12
Sep

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Last Friday, less than 24 hours after getting home from Amsterdam I was sitting at Chilis relaxing and working on some photos when I got a call to see if I would be available to fly up to Seattle to cover the season opener for the Washington Huskies where they would be taking on football powerhouse LSU. I had planned on a nice relaxing weekend at home where I would shoot Arizona State opening their season against Idaho State. I took a few seconds to think about it, sure the ASU game is 15 minutes from my house and would make for a much easier weekend, but the chance to go up to Seattle (where I spent my last few years in the Navy and have several friends still there) was too much to pass up.

My itinerary had me arriving in Seattle three hours before the game, after getting the rental car and driving to Husky Stadium I would have at least two hours to get set up and shoot some pre game stuff.

Of course, as it tends to work, there would be a problem thrown into the works.

Once in Seattle I took the shuttle to the rental car facility to pick up my car. Once at the facility I was told they were currently out of cars and it would potentially take a few hours until they could get me one.

With my already tight schedule that simply wasn’t going to work.

I quickly got on the phone with my assistant, longtime friend and former Navy coworker Charles Whetstine, and arranged for him to pick me up and take me to the game.

We ended up getting to the stadium with less than an hour till kickoff, not the optimal way to do it but it would still work.

With the game kicking off right around sunset I had hoped for some nice low light coming in but the clouds had other things in mind.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200 iso, f3.2, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, prior to the game LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles goes over plays with his team.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 3200 iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, LSU quarterback (12) Jarrett Lee is framed by teammates as he drops back to pass during the final few minutes of pre game warm ups.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 3200 iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

After the national anthem LSU head coach Les Miles (below) holds back his players prior to entering the field for the start of the game.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Aperture Priority

Four years ago when I lived in Seattle I covered most of the Huskies home games. While nearly everything was still basically the same from back then, one new thing (that I despise) was the addition of an LED video board in one of the end zones that completely ruined most images shot from downfield. Below is an example of what I am talking about.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 4000 iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

The whole country (myself included) fully expected Washington to be completely destroyed by LSU in the game. I was pleasantly surprised to see Washington get off to a fast start and even score first.

Below, Washington Huskies tailback (23) Johri Fogerson goes for a long run as his teammates on the sideline look on.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 4000 iso, f4, 1/1000th, Manual

While I didn’t get any cool sunlight on the field around sunset there was still a nice sky to make for a pretty background, below.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500 iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

There was a spot in the end zone that if I used a long lens and shot at just the right spot I could get a nearly all black background to my shot.

Below, LSU Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson looks back as he walks off the field following a play.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

One of the dangers of shooting football on the sidelines is getting hit by football players as they run, fly or crash out of bounds following a play. The danger adds to the fun of shooting football (for me at least) but one photographer on the sidelines this game would have the action wind up on his lap as LSU Tigers running back (5) Keiland Williams got pushed out of bounds into an unsuspecting photog.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

At first it looked like the Washington defender would harmlessly slide into the photographer.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

But he had enough momentum to slide into the photographer hard and upending the shooter as his gear tumbled.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

The photographer was fine and quickly went back to shooting.

Below is another wide shot with the darkening sky as LSU kicks a field goal.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500 iso, f2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Below, Washington Huskies wide receiver (9) Devin Aguilar runs the ball past a diving LSU Tigers cornerback (7) Patrick Peterson.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Washington Huskies tailback (1) Chris Polk stiff arms LSU Tigers safety (44) Danny McCray in the first half, below.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

I typically don’t get many good photos of defensive players in action since I am usually following the offense but I got lucky in the below two photos as LSU Tigers cornerback (7) Patrick Peterson tackles Washington Huskies wide receiver (9) Devin Aguilar.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

The field of Husky Stadium (along with most other fields in the Pacific Northwest) is made of field turf instead of real grass. To make the field semi soft for hard landings and tackles it is softened with billions of tiny little pieces of rubber which by the end of the night will fill your shoes up and annoy the hell out of you.

