Best of 2018

Over the years I published my favorite photos of the year in “best of” posts on the Welles Park Bulldog and Chicago Bulldog Media. I always enjoyed doing this. I could really see improvement in my work.

Now, it’s a lot of work just to pick out photos. I took about 60,000 photos this year at about 90 events. So that’s like games, family events, political events, parades, stuff like that. 60,000 pictures is a lot but it is very skewed because sporting events require something like 500 to 1,000 photos just for one game. But I still covered a lot of stuff.

I am not so sure I have gotten any better at it being a photographer this year. I spent a lot of time just experimenting around with the Canon 5D Mark IV trying to make the most out of it. There is a lot of technical stuff to master in that thing. I probably worried more about that than thinking about the subjects.

I study the photos of the pro sports photographers. My photos aren’t as good—not really even close. Brian O’Mahoney’s photos are always so crystal clear and tight. Worsom Robinson’s are always so well composed and so well sell lit. Allen Cunningham’s are always so action packed. Mine are always so grainy and far away. I have to make the leap to a 300mm/f2.8. Anybody got $6K they are not using?

So I picked out these photos as my best of the 2018. I will cull through them a little more and remove the not so good ones. I may add some more from the Christmas tournaments.

Let me know what you think.

Brother Rice Continues CCL Blue Dominance with 21-14 Win over St. Rita

Brother Rice hosted St. Rita Friday night (Sept. 28, 2018) in a Chicago Catholic League Blue showdown. The Crusaders maintained their lead in the conference with a 21-14 defeat of the Mustangs.

The Crusaders opened the scoring early in the first quarter with a 73 yard touchdown pass and run from senior quarterback John Bean to senior wide receiver Dylan Summers.

The Crusaders took the 7-0 lead into half time and opened the third with a long touchdown run by John Bean. The Mustangs answered immediately thereafter with a kickoff return touchdown by St. Rita sophomore wide receiver Henry Wilson to make the score 14-7.

In the fourth, Brother Rice senior cornerback Danny Fitzgerald picked off an errant pass and returned the ball deep into St. Rita territory. The Crusaders capitalized on the Fitzgerald INT with an inside touchdown run by senior running back Jessi Plunkett.

Despite a late St. Rita touchdown drive, Brother Rice held for the win improving its record to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Catholic League Blue.

Photographing High School Sports

So over the last couple weekends I covered a number of high school football games, I took thousands of photographs but I also tweeted news and photos of the action. I got some good, but not great, shots that I quickly tweets with news of the action. I got many quick retweets from news outlets and reporters; a lot of people saw my photos.

But . . . I noticed that the quality of my photos has suffered. I have not been concentrating on the game and being in the best position to get good photographs. I been much too focused on “impressions” and “retweets.”

I had a nice conversation with a very talented photographer who is one of two or three sports photographers in the Chicago area. He said, “Sports photography is 90% luck, 10% skill and the rest being in the right spot.”

Very true.

The 10% skill part is paying attention to the game and concentrating on taking photos. Tweets and talking to reporters and spectators have gotten in the way. I gave up sportswriter because it’s hard and I am a better photographer than sportswriter.

I think I am going to get back to making good pictures and leave reporting to the reporters. What little I know about good sports photography is anticipating the action and getting the exposure and shutter speed right.

Except I love Twitter, so I guess we shall see what happens.  

[I planned this post for last Monday or Tuesday but I didn’t have the right photo available, so it is going up now.}