Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some Photos; Need your opinion

Where have I been?  Last post was two weeks ago!  I've been watching the NFL.  And working on a new interest, creating websites.  And playing nurse to wife Beverly who had cataract surgery and needs eye-drops daily.  And looking after Bev's mom who is in a personal care home that moved and she moved with them. 

Whew!  At least I've been doing something.  

I have a couple blog posts lined up.  I'd like your opinion on one. Is it okay to post photos of players in distress?  I have a photo of a Houston player down on the ground, holding an injured knee, grimacing in pain.  I want to do a post about football injuries and use this photo as a case in point.  Is that okay?  Or is it an invasion of a person's privacy to post a photo of her in distress.  I haven't used the photo before because it feels wrong.  What do you think?    

Odd shot.  What's going on?  Why aren't the Houston
players blocking?  Why isn't Lakesha Hoke (#82)
contesting for the ball?  I don't know.
Today's post is just a collection of some fun photos from 2013 games.  I browsed my (huge) gallery and selected ones that struck my fancy.  Hope you like them, too.

The first just struck me funny.  Stopping action can create some funny "still" shots.  Looking at this one I wondered what is happening?  I don't know.   But I hope Lakesha, #82, makes the tackle.

The next two I like because they violate one of my football axioms.  Never tackle with just your arms.  Looking at the first of the two, I would predict the runner is going to escape.  An Outlaw is reaching out but no way is she going to stop a large runner by just grasping with extended arms.

Reaching from behind, the runnier will escape, right?

The second photo proves me wrong.  The runner is down, an arm tackle.  

It takes a lot of arm strength to pull a large running back to ground.

Well, the true despised arm tackle is done from the front where the runner is coming at the tackler and the tackler sticks out an arm rather than placing her whole body in the runner's path.  Viewing the NFL and NCAA on television - I'm fascinated by how often the very best players sometimes fail in fundamentals.  How often missed tackles are due to failure to wrap up the runner, failure to get low.

One of the things I love about sports is the intensity.  Both mental and physical.  I'm awed watching players focus on the objective and commit completely.  The following photos capture some of that from Outlaw's games.  First is Bridgette Brown taking a bead on the ball carrier just coming into view at the right of the photo.

Bridgette Brown about to discard blocker, #77, and take out
the running back just entering the photo at the right.
Love the focus, Brigette's eyes.

Bridgette is one of my favorite Outlaws.  She is a devastating tackler, intensely focused on the field.  If I were the runner, seeing Bridgette on my right, I'd turn left.

Next is another shot of the intensity of the game.  Imagine a warm Austin evening, maybe sixty plays, you're part of the line protecting your running back, play after play throwing all of your strength into a huge opposing player, controlling her, keeping her away from the football.  These "scrums" take enormous energy, far more than you can see from the stands or in a still photo.

Every play, look at the physical exertion, the
strength against strength.  

Next another shot of the intensity of sport.  All players in the photo are working but none more than Shadana, the ball carrier.  She has been tripped up, is flying through the air, will land about three yards ahead of where she is now.  This is the end of a long run through a crowded field, fighting for every inch of ground.  I love Shadana's intensity.  I have lots of photos of her all working just like this.  

Shadana with the ball, running top speed, tripped up but still diving for one more yard.
She comes down around the three yard line.  I love her intensity.

Another favorite of mine is #5 Ruby Reyna.  She strikes me as a good poker player.  She is small, I think the smallest Outlaw, but she is always alway involved in the play.  I've seen her on defense taking on bigger running backs.  I've seen her on offense, she normally plays quarterback, blocking defensive linewomen twice her size.  Her facial expression is always the same, calm, focused.  But I've seen her intensity in the way she plays the game.

Rubi Reyna, #5, always around the football whether on defense or offense.  Always going against
larger players, always making the play.  


Friday, August 23, 2013


When things aren't happening on the field, I aim the camera at the fans.  Today I'll just post fan photos.  Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Outlaws in the Movies

About a week ago Malia Capers-Cristobal emailed me about several Outlaws getting parts in a movie being filmed in Austin.  Jo-Anne Capers followed with some photos.  So today's posting is by guest poster Malia and guest photographer Jo-Anne.

Hey Dennis, I wanted to give you some exciting news a few of our
Malia Capers-Cristobal
outlaws received!!   We were contacted by a local director/producer for a movie they are filming in Austin.  It's called “Intramural: The Movie."  They wanted to some down right badass chicks to play roles on a girl's intramural flag football team.  We would get to beat some boys on and off the field!  We would actually get into fights with them too....

