HS Football Semifinal Playoffs. 30, 31•Oct.•09

“2 Nights. Four games. 150+ Miles. Rain, Turf & Bad Light…”

Welcome to the beginning of Section 9 HS Playoff post-season football here in New York’s Hudson Valley. One good thing about covering games in Kingston in the antiquated Dietz Stadium, is that I’m completely familiar with the operation there. Nice turf. Good parking. Bad light for night games. More like miserable light actually. Decent food at the concession stand – when you need it. (The paper recently opened a bureau nearby in the Uptown neighborhood of Kingston – which is only blocks away from the stadium.) Since this “stadium” still hasn’t installed any sort of internet connectivity through the years, it’s usually been a hassle to cover games there and get your pictures out. With the newpaper’s bureau closeby, it offers a cozier office space to edit and transmit photos on deadline. Previous years I’d always utilized a nearby Holiday Inn hotel or coffee shop for their open wi-fi networks after covering sporting events like weekend track championships and graduations. I am still recovering if you will, from the back-to-back late nights of editing and drives home on deserted county roads way past midnight. It’s been sort of a good weekend off from covering Army football (they have a bye-week & play Air Force on the road next week), but that doesn’t mean I worked any less in covering these games… Did I mention the crummy light…? and periodic threats of pouring rain…?
Football is always a difficult sport to photograph at any level, and combining those unforeseen weather elements makes it even more of a challenge. The action can take place almost anywhere on the field, so there’s always that extra little hustle you have to remind yourself to literally sometimes run to get in place for a potential long pass or touchdown run.
As I’ve written in earlier posts on my sports coverage, I prefer to work from my knees for football (or sitting on the court for basketball) – as it produces images with “cleaner” backgrounds (soft focus from the characteristics of the long lenses at wide aperatures) and it seems a bit easier to keep the horizon level in most images.

Click the links below to view a brief photo gallery from each game:

Monroe-Woodbury 35 – Minisink Valley 6
Highland 42 – Marlboro 12
Cornwall 38 – Saugerties 7
Ellenville 30 – Millbrook 7

Thanks again for looking. -cg.

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