2014 Erie Save an Eye Game Photos

2014 was the 76th year for the annual Save-an-Eye football game. This game pits the all stars from the Erie City schools against Erie County schools’ best players.

IMG_3814 IMG_3830 IMG_3857 IMG_3872 IMG_3983b IMG_4009bIMG_4360 IMG_4206 IMG_4275IMG_4507 IMG_4483

This year’s game was as exciting as you can get. Trick plays, dramatic turnovers and exciting passes highlighted the game’s progression. The score close to the last couple of minutes, the game was finally decided in favor of the County.

Here are some images for your enjoyment. These and more can be viewed at http://jhphotomusic.com under Sessions.

Erie Senior Portraits: Heather’s Volleyball

Today it didn’t just rain, it poured. All of us were a bit concerned about the evening’s session, but as we gathered to start, we ended up with some really interesting, and cool, weather. Yes, we needed the rain, but it had our nerves a bit frazzled.
Starting indoors, we captured some great images on several backdrops, and even picked up a few images requested by Heather in our great 110-year-old building’s grand windows:
Outdoors, one of Heather’s requests was a fire escape setting. I have worked with this area before, having met with the building owners. This is one of a set that we captured on a great fire escape:
Her passion was to be at the beach. Our original expectation was to be satisfied with a dull gray sunset, as it had been cloudy and rainy all day. We started at one of the lighthouses:
Then we headed to Beach 6 which has a great volleyball court as well as nice beach. Here is an awesome image taken against a crazy sunset:
Then we switched to volleyball mode and captured many great images, both by the nets and even better, by the sunset and lake. Here’s one of a whole group of incredible shots in “volleyball mode”:
You can’t capture images like this with a point and shoot. Not even with a consumer dSLR. It requires off-camera lights, precise timing and the knowledge of how to balance sunset lighting with subject lighting in high speed “action” mode.

Heather even headed into the lake to take a pounding from the waves as the sky faded to dark. We got some really amazing shots tonight. Thanks to Heather and her family for being such good sports!

Erie Save an Eye Game

Friday was the setting for the Save an Eye game – a match pitting the Erie city all stars against their peers in the county.
I was asked again this year and accepted the role of staff photographer, taking images for the program book (which looked great!) and as the exclusive photographer of the game itself.
A wonderful weather night and great play by both teams made for an exciting game through the last seconds.
Here are some images. There are hundreds more on my website in this gallery. Note that image downloads from the gallery are free! Prints may be purchased as well.

Erie Sports Photography: Save an Eye Game

Friday night began clear enough, but the bad weather moved in near halftime.  Following a brief delay, the game was called on account of dangerous lightning.  Not 5 minutes after, the skies opened up for a nasty thunderstorm.
Score at the half: City 20, County 14.  A good game was played by both teams.

Erie Save an Eye Game: Media Day

Tonight I once again had the honor to take the media day photos of the City and County teams for the Save-an-Eye game.  It was hot, but the players suited up and we took photos of the teams and the school groups for the program book.
Save-an-eye is a summer sports event organized by the Erie Lions Club.  It has been an annual football event since 1939.  The funds raised provide free eye care to low income children.
Here’s a couple of the group photos of the City and County teams.  Now, the teams go into 2 weeks of practice and then the big game is on Friday July 23rd at Veteran’s Stadium at 26th and French Streets.  Make plans to be there – it benefits a great cause!
As was the case last year, I’ll be the official photographer for this event, meaning I’m the only one allowed and authorized to sell images from this game.

2009 Save an Eye Teams


Wednesday July 8th was Media Day for the Save an Eye football teams. The players all received their jerseys and we had TV and newspaper in attendance. We also took individual, school group and team photos.

Here is a sneak peek at the two teams from City and County.

The Online Album with all of the Media Day Photos is available here. Or go to http://jhphotomusic.com and click “View Sessions”.

The game will be on Friday July 24th at Erie Veteran’s Stadium.

