"Back in the Black…" Army – Northwestern Football. September 17, 2011

Thoughts on working again down at Michie Stadium for my first game of the 2011 season covering the Black Knights of Army. Football for me is similar to covering other sports at any level of competition, and is truly a game of inches. Particularly at the Division I College level. My choice of shooting positions throughout the game is usually from my knees 99.5% of the time, lens and camera choices (usually 3 bodies & at least one stadium remote installed above the stadium for the overall wide view – below), and even the clothing I wear for the day is all predetermined. Well usually. Nowhere was this theory put to the test as it was during Saturday’s game against Northwestern. *(Note to self: remember carpenters knee pads & full rain suit in the car’s trunk. Change batteries in the Pocket-Wizards to insure consistent firing of remote camera, and attach PW receiver in remote camera’s hot-shoe to avoid radio reception interference for that camera atop Kimsey Hall.)

Army and Northwestern on the field in front of 35,784 fans during their game in Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, on Saturday, September 17, 2011. Army defeated Northwestern 21 – 14. CHET GORDON/Times Herald-Record
We all dodged a bullet as the rain held off for the day and the stadium lights were on the whole time, which helped with exposures. With game time kickoff at 3:30PM, I knew it’d be a long afternoon and the workday would spill over into the evening. I certainly didn’t want to be leaving the ballpark after 9 or 10PM I kept reminding myself… It wasn’t a great game for making peak action images, although Army QB Trent Steelman ran for three touchdowns (2 of them were one – yard ‘bang-bang’ plays into a scrum at the goal line), so that meant working to stay keyed on just about every play in the second half, because any routine run or pass play could be a game-breaker. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around and the score tied at 14, I remember at times drifting into my “work zone”: No crowd noise, no distractions, no talking to fellow photographers along the sidelines or end zone. Fortunately I didn’t miss too many pictures on Saturday. All in all it was good to be working back in the big stadium, and working hard to offer full day coverage going into my fifth season of Army Football… ~cg 

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