Our audition process was fun, we all met up at the address the producer gave us; it was at a residential property on the East side.  We thought we were in the wrong place but we were there!  I showed up late, just as all the other Outlaws who auditioned for a role were leaving.  I was sad, almost left because I didn't want to do it by myself.  But, Charmaine (Jackson) said she would go in with me and help support me if I needed it.  Toni (Fuller) and Maile (Capers-Cristobal) also came back to help me as well.  

After filling out a bunch of paperwork, this guy takes us to a back room with a camera in it.  He says, "okay, I'm going to say a bunch of ugly stuff...don't take it personal, just feed off of it for your crap talking back."  First thing he says "get off the field, and go back to Lamaze class!!"  I was floored!  That's the moment I got to "shit-talk" my way into a part for the film!

We received calls last week Friday, and so far about 4 Outlaws received one each of seven or eight spots on the "ManEaters" flag football team!  Me, my sister Maile, Charmaine, and Cookie.  We start filming Aug 14th and 15th.  How exciting!!  It may not be big parts in the film but it will be one of the funniest!  

The film is a sports comedy and is actually starting to pick up momentum with big name actors and some big monetary backing. Some of the names in the film are:  

*Twilight star Nikki Reed

*Saturday Night Live  players Kate McKinnon and Jay Pharaoh

*The Office  Jake Lacy

*Much Ado About Nothing  stars Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney

*Battlestar Galactica  Michael Hogan

*Zero Charisma  Sam Edison

*Mystery Team  D.C. Pierson

*Good Neighbor sketch comedy members  Nick Rutherford and Beck Bennett.

Links for the movie website:   

Kickstarter fundraising page: 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fun Photos; View of the Sideline

The ladies who play football are remarkable in many ways.  Just the fact they play football makes them standout from the crowd.  But watching their facebook posts suggests they have full and exciting lives outside of football.  When the season ends, they don't just go home and sit around waiting for the next season to begin.  They go traveling, studying, mountain climbing, partying, boating, eating out...

So I wonder if any of them make regular visits to this blog.  Well, this week there were 134 visits to the blog.   So there is some interest here.  So I'm going to keep posting.

Today I browsed my photos - I have hundreds - and selected a few I thought you might enjoy.  Like this one.  
Outlaws Laurie Cadena in big trouble.  One Houston tackler
has her foot, another trying to steal the ball, another grabbing
her other arm.  Where are my blockers?
Makes you admire the courage of running backs, doesn't it?  That's number 7, Laurie Cadena, with the ball.  And she is in trouble. 

Speaking of "in trouble" the next couple photos show that sometimes even the great ones get tackled.  I enjoy when my camera catches facial expressions.  Maine Jackson glances over her right shoulder and suspects she is in trouble.

Charmaine Jackson sees a threat.  Not clear in the photo is a
size differential.  I think the Houston tackler has about a fifty pound
advantage over Maine.

And she's right, she is in trouble.  As the follow picture shows.

As Houston #52 wraps her arms around Maine, not in a loving way,
you know this isn't going to end well.  I should just stop here but...

I was going to just post two photos of the tackle of Maine, but I noticed something in the next photo, which led me to post a whole series...

...I posted this one even though you can't see Maine,
just her red shoes, because I like catching photographers

I noticed a young lady on the sideline capturing the action with her camera.  I'd like to see her photo.  She is in a better position than I -I'm shooting from all the way across the field, on the Outlaws side, while she's on the Houston side.  

Sometimes it is fun to observe the sideline spectators.  Seeing this photographer got me checking for some other photos of sideliners.  And here are a few I like.

This is a home game so the young lady in red, holding the
down-marker, is an outlaw fan.  The official is neutral.  I can't
read their expressions.  That's what I like about the shot, the
suspense as the Arkansas QB is about to to attempt a pass.
It wasn't a good day for Arkansas so I assume the pass was incomplete.

The Houston game.  I can read his expression - he is wincing.
The Outlaws are doing something good.

This is a favorite because so many faces are visible.  The young man right next to the official is an
Outlaw fan - I should know his name but my memory doesn't work very well.  Note that this is
as shot where my camera decided to focus on the sidelines rather than running back Reyna.
Rubi is in trouble.  And not getting  a lot of sympathy.

A half-second later you can see why the other side is excited and our young Outlaw fan is concerned.

