Monday, January 30, 2012

Catching the Pass; Photography

I think I need a second blog.  Obviously visitors to this one are here for the football and not much interested in the photography.  Which is great.  I'm here for the football, too.

Nobody cares how I made this picture.  I'm
hurt.  Well, not really.  Really it was an
accident.  The man is nowhere near the
receiver.  The receiver doesn't see him.
But I'm boring you...
But the photography is fascinating.  Like this photo I posted Saturday.  Didn't it amaze you?  Aren't you intrigued at how I managed to do that? 

I guess not.  I only had two blog visitors ask about it.  I thought I'd open today's posting and explain what happened.  But I don't want to bore you.  So, unless there's a groundswell of public outcry asking "How?" I'll just go about publishing cool photos and silly prose and privately enjoy the photographic stuff going on in the background.

Like the photos I'm posting today.  I wish I could convey some of my amazement as I sit at my computer with my photo editing software and examine hundreds of photos to see which ones are worthy of your time.  I'm shooting from twenty to fifty yards away from the players and yet getting clear images of facial expressions.   Amazing!

I'm using a Nikon D40 camera with a 300mm lens...  But you don't want to know all that.  Just show you the pictures.  And maybe start another blog for the few among us intersted in photography.

Today's pictures are from Saturday's practice.  I just zeroed in on that magic moment when the receiver catches the ball.  In a separate post I commented on all that has to happen in the human mind for the receiver to get the ball - the calculation of speed and direction of the ball and then speed route for the receiver.  It looks easy but it isn't.

And the facial expressions reflect just how difficult. 

I loved the yellow uniform.  Bright colors are so easy to
photograph.  Her facial expression conveys some of what
I've described - catching the ball is not easy.  Takes
concentration.  Focus.

If the ball is too tall you have to jump.  If you jump too
soon or too late, you'll miss it.  You can't see her eyes but
you can tell she is practicing the old rule of sports (and life)
"Keep you eye on the ball."

In the NFL a lot of passes are thrown low.  The intent is
that if the receiver doesn't make the catch, the ground will.
Better that than having the opposing team get it. 

I love this shot because it appears the receiver is fully
aware of what an accomplishment it is to catch the ball. 
Capturing her facial expression from thirty yards away is
amazing.  And you wonder what is she thinking.  I thought
of Tim Tebow when I first saw this photo.

A University of Michigan fan.  Getting a grip on the ball isn't
easy.  She is focused and she's going to make the catch.

And when you do make the catch there's a sense of satisfaction.
Put it away and do a success strut back to the quarterback.
You can't always do this during a game but in practice, you go girl.

Another expression of accomplishment
as she tucks the ball in and romps toward the goal line.

No way she'll miss this one.  Eyes on the ball.  Concentrating.

You really want to catch it with your hands but sometimes just have to hug that
ball to your chest and hang on.  A catch is a catch.  Are her eyes closed?

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