Photographing High School Football

Photographing high school football can be challenging and rewarding. The combination of low ambient light, artificial lighting and rapid movement can result in strange colored, blurry, unfocused images. Here are several tips to enable you to capture your best football images.

1. Location. The closer you can get to the sidelines, the better. If you clear it with coaches and officials, you may be allowed to stand near the sidelines. Make sure you stay alert to sudden action in your area. Or, you may have to shoot from “behind the fence”, but you can still get some great shots from that location as well.

2. Camera Support. A sturdy monopod is essential. You need the mobility, so a tripod is out of the question, and hand-holding will cause your images to be blurry from camera shake. Consider a swivel mount on the monopod to let you switch from landscape to portrait.

3. ISO. Set your camera’s ISO (sensitivity) to high to let you capture faster shutter speeds. Usually 1200-1600 is a good setting. The images will not be as clean as low ISO, but the additional exposure room you gain will be worth it. Some newer Nikon dSLRs can do well up in the ISO3200 range.

4. Shutter Speed. I recommend a shutter speed of 1/100 second or faster. 1/250 will stop most action. Experiment with a shutter speed that gives you the right balance of exposure and motion freezing. For creative shots, you can go to 1/20 or slower and hold the camera very still on the monopod – you’ll see lots of player motion and some stationary players, all on a crisp field.

5. Aperture. The widest aperture the better, to facilitate higher shutter speeds, and to narrow the depth of focus. This will throw the background out of focus and move emphasis in the image to your central subject. For lenses, I recommend f/2.8 lens and aperture, or the lowest your camera/lens combination can handle. If you set your ISO high and set your camera to Shutter Priority and fix your speed, the camera will choose the aperture. If the combination is insufficient to get a good exposure, the camera will probably blink at you to warn of underexposure. In this case, I recommend that you shoot underexposed to preserve the speed, and boost the image in post-processing. Or, you can tweak the ISO up and the shutter speed down to get in the good exposure range.

6. No Flash. Given your distance to the objects, you will see very limited or no benefit from flash, and it will confuse your camera into making exposure decisions that will not be good for your image.

7. Focus. I suggest using spot focus and fast shutter settings. That will force the camera to use the center of the image to set exposure and focus, and you will capture more action with the rapid-fire shutter.

8. White Balance. Stadium lights have a different color than daylight. You could choose auto white balance, but you may want to check out your camera’s custom white balance function. It generally involves shooting a white object and having the camera evaluate the center of that image to find a white or grey sample to set a custom white balance setting. Or, you can shoot Raw and tweak your white balance in post processing. One editing tip – if you can see something in the image that should be pure white or grey, you can use the color edit function in your image editing program to set a white reference and change color after shooting.

9. Composition. A variety of shot types are available. For static shots, of scrimmage line, bench or huddles, anything goes. For action shots, try to get the ball carrier near the center but not exactly centered, and try to get shots of the eyes in clear focus if you can.

10. Zoom Range. A telephoto lens will let you get close up on individual players, but you may want to carry a wide-angle lens to get larger field or audience shots. Having a second lens available lets you be more flexible.

11. Editing. Try some Black and White images to emphasize the grittiness of the game. Crop in close to emphasize the action. Push the contrast up to provide more emotional impact.

12. Sharing. Consider digital and printed copies to the team and coaches. Offer a website for sharing or selling, depending on your professional status and the quality of the images. The yearbook team will appreciate photos, as well as the local papers. Check with the sports boosters as well – they may want to use images in their programs or end of year banquets for slide shows.

Have fun shooting, and stay on your toes!

Friday Night Lights

The first football game of the year, and me with a new telephoto lens!

I had to try this out with some sports images. There were six of us with cameras on the sidelines last night. It may have been the best-covered evening of sports and music in the county.

Great weather, a great game, open up to the last minute, and great performances by the Warren and Harbor Creek marching bands, made for a fine Friday evening. Here’s my selection from the chip that I filled last evening.