How is College Football Photography Done?

Discussion in 'Articles of Interest' started by VidThreeNorth, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    24
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    "WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT"
    by Jim Colton.com, Jan 8, 2018

    "WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT"

    This is another post that has apparently drawn some comments. The question I have is for people who are familiar with college football photography. The people who are being criticized are "out of position" for taking a good picture, so they did not try. I think Coulton wrote that they should have second cameras for such an occasion. I would have guessed that these photographers were not working alone and that they had other photographers in better position who they were relying on.

    Any besides that, who cares if they did not get the shot? What are you looking at here? It looks like a video frame capture. The broadcasters will usually license frames to other media anyway. Nothing was "missed".


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    42,160
    Likes Received:
    12,986
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm going to assume you're not up on professional sports photography. If you're credentialed and in the press pit, you're there to do a job, NOT watch the game (except through your viewfinder). For every person in the pit, there were probably five applicants who didn't make it. The credentialing authority is not going to waste a position in the pit on someone who isn't doing what they're supposed to be. Out of the six photographers in the shot, the only one who could be a pro is the guy far right who's actually shooting with his short lens and has his long glass ready to go.

    While it's possible that there might be two people from the same publisher in the pit, it's unlikely. The proper way to do this is indeed with a two lens set up. For outdoor football, my preference is the 200-400 f4 and 24-70 f2.8. If the ball is in play, or there's action on the field, ONE of those two should be glued to your eye. If I was the credentialing authority for that stadium, five of those six wouldn't be coming back on my watch!
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    16,722
    Likes Received:
    4,207
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Whoever wrote that was out of position for writing it.

    BTW: there is yet another photographer who is not aiming his camera at the left edge, just behind the official. So maybe that's the right way to do. Five out of five shown are NOT taking a photo, so who are we to judge?

    (Q) What does it take to be a credentialed press photographer for the student newspaper?

    (A) GEAR!

    Lots and lots of expensive-looking professional-type GEAR.
     
  4. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    24
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Exactly right about that, which is why I asked.

    Well this is disappointing. If I go to a fairly large wedding -- not huge, but maybe 300 guests, I usually see at least a two man crew, one stills and one video. For larger weddings I have seen three - five in a team. One still, two video and one of these three in charge. Past three you might get a second still and possibly a goffer/floater. A huge football game with lots of interest and money floating around and publisher is just sending one? That's disappointing.


    Really, even if you have a pair of photographers, there is no reason not to have two cameras ready for each. So even then, I think you guys are right. The job was not being done as well as it should have been. And looking at the cameras, I'm not sure what we are seeing. The guy next to the official has a short lens and I do not see a long lens camera beside him. Actually, his camera looks pointed correctly, so maybe he was taking a video or stills at the moment. A camera does not need to be up at your face these days. . . .

    My position? About two feet back from my monitor, beside my computer boxes on a firm plastic chair. :)

    When I wrote they were out of position, I was noting that a better position would have been more in front of the receiver, and also, out of the way of the official about to run in front of them. Also, there has been criticism of photographers not getting out of the way of "the game" in some situations, especially when "the game" is heading towards them, and maybe these people were getting ready to back up?

    But really, looking at the action more closely, I was wrong about them being out of position. That catch would have been at the back of the field, past where they were, and in fact they were in perfect position for a good shot.

    Well, yeah, I guess that is also a possibility.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    42,160
    Likes Received:
    12,986
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Bear in mind, as a Canadian, I know next to nothing about US college football except that it's the game with the brown, pointy ball. From what I hear and read, it is, in many cases, not far behind the NFL in terms of fan fanaticism, funding, and news-worthiness. I would expect that it's not a matter of an editor not sending more than one, rather that editor is only allocated one slot in the press pit. Press facilities vary by stadium, and the rules vary according to the venue management. I don't do a lot of high-end field sports, but on the occasions I have, there's never been more than one photographer from any one publication.
     
  6. VidThreeNorth

    VidThreeNorth TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2016
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    24
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Much thanks to the responses! I did learn a lot from all this. And in particular, I learned that I would not want to be a Pro football photographer. Not right now anyway. :)
     
  7. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    16,722
    Likes Received:
    4,207
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Oh! How did we get from college to pro all of a sudden? What did I miss?
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2018
  8. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    13,532
    Likes Received:
    3,285
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I saw that post before. I was thinking those 3 people were college newspaper, etc photographers; even photogs for the football team. The one had way too long a lens to get anything that close (and she was wearing Alabama Crimson red shirt). There's plenty of student photogs out there all the time.

    @tirediron .. there's also the Canadian Football League.
     
  9. ronlane

    ronlane What's next? Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    8,992
    Likes Received:
    3,654
    Location:
    Mustang Oklahoma
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I could not see the image on the article but since it Alabama is mentioned I'm going to assume that you are talking about the girls with camera's watching that OT score.

