Yesterday was my niece’s first soccer game. Watching all the young children run around on the fields brought back memories of my own two boys at that age. My two boys are 11 and 17. My oldest will be 18 very soon. It seems like yesterday my wife was coaching our son’s soccer team and we were attending soccer camps between seasons. Where did the time go? I’ll get back to some sage advice on that later. Let’s talk a little about photography.
Those following this blog know that I am a hybrid shooter meaning I shoot digital and film. Currently I shoot 90% film. I usually shoot digital for action and night scenes, but as I gain more knowledge, I will extend my film shooting to more night subjects. I actually shot some night scenes with some Ilford Delta 3200 on medium format which turned out quiet nice. You can see those results here. Shooting action works out better for me using my DSLR. With practice, I have learned to focus quicker with my SLR, but I sold all my telephoto lenses for my OM1, thus for now, I will pull out my E520 DSLR coupled with my 300mm lens for sporting events. On a Four Thirds body, this lens is equivalent to a 600mm lens on 35mm format. The focal length is great, but at a maximum aperture of f5.6 at the long end, it is harder to isolate your subject from the background and a larger aperture would work much better for faster shutter speeds. So with that said, you just have to use what you got. In other words, dance with the one who brought you.
At events like this, you can easily shoot a few hundred shots. Importing that many images into Lightroom for review and post processing is exhausting just thinking about it. That’s another reason I like shooting film. Film slows you down. You shoot less, but you get more keepers. A lot of the time, my scans come back from the lab with no need for any post processing. Here are a few of my favorites shots from the game.
The Star of the Game
Who Wants the First Kick?
And They’re Off
The Chase is On
A Smile for Her Fans
In the continuing effort to improve my photography, I’ve learned it is more important to observe before you shoot. This means noticing light and light direction. It means studying what is happening in a scene. Ultimately it means waiting for that moment where things come together for a shot that speaks to the viewer. Do I do this on every shot? Absolutely Not! But I strive to hit that mark and sometimes things come together and most of the time they don’t. That brings me to the next shot. A person’s facial expressions says a lot about what is happening. I love the determined look on her face in the next image. She has that look as if no one can stop her. If you take a close look at the picture below, you will see that I missed the focus on this one. The little girl bringing up the rear is in focus while our Star player is just slightly out of focus. Typically I would not use this picture, but the facial expression alone is what makes this shot. This goes to show that you don’t have to have a perfect technically correct image to make a Picture. Good pictures are made with excellent composition, light and interesting subject matter.
My brother told me that during practice the coach asked the girls if anyone knows how to dribble. My niece raised her hand and the coach asked her to demonstrate. She took the soccer ball and proceeded to dribble with her hands as if she was playing basketball. My brother said they had a good laugh. Well I must say that she must have learned quickly how to dribble the appropriate way because she did a good job in the game. The next two shots show her dribbling to her first goal of the day.
The Future “Mia Hamm”
Emerging from the Pack
Bring It On
I saved this last image below to segue into my sage advice, but first a little humor. The image below was captured just before my niece scored one of her three goals. However, one of those goals was for the other team. Once the coach literally got things turned around, we started to head in the right direction, LoL. One of the things I love about photography and particularly street photography is what you discover after you make the picture. I was delighted to see what was captured in picture below. This picture shows a family coming together to support one of their own. From left to right you have the mother clapping while dad is snapping away with his camera. By the way, dad is shooting with the same rig I have. Next, you have grandpa standing and smiling while grandma is sitting and clapping. Just before you get to our star soccer player, you have my son standing and smiling as she kicks the ball into the net. This sums up what my advice is all about. Stop what you doing and spend quality time with your kids. Before you know it, they will be out the door with their friends and then out the door living their own lives.
A Family Affair
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Stay tuned for my next post as I will be posting my next round of street work from downtown Nashville. These shots were shot on Kodak TRI-X 400 and this roll was my first try with a new lab. I really love the results!