PHOTO BY BARNICK

Photo By Barnick

The Story Behind the Shots

Shooting West Virginia vs. TCU Football

I’ve got a new lens (Canon 400mm F4 DO II) which is my first time shooting with a long white lens.  Very exciting!  I’ve also got a new camera (Canon R6) to go along with my Sony A9 and my other new lens (Sony 70-200 Version 2).  I’m all excited to shoot WVU vs TCU with TCU being a highly ranked team.  What could go wrong? Well, for starters, forgetting the EF to RF adapter!

Turns out I left it attached to my 100mm Macro 2.8 L lens at home. When I removed that lens from the R6, I didn’t think to keep the adapter attached to the R6. 

I had a mini panic. I had no way to try out my new 400mm lens at a football game, something for which it was specifically purchased.

Luckily, a friendly AP shooter said that she has a Canon 7D Mark 2 as a backup that I could borrow. I was happy that at least I could use the lens, although I still wouldn’t know how it would work with the improved autofocus of my Canon R6. That would have to come later (see the blog about shooting WVU vs Oklahoma).  

Regarding the photos:

1. Only one of the photos on the website is with the 400 lens.

The only 400mm lens shot that made it on the website due to heat waves.
The only 400mm lens shot that made it on the website due to heat waves.

I experienced something referred to as heat waves, which made my photos with this lens murky for lack of a better word. The colors were mushy.  An example is below. One of the things that increases the problem is the distance between the photographer and the object. Since I was using a 7d Mark 2, the crop factor of 1.6 made me shoot from further away, further exacerbating the issue. It was high contrast light which also doesn’t help.

A murky photo caused by heat waves using the 400mm lens on the Canon 7D Mark2
A murky photo caused by heat waves using the 400mm lens on the Canon 7D Mark2

A few things to try next time for me (of course not using the 7d Mark 2 but my R6) when faced with these situations is to stand up while shooting (I always shoot from my knees), move the shutter speed to 1/2500, drop the ISO by 1/3 to 2/3 of a stop (I shoot manual with autoiso so this will underexpose slightly), shoot from the other direction, and move closer.

2. The first photo is one of my favorite sports photos. Not only is the lighting great, but it also has the sign “The Pride of West Virginia” in the background. Personally I think this has West Virginia Football written all over it and I was very happy when I first saw the photo. Sony A9 with 70-200 version 2 lens, 1/2000 at F2.8, iso 100, 200mm.

Garrett Greene running against TCU with "The Pride of West Virginia" in the background.
Garrett Greene running against TCU with “The Pride of West Virginia” in the background.

3. The second photo is Reese Smith diving for a touchdown. I also love this shot as I am still trying to work on my ability to move from the quarterback throwing to the wide receiver catching. For this image, I was able to accomplish it well. The lighting isn’t great however – a lot of contrast.

WVU Reese Smith touchdown against TCU
WVU Reese Smith touchdown against TCU

4. The third photo is another of my favorites. Max Duggan at the line staring at me before taking the snap. The lighting is great and the background is wonderful.

TCU QB Max Duggan
TCU QB Max Duggan

5. The photos of Max Duggan being pressured in the end zone are something I wouldn’t normally post or send to the client because it seems like the main player has his back to me. However, I’m shooting for WVU so the players pressuring Max Duggan become the focus to my client.

Max Duggan under pressure
Max Duggan under pressure
Max Duggan under pressure
Max Duggan under pressure

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