Joy and despair

St. Mary’s players and fans celebrate their win over Lincoln in the section semi final at St. Mary’s. (Camera: Nikon D2H: Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure f/2.8 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 800)

To get a good sports jubilation photo, being prepared is the key. I got photos of the the post-game celebration at the Sac-Joaquin semifinal football game between St. Marys and Lincoln. I had shot the game, concentrating on St. Mary’s, while fellow Record photographer Victor J. Blue’s focus was on the Lincoln side. In the last 3-4 minutes of the game I stopped shooting the action all together. I turned and concentrated on the sidelines. A telephoto lens can be used to shoot jubilation shots if you’re on the other side of the field, but when you’re on the same side as the winning team a wide angle is recommended.

St. Mary’s Sam Mafi starts celebrating in the last seconds of the Sac-Joaquin semifinal against Lincoln at St.Mary’s in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D2H: Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure f/2.8 @ 1/250 sec., ISO 800)

I scanned the the sidelines to see who would be the most excited when the at the end of the game. As the seconds wound down and there plenty of players wide-eyed with anticipation to chose from. When the siren blew, players joyously ran out onto the field and I sprinted along with them. If you’re caught off guard at this point, the shots are easy to miss. The teams tend to gather in one big conglomeration and if your not somewhere near the middle all you get are backs of heads. I got mys shots as I was swept up along with the players as well as fans as they all swelled into on large wave of humanity.

Lincoln’s Sterling Thomas gets a hug from his father Stacy Thomas after Lincoln’s lost to St. Mary’s in the section semi final. (Camera: Nikon D2X: Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 55mm. Exposure f/2.8 @ 1/160 sec., ISO 800). Record Photograph by Victor J. Blue.

On the other side of the field, Vic had the more difficult task. Shots of dejected players usually requires a more delicate touch. As the emotions of the winning players soar, those of the losing team plummet equally in the opposite direction. The moments here are quieter, more solitary. Several years ago, a local girls basketball team lost a championship and the players shouted obscenities and made rude gestures to the photographer shooting them. We’re there not just to take pictures, but record of what happens before, during and after the game. We try to do that as tactfully and professionally as possible, but win or lose we have to tell the story

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