound after Montesano linebacker Jake Herzog (9) misses the tackle during the second quarter. Schleimer was called out-of-bounds by the sideline referee.

 

Barreling Through:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) barrels through Montesano's Tanner Birdsall (22), left, Cole Nleson (10), right, and Sawyer Rhoden (8) for a five yard gain during the second quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Mount Baker running back Jed Schleimer (4) barrels through Montesano’s Tanner Birdsall (22), left, Cole Nelson (10), right, and Sawyer Rhoden (8) for a five yard gain during the second quarter.

 

Reaching:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Montesano defensive lineman Taylor Ruper (52) nearly blocks an extra point attemt during the first quarter of the 1A State Playoffs at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening November 14, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Montesano defensive lineman Taylor Ruper (52) nearly blocks an extra point attempt during the first quarter. Due to an earlier blocked kick by Montesano, I positioned myself next to the goal post to get another one. Almost did. Almost.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Follow me on Pinterest

Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Wash., Whatcom County in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

Follow the Action, Score Some Shots: Tips for Better Soccer Photography

The action was pretty fantastic on Saturday. The movement up and down the field, goalkeepers diving, and the midfield action was captivating.

Whatcom Community College hosted Shoreline Community College in women’s and men’s soccer on Saturday afternoon October 4, 2014, in Bellingham, Wash. Shoreline defeated both teams. Whatcom woman lost 2 to 0, and the men lost via a last-minute goal 1 to 0.

Up & Over:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Whatcom Community College freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above Shoreline Community College jufreshman defensiveman Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last minute second half goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – WCC freshman forward Canyon Silliman (18) goes above SCC freshmen defensive man Ryan Anderson (12) during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 by a last-minute second half goal.

Photographing soccer can be fun and challenging. There may be a lot of action, but if you don’t pay attention, you could easily miss the game winning play or score. Having patience and anticipating moments will also help you get better shots.

A Good Defense … :

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Shoreline Community College defensive man Andres Lepe (14), left, defends against WCC forward Conlon Kiffney during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Shoreline Community College defensive man Andres Lepe (14), left, steals the ball from WCC forward Conlon Kiffney during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last-minute goal.

Here’s a few tips to help you.

Observe the players – Watch while you shoot how the players from opposing teams pair up. Especially at the goals. Your best action will come from the two as they battle for the ball.

Placement – Where you decide to shoot from is important. You’ll capture the best facial expressions when opposing team players battle for the ball as they are coming towards you. Staying midfield the entire game will get you some good action, but spend 10 minutes midfield observing which team is the stronger.

Obvious Foul:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Whatcom Community College forward Ashley Hughes (10) battles with Shoreline Community College defensiveman Selene Aguila (7) and Mackenzie Bolton (14)  as she heads towards the goal during the first half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Whatcom Community College forward Ashley Hughes (10) battles with Shoreline Community College defensive man Selene Aguila (7) and Mackenzie Bolton (14) as she heads towards the goal. SCC defeated WCC 2-0

Head to the Goal – Once you figure out who is the stronger team, head to the goal where they will be scoring. Stay to the left or right about 15 feet. This gives you good action as the opposing team approaches the goal as well as puts you in position for corner kicks.

Corner Kicks – Get yourself between the corner where the ball will be kicked from and the goal. That way the players are looking towards the ball as it approaches. This gives you good facial expressions as the teams battle for the ball.

Front of Goal Battle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Shoreline Community College defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) and WCC midfielder Emile Diffley (7) battle for the ball during the second half on Orca Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash., on Saturday afternoon Oct. 4, 2014. Shoreline defeated Whatcom 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC defensive man Konstantin Reutov (5) and WCC midfielder Emile Diffley (7) battle for the ball during the second half. These two paired up most of the game.

Be Fluid – Be prepared to move as the game progresses. For example, the dominate team may be overcome by smart play from the other team. You may have to switch goals partway through the half.

Offense vs Defense – Spend some time shooting both. From midfield you can get the defense as they protect their goal. The offense can be shot from the goal as they attempts to score.

Header:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  SCC forward Hayley Warren (15), left, goes over WCC defensiveman Emily Russell (15) during the first half. SCC defeated WCC with 2 second half goals 2 to 0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC forward Hayley Warren (15), left, goes over WCC defensive man Emily Russell (15) during the first half. SCC defeated WCC with 2 second half goals 2 to 0.

