Behind the Camera: Make it Count by Scott Roeder

June 19, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

 

Arriving early on game days allows me time set up my equipment and double check that I have full batteries and cleared memory cards.
 

Historically most photographers shooting Ultimate are presented with a minimum of two full days of shooting, which equals 6-8 rounds of games. Two-day tournaments are still the standard competition format at almost every level. What does this mean for a photographer set out to shoot a day of ultimate? It means more diving, catching, layout Ds, and more skying. It means more opportunity for those great shots. Did you have a bad round, miss some awesome plays or get some out-of-focus shots? No need to get down on yourself. Review and adjust for the next round.

 

With the growth of professional leagues such as MLU and AUDL, the format has changed to reflect the more widely recognized weekly competition schedule of most professional sports. The sport has in many ways changed for players as well as for photographers.

 

My favorite position to shoot from is at the back of the endzones, which yields action shots coming straight towards the camera. I make sure to position myself down-wind most of the time because that is where a majority of the scores will happen.
 

For me there is an obvious change in mental preparation and planning. I usually get to the venue an hour before the start of the game. This gives me time to find parking, carry my gear over, set up my computer in the media room, and dial in camera settings. Knowing that I only have 1.5-2 hours to get great action shots and tell a story has me making sure that I’m ready to go when the defensive line runs down on the first pull of the game. I am also constantly evaluating lighting conditions, wind, and scoring locations in order to adjust my shooting position on the field. I’ll even have a rough shot list and timeline in my head which helps maximize my time and capture a good variety of shots. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that my planning and workflow is modified when shooting a single game.

 

Shooting single games vs tournaments has some differences but in the end we’re still shooting the same sport that we all love.

 

When shooting night games the light changes once the stadium lights go on. Later in the game I moved to the sideline to get a new angle with the packed stands as a background and with the stadium lights directly at my back.

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