I’m Technically Still on Holiday Break, But I Shot An NFL Game Yesterday, so I Had To Share a Few Shots

I had such a great time yesterday shooting with the Falcons (such a great crew to work with). The game was in Tampa, and it was hot! You’d think by nearly January it would be at least in the low 70s, but it was hot as blazes, especially in the first quarter, but even so, it was still so much fun.

Deion Jones celebrates as he crosses the goal line securing the win for the Falcons in overtime with a pick-six off Bucs QB Jameis Winston.

I was definitely rusty not having shot all year, but my knee held up nicely (I babied it), and I just had a ball. I got to see and spend some time with my dear friend Rob Foldy (who now leads the photography team at the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United & Mercedes-Benz Stadium).

This is why I don’t take selfies. Of course, Rob looks great. He looks like a model. I look like…I dunno but it’s not good. Perhaps I shouldn’t stand so close to Rob in pictures.

I also got to shoot once again alongside the Falcon’s own Kara Durrett and sports photographer Mark Brown (both real pros, great shooters, and really awesome people), along with Adler Garfield (just met him — seems like a cool dude). Also, I met Jordan and Max who were part of the Falcon’s crew working the game (very cool, super helpful guys).

I’m just going to share a few shots and then head off to bed. I’m pretty whipped (that Tampa heat takes it out of you. So do all those interceptions).

The big man celebrating after taking it to the house for six.
Everybody goes airborne once in a while.

It case you were wondering if I got that shot where the ref walks right in front of my field of view and draws my camera’s focus point….well, you would not be disappointed (see below). I wish I only had this one.

Referees: Friend to players and the photographers alike

Yup, that ref is sharp as a tack. Too bad he had nothing to do with the play.
Here I was able to stay locked on the players, but as soon as one of the refs saw I had a clear shot during a fumble, he immediately raced into the scene, as shown above.

Shooting In Pick County!

This guy threw no picks. He’s from out-of-town. Georgia, I believe.
This guy is setting records for throwing picks, including one on the first play of overtime to lose the game for the Bucs. I don’t know how Bucs fans feel about him, but the teams the Bucs played this season absolutely love him, and badly want him to get a contract extension.

It was so great to be back out there shooting football again. Thanks to Rob, Kara, and the Falcons for asking me to shoot with them — I really loved the opportunity and congrats to the Falcons on the win.

I believe I can fly….

Gear Info

I took two camera bodies (as always); both Canon 1Dx’s. On my main body I used my 200-400mm f/4 (which is currently for sale by the way) with a built-in 1.4x tele-extender; supported with a Gitzo monopod. On the 2nd body, I had my 70-200mm f/2.8. I also had my Hoodman Loupe, which is worth its weight in gold during day games like this.

Camera Settings

I shot at f/4 all day on the long lens (except for times when I kicked in the tele-extender, then it automatically jumps to f/5.6), and I left my 70-200mm at f/2.8 all day. I shot in Aperture Priority mode with Auto ISO turned on and set to a minimum shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second. I used focus case 1 and shot in RAW (I usually shoot in JPEG for football, but the Falcons requested RAW so RAW it is).

Next stop — Orlando for the Alabama vs Michigan bowl game on New Year’s Day. Not shooting — just watching — for Christmas the wifey bought my son and me great seats for the game (#rolltide!), and we’re both super psyched.

Have a great week everybody — I’m chillin’ till after the first of the year, and then I’m back hitting it hard for 2020!



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