varsity sports

Lynden def. Black Hills in Distrcit 2A Playoff

With the Lynden Lions leading the Black Hills Wolves 17 to 14 at the end of the third quarter, I had to leave as my afternoon deadline for The Bellingham Herald was looming. As Lynden was playing well, I did not want to leave.

Up and Over

Up and Over - Black Hills' Ethan Loveless (4) stops Lynden's Brody Weinheimer (35) during the third quarter of the 2A state first round playoff varsity football game on Saturday afternoon Nov. 12, 2016, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Up and Over – Black Hills’ Ethan Loveless (4) stops Lynden’s Brody Weinheimer (35) during the third quarter of the 2A state first round playoff varsity football game on Saturday afternoon Nov. 12, 2016, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

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2015: A Look Back – My Year in Photos

Well, it’s the end of the year. Which of course means here are my favorite images I shot during 2015. Some were easy to pick, some were not. Some may not be technically perfect, some may not be well composed, some may have crappy lighting, but here are some of my faves of 2015. For more images, visit my gallery 2015: My Year in Photos.

It is hard to pick my favorite photos of 2015, and making it harder is that I like to shoot sports, weddings, portraits, news, and landscapes with equal vigor. When I shoot, I put in all my skill and more effort than required. For me, having my name attached to it means I put my all into it. This is not just a hobby of mine, but a passion. Prints of these or any of my photos are available for purchase. Click on the photo so it can take you to the gallery where you can buy a print of your favorite image.

Grueling Take Down

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum defenders wrap up Bellingham wide receiver Cole Allain (3) as he attempts a kick return during the first quarter of the season opener at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash., on Friday evening Sept. 4, 2015. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

I like this photos because it shows the moment of impact when the three opposing players tackled the ball carrier. The strength is shown in their arms, the struggle to move the ball up in his face, and the power of the tacklers. It has a face, a moment, framing, and the ball.

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Wet & Wild: Football and Futbol in the Rain

This weekend was a fun one. IF you consider shooting two games in the pouring rain fun, then it was an absolute blast. After all, it is the Pacific Northwest.

The rains were relentless. Starting, stopping, hard, soft, cold, warm. Typical Pacific Northwest autumnal weather. Now you know why many around here call it “The NorthWet.”

Failed Reception

Lummi's Free Borsey (11) takes down Oakville's Casey Davis (16) as he attempts a reception during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Free Borsey (11) takes down Oakville’s Casey Davis (16) as he attempts a reception during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Friday I shot the Blackhawks from Lummi Nation School  against the Acorns of Oakville High School in Division 2B playoff.

On Saturday, I headed to Sedro-Woolley High School to photograph the Squalicum girl’s soccer against Shorecrest in the Class 2A Nortwest District Championship game.

Almost Sacked

Lummi's Dashawn Lawrence (10) tackles the Oakville quarterback during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Dashawn Lawrence (10) tackles the Oakville quarterback during the second quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

To battle the weather and still get good images from the game, I wrapped my gear in a plastic trash bag. I first cut a hole in one of the bottom corners the size of my lens hood. I pushed the hood of the lens through then used gaffer’s tape to secure it.

Get Outta My Way!

Lummi's Hank Hoskins (24), right, pushes off Oakville's Casey Davis (16) during the first quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi’s Hank Hoskins (24), right, pushes off Oakville’s Casey Davis (16) during the first quarter on Friday evening Nov. 6, 2015, at Lummi Nation School in Lummi, Wash. Lummi defeated Oakville 56 to 8. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Then I cut tiny holes where the camera straps would go though. The rest of the bag I let flop over the body for protection from the rain when I didn’t have it to my eye. The extra I used to cover my head to prevent the camera body from getting wet. It mostly worked.

While shooting, I had two bodies so I did this to both. On Saturday when I shot the Squalicum girls soccer team against Shorecrest, I had to do the same thing. But the rain was worse.

Chest Bump!

Squalicum's Kim Door (16) stops the ball during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. Squalicum defeated Shorecrest 2 to 1. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Squalicum’s Kim Door (16) stops the ball during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. Squalicum defeated Shorecrest 2 to 1. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

And even though I dressed for the rain, I was soaked to the bone 10 minutes into the games. Ahhh the trials and tribulations of the sports photographer.

Head Bump

Shorecrest's Julia Strand (21) battles with Squalicum's Kim Door during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Shorecrest’s Julia Strand (21) battles with Squalicum’s Kim Door during the first half of the Class 2A Northwest District Championship on Saturday evening Nov. 7, 2015, at Sedro-Woolley High School in Sedro-Woolley, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Lummi was a powerhouse on the field. They dominated every major play. Oakville just couldn’t break through either the offensive or defensive line. Lummi went on to win 56-8 to advance to the state playoffs.

But to be fair, even in 8-man football, having only 11 players on the roster is a major disadvantage.

The Squalicum girls continue their pursuit of State Champion. The won the game 2 to 1 to claim the Class 2A Northwest District championship. Perhaps a repeat of their state championship is in order.

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. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
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  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning freelance 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.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

On Assignment: #Sports and #Features from the Week

It’s been a busy week shooting sports and feature assignments: Soccer, Football, and a few Superheroes.

