Congratulation to the Lummi Nation School for advancing to the 1B State Semifinals.
On Saturday I covered the 1B state football quarterfinals at Lummi Nation School near Bellingham, Wash., for The Bellingham Herald. The Lummi Blackhawks hosted the Quilcene Rangers in what should have been a close battle. But, Lummi prevailed soundly defeating Quilcene 40 t0 0 to advance to the semifinals against Neah Bay.
In contrast to the past few weekends of rain, it was a beautiful day for football. The cold, crisp air filled my lungs as I stepped on the sideline. The sunlight warmed my face as I strategized shooting angles due to the Sun’s low position on the horizon. As the Sun was nearly aligned with the field, I would be shooting into the Sun as one team had the ball, and near perfect light when the other team had the ball.
In one hand was my D300s with 70-200 f/2.8, on my monopod was my D3 with 400 f/2.8. The D3 and 400 I borrowed from the Herald. In my pocket was my 17-35 f/2.8 for pre and post-game features. I wish I had a third body for it though.
*** Tip: When I shoot, I tend to be about 20 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. This gives me a good position for both a downfield pass and the sweep as the carrier comes around the corner.
But I do adjust this as the game progresses. Some teams just slaughter on the pass, others on the run. It’s not only important to know your gear, but also be able to read the game so you’re in position for the play.
When the offense is nearing the “Red Zone,” or 20 yard line, I tend to just move straight to behind the goal line. This gives me a good position for either a run or pass play. I usually only shoot with my 70-200 as it allows me to zoom in or out depending on where the play will be.
The One That Almost Got Away
***Tip: Watch the quarterback as they have the ball. Listen to the coaches and teams, they usually will yell to the defense “pass,” “run,” or “sweep.” When the quarterback has the ball, watch where he looks and how they hold their stance. If they set to throw, they will look first which is a clue as to where they will throw. Swing your lens and figure out which receiver will be thrown to.
It takes practice getting used to all the different clues. But once you begin doing it, it comes rather easy. It’s also good to know who the quarterback’s favorite runner and receiver are., who on defense has the most sacks or interceptions, these are all clues to help you get great action shots rather than by chance. Read the paper and other pre-game articles on who to pay attention to.
It was pretty amazing to see Lummi adapt to how Quilcene played. A 40 point rout is impressive. Again, congratulations to the Lummi Blackhawks on their decisive win.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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Paul Conrad is an award-winning photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.
His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, 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.
Although his specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.