I just threw this one in even though it doesn't fit my theme of
candid shots of spectators.  These young ladies know I'm pointing
the camera their way.  I'm posting because I think they are quite a lovely
group of Outlaw fans.  I don't know them but I do know I'd like them if
we met.  Outlaw fans are some of the nicest people I know.

I'm glad the NFL season is kicking off.  Life without football can be dull.  But not for the Outlaws.  They're filling the off season with all kinds of activities.  If you see one, please let her know there's a new post to Dennis's blog.  Thanks.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

WFA Championship; Competition; Some Cool Photos

Does this photo look familiar?  If you watched the live feed
of the championship game, you saw this photo on ESPN.  Why
do I care?  Because I shot this photo.  I made the big time;
one of my photos on ESPN.  Seems I should have been
paid.  Or at least got a by-line.
Chicago Force beat the Dallas Diamonds Saturday 81-34 to win the Women's Football Alliance championship.  I was sad; I was pulling for Dallas.  I was shocked by the score.  I was shocked at Outlaw player's Facebook comments as the game progressed.  The Outlaws were pulling for Chicago!  

Why?  I'd like to know why the Austin Outlaws, residents of Texas, were pulling for Yankees from Illinois over our friends in Dallas.  I've been a fan of the Diamonds ever since they showed me some class in the post-game handshake tradition, coming all the way to the Outlaw bench to greet an injured Outlaw.  That plus they're a great football team.

I was more shocked to see Chicago roll over the Diamonds.  Scoring 81 points?  Against a team that allowed only 20 points all season within their division.  How was Chicago able to score so freely?  

In future blog posts I'd like to get some discussion going about competition.  Why do we compete?  What is it about us that makes it important to be better than someone else?  When we know that even if we're better than some teams, other teams are going to be better than us.  The Diamonds were better than all the teams in our division but still the Outlaws took pride in being better than all the others.  Good as the Diamonds were, Chicago was better.  And good as Chicago was, the NFL's Chicago Bears would whip them, if they were ever silly enough to play the Bears.  

So if I can't be the VERY best, why compete at all?  What is the competitive spirit that is so important in sports.  

But rather than wander down that road, how about just posting a few photos you may not have seen yet.  The Outlaws beat Houston twice in one night this season.  First, they finished a weather-delayed game, then won the regularly scheduled game.  The first photo is from one of those game.  If  you were there you must remember this tackle, by Toni Fuller.

This shot was possible because of my new 300mm lens.  The action was way across the field.
What a great hit by Toni.  Makes you happy you're not a running back.

Next a photo of one of my favorite Outlaws, Precious CPR Benitez.  I featured her in a post July 12 and didn't intend repeat but I really like this photo.  I love the kind of football play that won't give up.  CPR couldn't get the hold she wanted on the runner so she took what she could, grabbing an ankle and hanging on.  

I'm afraid I may have posted this one before.  But it is good enough to bear repeating.  CPR
did what a defensive player should do, whatever it takes to get the runner down.  

I believe in competition.  It brings out the best in us.  That's good. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Malia; Faces

There's still a big game left in the Women's Football Alliance, and it features our friends the Dallas Diamonds.  Dallas defeated the Outlaws twice this season.  They also defeated everyone else they played.  On August 3 they'll play the Chicago Force for the league championship. 

The Outlaws haven't played in several weeks.  Is anyone still visiting this blog?  Anyone interested in football now that our season is over and the NFL hasn't started yet?  Well, the blog has had 165 visits since June 19.  That's an average of 23 per day.  And I've been letting you down, with zero new posts in that time.  Today I browsed my photos looking for a theme.  And found two.

The first theme is Malia Capers-Cristobal, #50.

I've admired Malia for a long time because of her grit, her constant striving to do better than the day before.  One day I'll post her profile (promises promises).  For now, just some shots of her in action.

When you play the line, every play is a physical battle.

You're assigned a defender to block.  You're goal is to be sure your
assignment doesn't get free and make the tackle.

Often the block is not straight on.  The would-be
tackler is trying to get loose.  Your job is to
contain, to keep her away from the runner.

In each of the photos I've posted, Maila's block was effective;
her assigned defender did not make the tackle.

Almost a fist fight.  Malia is only 5'4" tall, not as tall as many of her opponents.  But she's still big enough,
strong enough, and determined enough, that she is an effective blocker.
I like the expression on the face of #74.  Can you see the frustration?  She is not going to
get to the runner on this play.
The second theme I found browsing my photos today, is inspired by the last Malia photo.  I love when the camera catches the facial expressions of the players in action. I'm always fascinated when my little Nikon camera captures facial expressions.  I'm standing on the sidelines, maybe forty or fifty yards away.  But my camera is seeing the intensity, in some cases frustration (as in the photo above) of the competitors.

