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You guys might have heard there was a little football game out in Pasadena yesterday evening. I was there. No big deal. Just a National Championship on the line. Fun times. Actually, it was a great honor to be here shooting the game and surrounding festivities. This has been a career goal and now I can cross that one off the list. Of course, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at shooting another one someday.
The good thing is that the game is just a football game. Big crowd, lots of excitement, fireworks, F18 flyover, parachute drops into the stadium but still just a football game. That is what the coaches try to get the players to see. You still just go out there and play football. I just focused my mind on that. It is a big stage. There is a lot of hype. The whole country is watching. But it is still a football game and you have ride the horse that brought you. In other words, shoot the game the same way you would shoot any game. Work your angles. Move as much as necessary. Play the percentages. It is just football and the teams are going to do basically what got them here. Same for me.
Of course, I had an ace in the hole that I don’t know if anyone else shooting the game had. I had two churches back home praying for me. It is pretty hard to fail when you have that much support. So I take off my crowns and lay them at the feet of the one who gets the glory. We sing a song sometimes that says “not unto us, oh Lord, not unto us, but to Thy name be glory.” I like that. When I do well it is nothing more than God’s gift working. I had a nice game and probably did about as good as I could considering I was shooting alone. The bigger newspapers and agencies sent multiple photographers. But I guess when I have a little divine help that kind of evens out the field. And really, a lot of big plays happened right in front of me. You can’t ask for more than that.
I know some of you are probably thinking God doesn’t care about football or pictures and I agree with that. What God cares about is people so I have no problem thanking Him publicly for helping me perform well.
With the proper accolades in place let me tell you, this was a great experience. The Rose Bowl in an awesome place to work. It would have been more awesome in daylight. The light out here is wonderful and shooting that game in daylight would have been a treat. The stadium is a bit lower than most of the ones I typically shoot in which means the light stands were lower and that creates a few problems with light quality. Other than that small complaint I was great working here. The Rose Bowl is the most beautiful place I have ever shot a football game. Truly a special stadium.
Shooting this game was no different from doing any college game. The sidelines were crowded but I had no trouble moving around or working with the other shooters. To their credit, the BCS did a wonderful job of managing this entire week and the folks who run the Rose Bowl did an excellent job managing the media and meeting our needs. I shot the game with a D3 and a D2H, same as always. I used the 300 f2.8 and sometimes had a 1.4 extender on it. I also used the 80-200 and the 17-35. In other words, I used the same stuff I always use. It is probably not a good idea to bring unfamiliar equipment into the biggest game of the year.
I am going to post some photos here with this post and when I get back home I am going to do a narrated slide show for this site to kind of take you behind the pictures and give you an idea of what I did, what I was thinking and why. Just some stuff you don’t usually think about. In the mean time, enjoy a few shots from the game.
Photos copyright Gary Cosby Jr., The Decatur Daily. The opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.