“Don’t Let The Skirts Fool You” is a mantra of field hockey players. They were what looks like a skirt over shorts as part of their uniform but they want you to know right away that there is nothing “dainty” about them.
I started doing sports photography in the digital world shooting RJ Reynolds High School Field Hockey. My stepdaughter was playing and I wanted her to have something to look back on, years from now when she has her own family. I have one photo of my mother in a team picture when she played basketball at Tula High School in Tula, MS. I have one picture of my baseball playing days, which is a team photo when I was 16 years old. I wanted her to have more than that and I know her children will have fun looking at their mom in her athletic years. The year she graduated, the coach asked to if I would come back out and photograph the team the next year, even though Emma would not be playing. I said yes and this year will be my tenth year providing memories for these young folks.
Field hockey is a sport played with a stick that is flat on one side and rounded on the other. The ball can only be touched with the flat side. If you have possession of the ball and it touches the rounded side, a whistle is blown, play stopped, that the ball turned over to the other team. It is a tough sport and is not for the faint of heart. The ball is hard rubber and as the season wears on, so do the bruises that appear on the arms and legs of the players. I have seen these girls hit with a direct shot, fall to their knees, take a couple of deep breaths, and refuse to leave the game. These young ladies are very, very tough.
I like this photo because the light was good and it shows off athletic ability.
This is one of my two favorite track photos. This is an event that has been held at Hanes Park in Winston Salem for the last 30 years. The event consists of 5 events, the mile, 400 meters, 800 meters, 100 meters, and a cross country 5K, all in one evening. The thing I like about this photo is the strength of the woman in the front. Don’t be so shallow as to think those very fast male runners behind her are lapping her. The photo illustrates the power of the female athlete. Make no mistake; those guys behind her were fast male runners. This lady was focused and in total control of the race she was running. She not only led this event, but also led and won each heat of each event and became the female overall winner. If I could change something about this photo, I would have taken it in the turn so that more of the pack behind her could be seen and you could see just how hard they were working to try and keep up.
I know we all found that getting a ball just off the pictures fingers is hard. Well, getting a header in soccer is equally as hard. You have to follow the ball in the air and determine who was going to go up for the ball. I have quite a few shots of the ball just off the head, which meant I was late, but I got this one making contact. What I would like to get is two players going up for the ball and getting the ball making contact with a players head while their heads collide. That is not uncommon in soccer but hard for me to get.
This photograph was taken at a High Point baseball game in an attempt to get an action shot. The photo I turned in was marked down a couple of points for being too loose. I think this one would have worked better. I like the shot because of the dirt flying as the runner slid into the base. The shortstop did not make the tag as the ball is on the ground. I wish I could have gotten the shortstop a little bit sharper but I was focusing on second base, which made the runner sharp, but the shortstop is sports sharp. It was a great afternoon for baseball and I enjoyed Doug’s company as we took photos.
This photograph was taken at a RJ Reynolds football game last season. We were instructed to print a photo we had previously taken and flush mount it. This photo was taken in a steady downpour which made the task challenging. It was at this game that I met Priscilla Brown, second year RCC photography student, taking photos for the small format class. She was there with another second year whose name I cannot remember. I like the photograph because of the raindrops frozen in the frame. Without that, it would only be another photograph of a football player running the ball. I wish this photo could have been taken in better lighting but the fields in our area, especially where Reynolds plays, have very poor lighting.