I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!
I like to spend my long, holiday weekends relaxing, catching up on life (i.e. laundry and cleaning), spending time with friends, and taking photos! This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to take photos of the Charlotte Eagles soccer game -- the professional soccer team in Charlotte -- with the photography group I LOVE being a part of: The Professional Photography Group (PPG). I learn a tremendous amount every time I'm around PPG team members, and it's always a positive, uplifting feeling! I'm a big proponent of surrounding yourself with people whom you can learn and grow from, and my involvement with PPG provides that and more!
Most photographers will tell you that if you're a good sports photographer, you'll be a good photographer in all aspects of photography. It's fast - paced, and timing, focusing, and getting the right exposure & color are just a few things that go into it. Well, prior to shooting the soccer game, I considered myself a fairly decent amateur sports photographer. I've taken photos at basketball games, swimming, kayaking, cycling, and rafting events, and was very pleased with how many decent photos I was able to capture. Soccer is a completely different story!
The players are spread out during the entire field, they move quickly, they're often in clusters; which can make focusing tricky, and that darn ball is almost impossible to track! It was very a humbling sports photography experience.
As if it wasn't difficult enough to take photos with one camera during the game, the owner of PPG, Brian, was shooting with two cameras during the game. He strapped one behind the goal to capture those epic shots of a goal being scored, and had one on him for the sideline photos. He used a wireless trigger to take the behind-the-net photos, and his photos were amazing! He taught me that for the goal photos or "header photos" (where the players hit the ball with their head), you have to predict where the ball is going to be, use your back focus button to lock your focus in your predicted area, and then hold it down and shoot once the ball gets there. It's not easy and takes quite a bit of practice, but it's totally worth it when you do get that shot.
The Charlotte Eagles are undefeated (GO THEM!), and won the game 1-0 against The Peachtree MOBA. They're a Christian organization and the games are very family oriented. They create a great environment with food trucks, music, and other fun activities for kids, like a bouncing castle.
Here are a few of my favorite photos:
If you'd like to view more of my sports photography, you can do so here.