Don’t worry about missing shots – Seriously, getting stressed over shots you missed is just a waste of energy. Be patient. You’ll get your shots. Like being on the wrong end of the field when one of the teams scores. It happens.

Stay on your knees – Keeping low will make it easier to get faces as they’re looking down at the ball. Plus, if you happen to get a player falling, it’ll be easier to keep focused on the face. Yes, people fall pretty hard. Even I did when I played.

Defensive Move:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - SCC defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) boots the ball from WCC forward Tomas Alvarado during the second half at Orcas Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – SCC defensiveman Konstantin Reutov (5) boots the ball from WCC forward Tomas Alvarado during the second half at Orcas Field at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash. The visiting Shoreline Dolphins defeated the WCC Orcas 1 to 0 with a last minute goal.

Lenses – Long glass isn’t truly essential. But a 70-210 is enough if you stay near the goals and have patience. You can even use that lens as you photograph from midfield and wait for the action to come to you. Some photographers even mount remote cameras with wide-angle lenses in the goals. But for the most part, a 70-210 is works well.

Keep extra cards handy – This may seem like a no brainer, but I’ve actually run into photographers that have to delete images because they filled their cards. As they do so, they miss shots. Also, change them before they are full. The more images on a card, the slower the camera writes to it as it has to find space.

The biggest tip i can give you, though, is simply:

Don’t Rely On The Motor Drive. ANTICIPATE the peak moment and begin shooting just before the peak then follow through.

Remember, the action is fast. If you rely on the quick shutter to capture that moment when the ball is on a player’s head, then you are more than likely to miss it. Anticipate that moment and start firing when the moment begins. It takes a lot of practice, but once you learn the shutter lag of your camera (the time the shutter trips once you press the button) and practice, you’ll begin getting those shots.

Practice. Practice. Practice.  As I’ve said before Photography is Not a Spectator Sport.”

For more Shoreline Community College vs Whatcom Community College soccer photos, visit my gallery WCC hosts SCC in Woman’s & Men’s Soccer

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
  3. Follow me on Twitter
  4. Follow me on Pinterest

Paul is a Seattle based photojournalist specializing in news, sports, feature, travel, and portraiture. He also photographs weddings and portraits in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Skagit County.

He is available for assignments in the Pacific Northwest. Contact him at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or (206) 450-8632 for availability.

The 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon

First, sorry for the delay in blog postings. I broke my laptop screen early last week and it is now at TD Curran in Bellingham getting new life.

On Sunday morning September 28, 2014, I shot the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon for The Bellingham Herald. It is an epic race that goes from the Lummi Nation School at Gooseberry Point to downtown Bellingham, Wash.

And it started at 7:30 a.m. so I had to get up before dawn and drive the 20 miles to the school.

Leading the Pack:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Steve DeKoker, center (1), of Seattle begins the 26.2 mile run of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon run from Lummi Nation School to downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the men’s division with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Steve DeKoker, center (1), of Seattle begins the 26.2 mile run of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon run from Lummi Nation School to downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the men’s division with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins.

The night before, I studied the map and planned my shoot. It was fairly simple, but I also had to negotiate around the various roadblocks while leaving myself some time to get downtown to shoot the winners as they crossed the finish line.

My plan was simple. Photograph three things to have somewhat complete coverage:

  • The Start
  • A water station
  • The Finish

Emergence:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - The first female runner approaches the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – The first female runner approaches the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014.

I wanted to photograph the start so I could get the runners compressed together and show how many there were. To do this, I arrived about an hour early t check out all the different angles. It wasn’t that spectacular, but you work with what you’re given.

Big Sky Country:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Runners push past fog envoloped fields along Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Steve DeKoker of Seattle won the men’s category with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins. Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., won the woman’s with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Runners push past fog enveloped fields along Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Steve DeKoker of Seattle won the men’s category with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins. Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., won the woman’s with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

As I wanted somewhat good coverage, I then headed to one of the 3 or 4 watering stations to photograph the volunteers as they gave runners water and snacks. I picked one about 1/2 through the marathon as I wanted to leave myself some time to negotiate the road closures downtown. The station I picked was at mile 10 in the race along Red River Road. It was hosted by volunteers from the Whatcom Football Club Rangers, a local soccer club that has a lot of teams from ages 12 up.

