Thursday, May 24, 2012

Favorite Photos - From Mustang Game

Sometimes through no fault of my own I get good photos.  At a typical Outlaws game I'll shoot 700 images.  When I view them on my computer I'll delete the really bad shots.  Then I'll use Photoshop Elements, my photography editing software, and examine the remaining photos.  Most will be "ok."  Not great, not terrible.  Adequate. 

Then there will be a few that I really like.  That make me think maybe I do have the makings of a photographer somewhere inside of me. 

Sotonye Dikibo, out of action
today so I got this candid
portrait.  I just like this photo.
Today I'll post a few of my favorite photos from the Mustangs game last Saturday.  I'll tell you why I like certain photos.  See if you like them, too.

This shot of Sotonye Dikibo for example.  In my initial scanning, this grabbed me.  Maybe the reds - red shirt, red tones in her hair, red track.  Maybe the depth of field - you can see Outlaw Annie in the background but out of focus.  Maybe just the expression on Sotonye's face, the position of her hands.  Maybe just the contrast from all my action photos.  And maybe it is seeing her so calm and peaceful when I know on the field she is one of the best, most aggressive tacklers on the team.  I don't know exactly why but I love this shot. 

The next one that caught my interest is a one-on-one of QT Preston blocking.  I think QT is nearly 6 feet tall but she appears smaller than her Mustang opponent.  I like this shot because of the eyes of the Mustang player and the slight backward slant.  Clearly QT is winning this contest. 

QT Preston battling a would-be tackler.  The Mustang is
bigger but QT is winning.

Lucinda Benitez fighting a blocker, while the runner
adjusts her route.  CPR doesn't make the tackle but
does make the tackle possible by forcing the play
inside where the rest of the defense is waiting.
The next shot is Lucinda "CPR" Benitez fighting off a Mustang blocker.  CPR is one of my favorite players because she's always in the area of the ball.  She isn't very big but she has a lot of talent and a lot of fight.  I think #22 has the ball and she is definitely having to change her route toward the center.  Where the rest of the defensive players are.  Benitez isn't going to make the tackle but she is forcing the play to the inside where a lot of other Outlaws will be able to stop the runner.

I like the clarity, the eyes of the players, and the
suspense - will the tackler catch the runner?
I like this next photo because of pretty good clarity.  Technically it is almost perfect.  I like the depth of field, runner with ball and tackler in close pursuit right behind.  I like being able to see the eyes of the players, the focus.  The only thing I don't like is the Mustang is gaining yards.  I'm an Outlaws fan and I prefer photos where the Outlaw is winning.
The next three are photos where the Outlaws are winning.  They feature one of my favorite players, Tiffany "Crash" James.  Making tackles.  You need to understand that football is a whole lot more difficult than it appears when you're watching on TV.  These photos help you "see" just how hard it is to stop a strong runner. 

Tiffany tenaciously grabbing the runner and dragging
her down - on top of Tiffany.  Ouch.
Tiffany got her nickname, "crash," from her giving herself up for the good of the team, the way crash test dummies sacrifice themselves for science.  One habit Tiffany had, one she hasn't completely unlearned, was grabbing the runner and pulling her down, on top of Tiffany.  It is much better to be the one landing on top.  But often you just can't get a clean shot at an opponent so you grab hold and drag her down.  Even if she does land on top of you.  (Ouch.)

The next two photos are really just one.  The first is a wide view of Tiffany grabbing the runner and holding on until teammates can arrive to complete the tackle.  The second is a closer view, cropping to let you see just how tenacious my friend Tiffany is. 

Tiffany "Crash" James grabbing the runner by the foot and holding on.

If you can't get a clean tackle, grab on to the runner any way you can and hang on until help arrives.  Runners aren't going to gain much ground dragging a 140 pound tackler.  In the past I've posted a few other shots of tacklers grabbing a runner's foot.  I think of this as blue-collar football. 

Annie the Outlaw.  The gun isn't real. 
One more favorite photo from the Mustangs game.  This is Alex... er, Annie Outlaw, the team mascot, hamming it up for Dennis the wannabe photographer.  Shooting a gun, shooting a picture, you need to aim, keep a steady hand, and fire.  And sometimes, as in the pictures in this post, you even hit the target.

I have more favorite photos I'll publish in future posts.  And if it doesn't bore you, I'll do a post of un-favorites.  You've heard the expression, even a blind hog finds an occasional acorn?  Well, the same concept applies here, even an amateur photographer gets an occasional good picture.

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