Houston's number 14 is the star in my facial photos.  She didn't make the tackle in these plays but
she must be a really good player because she's always near the football.

This and the following shot show my star being frustrated.  Above, she looks like she has a
bead on the runner, Deidra Holland.  But...

...Outlaws' #7, Laurie Cadena, stops her.  Often a block isn't pretty.  Doesn't have to be.
Just has to knock the tackler off balance enough for a speedy running back to zip on by.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Random Stuff

The Major League Baseball All Star game is playing on TV.  I'm not a baseball fan.  Too much idle time.  I've been neglecting the blog, because I'm having fun doing websites. 

So I browsed my Outlaws photos and picked a few that I like.  No particular message here, just some photos I thought you might enjoy.  As always, I'll save the action shots for later in the blog so I can post them extra large. 

Kincheon staring down an Arkansas player.

This is the Outlaws Patricia Kincheon intimidating an Arkansas player in the playoff game.  I'd be intimidated, too, wouldn't you?

One of my favorite Outlaws is Cookie, Marisa Rivas, quarterback.  I profiled her in the blog awhile back, got to know her just a little, got to like her a lot.  She was injured in the final game of the regular season, broke a collar bone, I believe, and couldn't play in the playoff game.  But she could influence the outcome of the game.  I captured this fun series of three photos as Cookie coaches Toni Fuller, who would take some snaps at QB in replacement of Cookie.

Here's how you grab the ball from the center.
See Toni practicing the correct hand position.

Take the ball, two steps back...
Toni laughing.  Cookie demonstrating how to
pass the ball, but the ball isn't in her throwing
hand.  Is she demonstrating a trick play?  Or
just forgot...?
What happens when charismatic Outlaws retire?  They get recruited to generate excitement dressed as Annie Outlaw.  This is Megan McMillan Riley, a former Outlaw who won some attention in my blog working at the Texas Chili Parlor, a restaurant that recalled some memories for me.  Megan promised to buy me a glass of wine on my next visit to the parlor but then she moved on to...?  I don't know where she is now.  But I will find her and collect my Chardonnay.

Add caption
If I were good at blogging I'd have these two photos of Megan side by side.  But I haven't figured out how to tell Blogger (my blog host) what I want.  I like the two shots.  Megan is a natural for the Annie Outlaw role.


I try to shoot a lot of the Outlaws because I think they like seeing their photos in the blog.  Some of my random photos are hard to explain.  What can I say about some players just standing there waiting for something to happen? 

Just some players waiting for things to get started.

Now for a couple action photos.  Note that I'm displaying them as large as the blog host allows. 

A long time ago I did some photos for a local theater group,  I noticed something interesting.  In every scene, every actress/actor was acting.  Even those on the side or background, who weren't part of the main focus of the scene.  I've noticed something similar in many of my Outlaw's actions shots.  One player may have the football but other players are acting as if they have it.  In the play below, I Shadana doesn't have the ball, Toni does, but Shadana is pretending.  The idea is that if the defense thinks Shadana has the ball, they'll tackle he and Toni will romp to the end zone. 

This faking is common.  Watch any NFL game and you'll often see the player without the ball trying to decoy the defense.

But this photo adds some interest.  See Arkansas number fifty?  She is Erica, one of the Arkansas stars and she weighs 280 pounds.  By comparison, Shadan is one of  the Outlaws stars and weighs 140 - half of what Erica weighs.  It looks as thought Erica is going to tackle someone.  If Shadana is a good faker, she'll get buried under 280 pounds of Erica.  If she doesn't fool Erica, Toni, who also weighs 140, will be Erica's target. 

If you were Shadana, what would you do?  Let someone else win the Oscar?
Shadana leading Toni, pretending to have the ball so 250 pound Erica,  #50 will tackle her and let Toni
escape for a big gain.  I checked - both Shadana and Toni eluded the big Arkansas star.

Another of my favorite players is Rubi Reyna.  I think she's every body's favorite.  She's one of if not the smallest Outlaw but she has all kinds of fire on the field.  I'm posting this just because I like Rubi and I think it shows her looking good on the field.
Rubi Reyna handing the ball to Maine Jackson.

All Star game.  Someone just scored.  I think it was Cabrerra, a Detroit Tiger.  Did you know I'm a native Detroiter?  End of four, American league leads 1-0.

Did you know I'm becoming a website creator?  www.dstostad.com