Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Sports Opening Day

     It was opening day of the local spring sports season for me yesterday. I got lucky with temperatures hovering at seventy degrees. That's the way I like to cover the beginning of outdoor sports. Plus, the first game would be a boys lacrosse match between Perkiomen Valley and Owen J. Roberts.
     I change gears shooting spring sports in general moving out to the breezy environment. Indoors, with tight sidelines, I'm sitting in one spot in the gymnasiums most of the time. Outdoors give me a chance to change my perspective when shooting. I get to move around to different locations.
     Lacrosse is one of the fastest moving team sports. This was a good way to start. Action is non-stop with limited breaks and timeouts. Lacrosse is one of my favorite sports to cover.
     But it takes time to get used to being outside again. Players are speeding down larger fields flipping the ball quickly between teammates. It doesn't take long to capture a photo worthy of the front of the sports page. But I need to concentrate to keep the lens focused at times.
     With the little ball pinging around from stick to stick so quickly, I don't always hold the camera to my eye. Depending on the action, if the team is setting up a play, I look out over the top of the lens watching the player behind the net while spotting the attackers cutting toward the goal for a shot. Sometimes this works, other times I can be slow on the shutter and miss some of the action. But soon there's another drive and more opportunities to photograph what I need.
    Early in the season, players are still working to find the rhythm to mesh. Basically working to get the rust off and play the game smoothly as a team. I'm working the bugs out too. It takes some time to get back in the flow when changing from sport to sport.
     Perkiomen Valley got two early goals to take the lead. But Owen J. Roberts turned up their intensity and aggressively took control of the ball and field position turning things around and reeling off a number of scores. It was a challenge for both teams and made good action photos for The Mercury.
     Today's another day on the field. I'm covering girl's softball and the game will start and stop with every windmill delivery from the pitcher. A different pattern of action for every type of game. Spring-Ford and Pottsgrove girls will be the competitors with colder temperatures predicted in the mid fifties and wind over twenty five miles per hour. It's only March and that's part of going outdoors. It's not always seventy and sunny but it beats sitting at a desk. I wouldn't want it any other way.

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