Trying American Football

On Sunday 17th November, three LGCCC members made a journey down the A1M to Hatfield to shoot some American football.

Club Chairman, Garry Neesam, is a keen sports photographer and the official photographer for the University of Hertfordshire Hurricanes. In a recent newsletter Garry offered the chance for club members to try some real live sports photography, two members took up the offer. Here is what they had to say after shooting a game between the Hurricanes and the University of Cambridge Pythons.

John Sanderson

On a cold Sunday in November, members of the club gathered at the University of Hertfordshire sports ground. Our objective was to photograph an American Football game. In the latest camera club newsletter, Garry had invited members of the club to join him for a game by the Hertfordshire Hurricanes, the university American football club. Garry is team photographer for the club and so was able to get us special access to the game.

We arrived well before the game started and Garry gave us a run down on the layout of the pitch, where we were allowed to go and areas that should be avoided. Whilst the spectators were limited to small areas we were pretty much allowed to go anywhere along the sidelines and behind the end zone. When the game started this gave us the opportunity to observe and photograph the play for a number of different angles.

It was an excellent afternoon and gave us the opportunity to capture a range of shots.

It is quite a challenge to photograph American Football. The game consists of 4 quarters of 12 minutes each but due to stoppages and changing team members this takes almost 2 hours. So the action occurs in very short bursts. The plays are very varied and set up to hopefully confuse the opposition. This also can confuse the photographers, who are trying to pick up where the action is going to move next.

However, between us we got some good shots, some of which are shown here. A good day was had by all.

John Sanderson

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Andrew Foden

Recently I took up Garry’s invitation to club members to join him at the University of Hatfield to photograph the Hertfordshire Hurricanes American Football team. John Sanderson and I joined Garry nice and early as the teams were warming up for a safety briefing and tips
on what to photograph and where to gain the best vantage points. This was time well spent as the game is very fast and furious and is difficult to read until you get your eye in.

Being associated with Garry, who is a regular at the matches gave us access to areas of the pitch and sidelines which we would not have had otherwise and meant that we had room to manoeuvre without being shoulder to shoulder with others in the spectator areas. Shooting conditions were challenging to say the least, with low light and fast moving subjects. Even at F2.8, I had to push the ISO up high to maintain shutter speeds of 1/800 to 1/1000 which were needed to successfully freeze the action.

I would highly recommend that other club members take up this opportunity to join Garry in the future as it was a very enjoyable afternoon and although I’m a somewhat seasoned sports photographer myself I still learnt a great deal from photographing an unfamiliar sport that I’m sure I will be able to apply in other areas.

A big thank you to Garry and I hope you enjoy my efforts…

Andrew Foden

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Garry Neesam

It was great to see John and Andrew down at the University of Hertfordshire after I invited them to try their hand at American football photography.

I know that both have some exprience at sports photography, John with Rugby and Andrew with cycling and motor sports, so it was interesting to see how they got on with a new sport medicamentos viagra.

Circumstances weren’t the best in terms of weather and light but at least it didn’t rain; the game started in dim daylight and ended under the floodlights, so one needs to adapt camera settings to meet the changing light. There is a time during the game where ambient light fades, the floodlights come on, but it;s not dark enough for them to make much difference, this is when lighting is at its poorest level. Then the ambient light dies and the floodlighting takes over and things become brighter again.

I hope they had an interestng photographic experience. It can certainly be a challenge trying to capture the action in a game you’re not familiar with and doubly so when having to cope with challeging light a s well.

Maybe next time I’ll invite them to a summer game. (I shoot the sport all year round)

… Garry Neesam

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