Clippage: Sports Illustrated - PAC-10 Preview Edition

Nikon D3 - Nikkor 24-70 at 24mm - 1/500 - f/4 - ISO 280

This picture is from the California/Oregon State football game held at Cal's
Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, CA on November 7, 2009. Last week it was
published on p88-89 of Sports Illustrated's PAC-10 Preview edition to illustrate
a piece by Austin Murphy arguing that college football is superior to pro football.

The merits of that position aside, I thought some might be interested in how this
picture was made. Each time I shot Cal home games, I noticed the players
running through smoke onto the field. The problem is that this usually takes
place as I am editing and transmitting pictures from warmups. And since they
rope off the area behind the end zone fairly early, it's either get the pictures out
or set up and wait for one picture.< /br>

After a few games, I had enough pictures of the Cal players warming up, so I
put wide lenses on two camera bodies and set up beside the upright, laying on
my stomach facing the entry tunnel. It was a warm day but that quickly changed
as they opened up the liquid nitrogen canisters which was really a bizarre
experience going from sweating to freezing in a few seconds, but it wasn't long
before the first wave of players came running out. I managed to get off a couple
of frames before it turned into a full-on stampede that blocked out the light I
needed to shoot. Next time I try this it will be with an off-camera flash.

Cal's first home game of 2010 is just over a week away...