Supply & Demand:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - (l to r) Dylan McCoy, 10; Grace Meyer, 11;  Grace Holzer, 11, and Melissa Meyer hand water and cheer on a runner at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – (l to r) Dylan McCoy, 10; Grace Meyer, 11; Grace Holzer, 11, and Melissa Meyer hand water and cheer on a runner at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

The fog was particularly heavy here as it sat next to a stream. So I wanted to work with that and try to capture runners as they emerged from the fog. Within 15 minutes of me arriving, the first runner, Steve DeKoker of Seattle, came through being followed by a Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputy on motorcycle. Had it not been for the flashing lights of the officer, I would have not seen him come out of the fog.

Watering Hole:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Tommy Meyer, 9, grabs more water cups while volunteering at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tommy Meyer, 9, grabs more water cups while volunteering at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

For me to feel that I worked the watering station properly, I shot from above, below, and worked various angles and places. Shot wide, medium, tight and then stretched. Here’s a quick tutorial of how I work a situation: Wide, Medium, Tight – Then Stretch.

Getting Low:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Volunteers from the Whatcom FC Rangers  hand water and cheer on runners at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Volunteers from the Whatcom FC Rangers hand water and cheer on runners at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

When I dropped down, I got up close to one of the kids as they were holding a cup and worked it so you could see her hand holding the cup with runners as they passed. I was hoping for someone to pick her cup as I wanted a runner’s hand getting it with the layers of others in the background. I got something, but it’s one of the “Almost” photos.

Celebration:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Women's winner Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., celebrates her victory at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Hatachi won the women's category with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Women’s winner Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., celebrates her victory at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Hatachi won the women’s category with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

After the first 50 or so runners went through, I decided to make my way to the finish line. Along the way, I stopped to photograph the runners as they passed freshly harvested fields. The Sun was peeking through the thick fog and made for some nice photos.

Exhausted:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Men's winner Steve DeKoker pauses for a rest at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the event with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 minutes.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Men’s winner Steve DeKoker pauses for a rest at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the event with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 minutes.

Overall, I feel that I did a pretty decent job. I got some nice creative shots as well as what I like to call “Cover Your Butt” photos. The basic ones you should really make sure you get.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
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Paul is a Seattle-based photojournalist specializing in news, sports, travel, and portraiture. He also photographs weddings and portraits in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Skagit County.

He is available for assignments in the Pacific Northwest. Contact him at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or (206) 450-8632 for availability.

Friday Night Lights: Nooksack Valley takes on Montesano

On Friday night, I covered high school football as Nooksack Valley hosted Montesano. As usual, I like to wait before posting when I cover assignments for The Bellingham Herald.

At the end of this post, I’ll have a few tips to help you improve your football photography. Not just “get a long lens” type tips, but real ways you can get better shots.

Take Down:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack sophomore center back Connor Beard (12) takes down Montesano senior receiver Riley Olson at the sideline during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack sophomore center back Connor Beard (12) takes down Montesano senior receiver Riley Olson at the sideline during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Bulldogs 40-34

As the drive to Nooksack Valley High School was a good 35 to 45 minutes, I knew I couldn’t stay until the end of the game. My plan was to find a coffee shop near the high school so I can download, edit 3 or 4 images, create a slide show and make deadline. Standard protocol when working with newspapers.

Beautiful Light:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39)  looks for daylight during the first quarter against  Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) looks for daylight during the first quarter against Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

And for some god forsaken reason, I like working on a deadline. I do miss that deadline adrenaline at times. And at others, I’m soooooo damned happy not to worry about it.

FUMBLE!!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) fumbles the ball after being tackled by Montesano junior linebacker Keegan Darst (7)  during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack running back Adam Mydland (39) fumbles the ball after being tackled by Montesano junior linebacker Keegan Darst (7) during the first quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

This Friday was a bit different as well. Not only was I going to shoot a game,  I planned on going up to Artist Point near Mt. Baker to view and photograph an expected outbreak of aurora borealis.  You can read and view images from that outing at A Night Under The Stars: Tips To Improve Your Night Photography.

Missed Tackle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack senior linebacker William Kingma (5) attempts to tackle Montesano junior running back Kyle Englund (33) during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack senior linebacker William Kingma (5) attempts to tackle Montesano junior running back Kyle Englund (33) during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.

