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Depth Of Field: Week 15 At Denver
Exploring the game against the Broncos through the lens of the Cardinals team photographer
By Caitlyn Epes Dec 20, 2022
Photographs By Caitlyn Epes

Rocky Mountain Highs and Lows

While the Cardinals did not bring the Phoenix weather to Denver this weekend, a couple big plays brought the heat to the field.

We're going to ignore the final score here and take you through some of my favorite angles of the game.

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I tried my 85mm and 24-70mm lens pair again for pregame, and I think I'm getting more used to it. All of these first few shots were taken with my 85mm set at f/2 aperture.

The locker room was pretty spacious which allowed me to get up close and personal without invading players' space.

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Instead of going out on the field for team introductions, I stayed in the tunnel area because I liked the white background.

It was a little bit dark for my liking, but Trey McBride and Budda Baker were into it.

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I especially loved having the 85mm on me for portraits during the national anthem, as you can see below. The light was beautiful at this point in the day.

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There is always time for a good wide angle shot though, and the Broncos' stadium made for a cool background for this one of J.J. Watt.

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Speaking of J.J. Watt, I had a great angle of his first sack of the day.

I could see him rushing the quarterback through my lens and just fired away until they both hit the ground.

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As some of you may know, I spent the past two years with the Steelers photographing the other two Watt brothers.

I guess J.J. wanted to remind me of that when he did T.J.'s sack celebration! Not going to lie, I cheered when this happened.

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Since we're going chronologically through this game, I'll detour a bit to showcase some photos with specific composition in mind.

The first two shots below are framed with the subject in the middle of the composition, which is something that kind of goes against the traditional "rule of thirds" law of photography.

The third photo of DeAndre Hopkins is composed with him on the right side of the frame with his hair drawing you around the photo.

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The light during this game shifted quite a bit based on which direction we were facing, and towards the end of the second half, there was a large light pocket when the sun was low on the horizon.

It is extremely difficult to pick camera settings for light situations like this. The main reason being that there is only one part of light on the field and the rest is in shadows, so you have to basically guess where the play is going to end up and hope for the best!

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The game didn't sit in this light pocket for very long, but I was able to capture a couple frames of it. You can see how dramatic the shadows are in the below photo of J.J.

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This next photo was taken 20 minutes after that one in a very similar spot on the field, so it shows how fast light can change during a game.

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I got a lot of photos during this game that highlight how, at its core, football is a game of guys running around throwing their bodies at each other.

Obviously there's a lot of skill involved, but photography sort of narrows the game down to the physical attributes.

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Sometimes, things happen out of the frame and I don't even notice until I look at the photo.

This photo of Trace McSorley shows the referee throwing a penalty flag, and upon first look you'd think he's calling the penalty on Trace, but it ended up being a holding call.

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It's always fun to capture great action by our players and follow it up by capturing the celebration.

Here's Jonathan Ledbetter's sack and hug with J.J. Watt:

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And here's Colorado native Trey McBride's big run and even bigger flex:

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One of the best parts of my job is being able to work with and reunite with players I photographed in college, especially because we were all students at the same time! I'll end today's photo essay with a wholesome photo of myself with my fellow Oklahoma Sooners:

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