Asleep in Seattle
Week 6 marked another new venue for me in Lumen Field, but left a lot to be desired once the game started.
The weather was warmer than expected, and the sunlight blasting onto the away team's sideline made it very difficult to see what I was photographing. Check out the photos below to see how I handled the interesting lighting and not-so-interesting game.
Kyler Murray was given no slack by the Seattle sign guy. It being my first encounter with the local celebrity, I was kind of impressed by how prepared he was with his posters.
Back to the harsh lighting, I noticed during pregame that one side of the field would be backlit, and any photos shot in the shadow area would be very hard to expose properly.
Being in the direct sunlight wore me out even during pregame, so I decided to post up right outside the locker room door to try and get some nice photos of players walking out into the tunnel. The clean blue background and ominous shadows made for a cool scene, but of course a group of fans with field passes were escorted through the area right as players were walking out.
I ended up getting some good stuff anyway, but sometimes you wait for 30 minutes just for the shot you planned out to be ruined.
This tunnel was easier to navigate than some NFL tunnels I've experienced. I was able to get up close to the defensive huddle that usually happens deep in the shadows of the tunnel area.
Speaking of huddles, I was up-close and personal with the entire team's huddle at the end of warmups, then tried my best to do the same with the defensive linemen huddle. Those guys are a lot bigger than me, so I'll settle for the hands-in shot.
I also like the photo of the last huddle I got with the long shadows on the field.
I followed the team into the locker room after warmups not knowing what the inside looked like. I was happy to see that some players had their chairs turned outward so I could get some shots of them sitting in preparation for the game.
I also snuck over behind Kyler Murray's locker at a distance to get some photos of him waiting to go back out onto the field and take on the Seahawks.
Once we were out on the field for the national anthem and Seahawks introductions, I tried to look for some feature-y photo opportunities.
J.J. Watt gave me just what I was looking for in the form of what could be a Gatorade advertisement.
There are many emotions showcased during this time of pregame. The spectrum ranges from the pumped-up Trey McBride to the poker-faced Kyler Murray.
During a typical game, I would say I use my 400mm lens 80% of the time. I have my 24-70mm as my "grab cam," which is the one on my right side able to be grabbed and ready to shoot at any time.
Images like the two below are taken with that grab cam, and while I like how they turned out, usually images from this camera are very hit or miss.
The first quarter and third quarters very backlit and hazy, which made action photography very difficult. I couldn't see very well through the viewfinder, so I honestly didn't know if I got any good shots of the plays happening right in front of me until I started editing.
The below images were photographed with the sun behind the subject. Notice the tiny little glare on top of the helmets that makes for an added detail.
Once the teams flipped end zones after each quarter, the light was hitting the Cardinals in a much more flattering way. It was much easier to see, even if it wasn't a pretty sight because of the score.
If you want to visualize offensive holding penalties, bookmark these:
At the half, the sun had moved enough that there were pockets of light here and there. I was able to get a couple cool shots using those light pockets and the impeccable timing of the Seattle sign guy.
I'm just throwing this photo in here because I like it. The two sides of football:
I usually don't photograph a lot of punts. They're mostly the same thing over and over, but this one in particular was right in front of where I already was sitting so I thought "why not?"
Good thing I did! Ezekiel Turner blocked the punt and allowed Chris Banjo to recover the ball for a touchdown.
The end of the game was unspectacular, but the late afternoon sun started hitting the defense just right. With our home stadium being indoors, I always appreciate away games that allow for photos like these.