Gearing Up for the Big Game

We’re only in the second week of the new school year, though you’d never know it looking around our small town. Store marquees are already counting down to the big Homecoming football game and Halloween candy has made its way into sack lunches.

Forget about pool parties and late night picnics, folks in these parts have their cameras focused squarely on the football field. Like many tiny towns across the country, high school pigskin is king around these parts. Players’ parents, siblings, friends and classmates arrive early to stake out prime picture-taking spots around the field.

Fortunately, this time of year, there’s still some daylight left for them to snap winning shots. If you are planning to take photos of your child playing ball outdoors this fall, it’s a good idea to use the sunlight to your advantage. Whenever possible, you should position yourself so that the sun is illuminating your subject from the front rather than the side.

If you are taking photos later in the season when the sunsets earlier, then raise your ISO as high as it can go, open your aperture to f2.8 or f4, and use a shutter speed of 1/500 or higher. If you are shooting a night game, there’s a chance that the stadium’s lights may compromise the color of your shots, but you can usually fix this issue in the editing phase.

If you are really concerned about lighting and angles, then set-up camp a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. This is an ideal spot for capturing the offense and defense. Another prime spot is about 15 yards downfield from the line of scrimmage. Here you can snap photos of pass plays and long runs without a lot of extraneous background “noise”. In addition, you can use your camera’s zoom lens to focus solely on a particular player.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.