Here are some of my favorites.

Over the Shoulder –

Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Ben Peterson (5) stretches to catch a 20 yard pass from quarterback Garrett Sorenson for a first down late in the second quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash.

That was a lucky shot, but a play I intended to get. I was focused on the quarterback. He was having a hard time finding an open man. As I was photographing him, I saw him turn towards me and then set his feet to throw. I quickly looked over my camera and noticed the receiver break free from the line of scrimmage.

As I was watching the receiver, he turned and then I saw the quarterback throw. I focused on the receiver and when he raised his arms up to catch, I started taking photos.

***TIP: Watch the quarterback for a pass play and pay attention to where they look. This will give you a second or two to find the receiver and get the shot of them catching the ball or not.

Zipping Away

Addison Jager, 7, of Belingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash. Coordinator Michele Medlen of Bellingham says over 200 people registered for the fundraiser. She said about $5 thousand was raised that goes to hospital caregivers and staff in need of financial assistance. Medlen said the monies raised are a source of financial support for hospital caregivers and employees in times of financial stress due to illness, injury, tragedy or death of a family member. Medlen added that the goal of the race was to

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Addison Jager, 7, of Bellingham races down the zipline at Squalicum Creek Park before the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash.

It was just a fun run so my feature experiences kicked in. I saw the kids playing and knew I could get some decent features for the online gallery. I panned for this shot to get her sharp with the blurred background.

Missed Opportunity –

Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Lynden defensive back Drew Krause (21) attempts to tackle Burlington-Edison running back Taran Lambert (3) during the second quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Krause missed the tackle as Lambert ran it in for a touchdown making the score 13-7 Burlington-Edison.

This was an unexpected play by everyone. The running back, Taran Lambert, was caught at the line of scrimmage, but then he somehow broke through and bolted. Drew Krause saw this and dove to stop him to no avail.

Continuing to follow the action when it seems it’s over gives you an opportunity to capture good action.

Foul Play –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian's Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome's Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian’s Emily Brackenreed (2), right, protects the ball from Sehome’s Fiona Dawson (8) during the first half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. A foul was called on the play resulting in a score by Sehome. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

One of the best pieces of advice I can give you when shooting soccer is: Find a pair that are just aggressive towards each other and follow them as you shoot the game. You’ll get good images from it.

Missed it By That Much –

Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Squalicum wide receiver Noah Westerhoff (7) dives for the goal over Ferndale defensive back Sky Freeman late in the first quarter on Saturday evening Oct. 10, 2015, at Civic Field in Bellingham, Wash. Westerhoff failed to make the touchdown as time in the first quarter ran out. Squalicum failed to capitalize on their position losing the ball on downs during the first minute of the second quarter.

When I shoot football, I pay attention to field position and how strong the teams are. As the teams approach the “Red Zone,” I position my self near the goal post and switch to my 80-200 for versatility. That way I can get the corners plus when the team runs the ball down the center.

Squalicum had a good running game going, but failed to capitalize on several red zone opportunities. Had I stayed at the sideline like a lot of photographers do, I would’ve missed this photo.

Not This Time –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome's Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls' soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Meridian goalkeeper Sydney Gospodinovich (1) dives for the ball to stop Sehome’s Hannah Moore from scoring in the second half in varsity girls’ soccer on Thursday evening Oct. 8, 2015, at Civic Stadium in Bellingham, Wash. Sehome defeated Meridian 2-0.

In addition to shooting the action, I also had a few players on each team I needed to photograph. Sydney Gospodinovich in one of the best goalkeepers in the Northwest Conference. I shot from midfield so I could get some good action shots of her.

A Friend to Carry You –

Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash. Bennett says the

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tammy Bennett of Bellingham laughs as she carries Sharon Jensen across the finish line during the 3rd annual Everyday Superheroes 5K Run & Walk on Sunday morning Oct. 10, 2015, at Squalicum Creek Park in Bellingham, Wash.

As part of any feature hunt, look for fun images. I liked this moment because it says it all.

Attempted Interception –

Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the socre 27-13.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Burlington-Edison defensive back Joe Daniels (21), right, attempts to break up a pass intended for Lynden wide receiver Jordan Wittenberg (1) in the end zone during the third quarter on Friday evening Oct. 9, 2015, at Lynden High School in Lynden, Wash. Wittenberg caught the pass for a touch down and with the extra point the score 27-13.

Another photo I would’ve missed had I stayed on the sideline. Lynden was in the Red Zone so I switched to my 80-200 for the versatility. I kept my eye on the quarterback and when he dropped to throw and looked right, I focused on Jordan Wittenberg. I began shooting when he turned around and lifted his arms. I just wish you could see his face, but this also shows how well defensiveman Joe Daniels plays.

For more photos from these shoots, visit my galleries:

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. Sign up for updates so you don’t miss on other postings.

Don’t forget to sign up for email updates with tips and tricks to improve your photography.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Instagram: @PaulConradPhotography
  2. Twitter: @pabloconrad
  3. Facebook: Paul Conrad Photography
  4. Pinterest: Paul Conrad Photography

Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial 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.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.