One good thing about the rubber pellets is when a player is running or sliding you can see them flying off the field.

You get an idea of what I am talking about in the below photo of Washington Huskies wide receiver (9) Devin Aguilar as he leaps over LSU Tigers cornerback (4) Jai Eugene.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, Tigers cornerback (7) Patrick Peterson celebrates his fumble recovery.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

While walking behind the LSU bench I noticed Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson warming up, below. By getting low towards the ground I was able to incorporate the stadium lights into the background.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 2500 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

A few minutes later I would once again shoot Jefferson as he dove towards a first down against the Washington Huskies (below).

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Below, towards the end of the third quarter I was in a perfect position as LSU Tigers wide receiver (80) Terrance Toliver ran into the end zone celebrating a touchdown catch.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian (below) in action during his first game as the teams head coach.

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Nikon D700, 600mm, 4000 iso, f4.5, 1/800th, Manual

Below, Washington Huskies quarterback (10) Jake Locker throws a pass under pressure from LSU Tigers defensive tackle (92) Drake Nevis.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

On a long pass play (below) Washington Huskies wide receiver (82) Jordan Polk attempted to catch a pass but was hit by LSU Tigers cornerback (15) Brandon Taylor prior to catching the ball. The early contact resulted in Taylor was called for pass interference.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Almost looking like a baseball player sliding with dirt flying I got Polk sliding to a stop in the end zone after the interference.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

While shooting from the end zone the Washington Huskies mascot plopped down next to me and picked up my “oh shit camera” and began to mimic me.

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Photo by Charles Whetstine

One shot that I always want to get but never seem to get is a blocked kick.

I almost got one during this game as LSU Tigers punter (38) Derek Helton barely got the ball off as Washington Huskies linebacker (43) T.J. Poe flew in as he attempted to block the kick.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Another shot that most photographers like to get is when a players helmet gets knocked off on a play.

I did get one shot (below) as Washington Huskies tailback (1) Chris Polk had his helmet knocked off by LSU Tigers linebacker (56) Perry Riley in the fourth quarter.

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Nikon D700, 400mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

In the late stages of the game Washington was down by a touchdown and it seems the Huskies started trying too hard with throwing deep passes, but with LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson on the prowl it just wasn’t gonna be easy for Washington as wide receiver (82) Jordan Polk found out first hand.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

On another potential touchdown pass (below) LSU Tigers linebacker (56) Perry Riley broke up a pass intended for Washington Huskies tailback (23) Johri Fogerson.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

Unable to score a touchdown Washington gave LSU another chance to further pad their lead and they quickly did so as Tigers quarterback Jordan Jefferson threw a bullet pass (below)……

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

….to wide receiver Brandon LaFell.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

I wasn’t sure if he caught the ball but as he rolled over appearing to look at me the referees signaled “touchdown!”

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/1000th, Manual

By doing a little research I read that LaFell is projected to be a first round pick in next years NFL draft so I made sure to get a few clean head shots of him on the sidelines, such as the below photo.

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Nikon D700, 80-200mm, 3200 iso, f2.8, 1/800th, Manual

As soon as the game clock hit zero, signifying a 31-23 LSU victory I ran out to the center of the field to shoot LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles (right) embracing Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600 iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Following the exchange a somber looking Steve Sarkisian was followed off the field by the local media.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600 iso, f2.8, 1/640th, Manual

Another projected first round NFL pick was LSU Tigers tackle Ciron Black. As players were running off the field I frantically searched for #70 and found him hamming it up as he ran past me towards the locker room.

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Nikon D700, 24-70mm, 1600 iso, f2.8, 1/500th, Manual

And with that my first college football game of the season was in the books!

Random Clips:

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Posted in Football, Me, NCAA, Sports   | 4 Comments

4 responses to “Tigers > Huskies”

  1. della woods says:

    continue to search for videos and pics of our old cars…della

  2. Michael says:

    Too…much…purple…

  3. Jack Megaw says:

    That mascot picture is priceless!

  4. Awesome shots as per usual. I wish college games in Canada were this big.

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