I read a few articles on the players and realized the two to watch for on the Nooksack side were Tanner Myhre and William Kingma. Knowing the key players of each team is important as is knowing what formation and plays they use most. How can you capture great images without knowing the plays or players? Luck will only take you so far.

Coming From Behind:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack free safety Tanner Myhre (11), right, comes from behind to tackle Montesano senior running back Tanner Birdsall (22) at the end of his 25 yard first quarter run at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014.  The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack free safety Tanner Myhre (11), right, comes from behind to tackle Montesano senior running back Tanner Birdsall (22) at the end of his 25 yard first quarter run at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

– As with everything in journalism, you must stay fluid and flow with the changes –

It was no different with this game. Although Nooksack Valley was the favorite, Montesano had control of the game from the start. The stopped the NV offense cold, only allowing a field goal.

Get Away!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack senior quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) stiff arms Montesano  junior line backer Jordan Bussard (51) to evade a tackle during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack senior quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) stiff arms Montesano junior line backer Jordan Bussard (51) to evade a tackle during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

The light on the field was fantastic as the Sun was setting to the west of the field. I stayed on the visitor side as this gave me the best light. It’s also good to stay on one side of the field so you can make sure everyone on that sideline gets used to you.

Missed Tackle:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) out runs a  Montesano defender during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack quarterback Tanner Myhre (11) out runs a Montesano defender during the second quarter at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

However, after the Sun set the end of the first quarter, it was under the crappy stadium lights I had to shoot. And these lights were basic high school lights: dim, shifting color and intensity. Ugh.

This made for uneven white balance as I shot. Even using a Nikon D3s, the camera was not fast enough to adjust. In fact, you can see the white balance change from magenta to green then back. And the exposure: from under to over to under.

Oh, and I had no monopod so I just carried it . Yeah, it was a load, but good exercise.

Minor differences, but you can tell when you see them next to each other in Lightroom or Photo Mechanic. To make it easier, I left my white balance on”Auto.”  A move I don’t normally do, but with lighting this hideous, it was prudent to get close as possible to the proper color then correct it in Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw.

Going Wide:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Nooksack wide receiver William Kingma (5) looks for opening during the second quarter against  Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Nooksack wide receiver William Kingma (5) looks for opening during the second quarter against Montesano at Nooksack Valley High School in Everson, Wash., on Friday evening September 13, 2014. The Pioneers defeated the visiting Montesano Bulldogs 40-34.

After the first half, I had to leave so I make my deadline. I did not find a coffee shop to edit and transmit from. So, I just went home to edit and upload from there.

For the game, I used my Nikon D300s with my Nikon 80-200 f/2.8. I borrowed a D3s and 300mm f/2.8 for the more distance plays.  I tend to stay up field from the line of scrimmage

Tips For Photographing High School Football:

– After each significant play, take a quick shot of the scoreboard. That way you can keep track of when the play happened.. If you keep a notepad, write down the yardage made, any other significant info. This will also keep you ahead of the game. 

– Know the teams or at least the star players of each team, both offense and defense. This is a tall order, but the paper’s usually write a pregame that will help you learn who the key players are..

– Use two bodies, if you can. One with long glass (300mm or longer) and one with a telephoto zoom. This way, if you are photographing and the action comes close, you can just swap cameras then shoot with the shorter lens.

– Don’t wait til the card is full. Change it when there is enough room for 20 or so photographs. Filling it up  slows the camera down as it attempts to find the space to write the file which can cause you to miss a shot,.

– Keep extra cards immediately handy. Although there can be a few moments between plays, the last thing you want is to miss a shot because you’re rifling through your camera bag for them.

– Stay in front of the line of scrimmage. I usually stay about 15 yards so I can get the running action and be prepared for pass plays.. Unless I know the defense is stopping the offense or sacking the QB, then I try to stay in front to capture the plays.

– Listen to the coaches and teams as the play unfolds. You can get a good hint of where the play will be, where it may go, and if. Especially if it’ll be a long pass.

– When the offense is approaching the red zone (the 20 yard line to the goal), then I get behind the end zone. This gives me the opportunity to get the run straight in, jumping over the top,  or from the side if the defense pushes them to the corner.  

– Pay attention to the clock. At the end of the quarter, they switch direction. Don’t be left at the wrong end of the field because you answered your phone or were busy talking with another photographer.

Football is fun and easy. If you don’t have a long lens, just follow the game as it progresses up and down the field. Have fun.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.