    They were most likely from one of the schools and not professionals shooting for a wire service or publication.

    I have shot a number of college football games as a credentialed media person for my local paper. I have friends that shoot for the Oklahoman and can tell you a little about how they cover a game.

    With it just being me, I would try to put myself in the correct position and take shots if at all possible. At the BCS level games that I have shot, I covered them with 2 bodies and a 300mm f/2.8 and a 70-200mm f/2.8 and had a 24-70mm with me but didn't use it.

    With my friends from the Oklahoman, they all had at least 2 bodies with either a 300mm or 400mm, a 70-200mm and some of them had a third body with a 24-70mm. They used 3-4 photographers and put them in each corner of the stadium for coverage. So that no matter where the action happened, they had a good chance to get the shot.

    Each of those times I have been there, there have been plenty of other photographers there with only 1 body and something like a 70-200mm. Some get the shot some don't.

    In my opinion, to get credentials for an event like that and not taking two bodies and lenses (minimum) is wasting a great opportunity. Had I been in the spot where they were, I would have been shooting no matter what equipment I had with me because you just never know. Sure I may have had to delete some images, but what if I got just one. Then it was all worth it.
     
  10. Sportrunner

    Sportrunner TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Without knowing what the assignments for those photographers are it's a stretch to throw them under the bus. One has a long lens on her camera so I can see a reason for not being ready. They could also be getting ready to go on the field for post game reaction. As soon as he caught the ball the game was over so they could be getting ready to get photos of the quarterback on the field or the coaches meeting on the field. There were a lot of stories to be covered in that game.
     
  11. Garasaki

    Garasaki TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    A professional photographer of football, was what was meant here. Not a photographer of professional football.

    Even if the people here had long lenses on the only body they had, they could certainly still have been shooting some sort of action. Granted the ball, and exactly 1 player, are close to the photographers in question, there are another 21 players on the field, as well as a handful of officials, a sideline of about 120 people (players, coaches, staff) opposite them, and probably 3/4 of a stadium filled with 75,000 people in their field of view.

    How about a picture of the quarterbacks reaction to the game ending pass? The opposition's reaction? The head coach? The official on the opposite side of the field signaling touchdown?

    I can't believe that in this scene, there wasn't some sort of impactful picture to be taken at this moment, SOMEWHERE.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    904
    Likes Received:
    296
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Despite the L glass, if any of them are students, there is your lack of skills, procedure and discipline. Most student photographers are NOT trained sports photographers with that discipline. My high school yearbook photographers would be those students in a year or two, and they have a long way to go, and I can easily see them doing just that. So the pix does not surprise me.

    From the pix, the behavior of the 3 girls look like they are students.
    The girl on the left has 2 cameras, one should be a short zoom and up at her face, and it is not.
    The middle girl has what seems like a shorter lens, and likewise should be up at her face, and is not.
    The right girl has the longer L lens. Despite being a longer lens I would still try to see what I could get at 70mm.

    If the right 2 girls worked as a team, one with the 70-200 for the long shots, another with the 24-70 for the close shots, that would work. But middle girl has her camera down, so that team concept is not working.

    I can't tell if the 2nd guy on the left is shooting video or still.
    If video, he could be spot on.

    I cannot see enough of the left side guy to figure out what he is doing, except that a camera is not up at his face.

    But again, if the girls are students, you cannot criticize them very much if at all.
    I have a pix of one of my students chimping his camera, just as a basket is being made, right in front of him. Opportunity lost. We discussed it in class, but I fully expect him or someone else to do it again.
    Kids make mistakes and they learn, I hope.

    If I were a pro with the funding, as mentioned, I would have 2 bodies; short zoom (24-70) for close shots and a 70-200 for the longer shots. You absolutely NEED the full range.

    I shoot high school football with a DX body with a 18-140 lens (27-210mm FX equivalent). There have been MANY times where I had that lens cranked in short at 18mm (27mm FX equivalent), when the player was on the sideline (just like the pix), about 6 feet from me. So there is definitely a place for a WIDE angle lens when shooting football.

    When I was in high school (many years ago), I used a 300mm lens, and I lost those close shots. But back then, in general, we ignored the plays close to the sideline and us, and concentrated on mid-field plays, as most of us shot with primes of 135, 200 and 300mm. And all of us had only the ONE camera we owned. No one thought to have one of us with a 50mm lens for the closer shots. We did not shoot at a real team, we shot as a bunch of individuals with little coordination and planning.

    Today, shooting soccer, I find that I miss my 18-140 when I have the 70-210 on the camera. The 70-210 is too long for those CLOSE shots, which happen in soccer also. When the sun goes down, I switch from the slow 18-140 to the faster 70-210. I use the 70-210 f/4 for the night games, because it is 1 stop faster than my 18-140, which is f/5.6 at the long end. As an unpaid amateur, I can't afford a 2nd body just for a hobby.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

best cameras

,

news