Colorado Football: A-West blows out visiting Hinkley

I headed to the North Area Athletic Complex (NAAC) Thursday evening for a varsity football game between the home team Arvada West Wildcats and the visiting Hinkley Thunderbirds.  It was a beautiful night in Arvada for a football game.  At the start of the game the sun was still up, it was close to 70 degrees outside, and not a cloud in the sky.  Made for some great shots at the beginning of the game.

September 13, 2012: A Arvada West running back breaks through a hole in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

The Wildcats and the Thunderbirds would start out rough, and showing what appeared to be potentially a great game.  A-West received the ball on the opening kick off, but would turn the ball over.  After a series of plays, the starting quarterback for Hinkley would plow through the defense from the Wildcats scoring a touchdown and taking a 7-o lead over the home team from Arvada West.  But, that would be the only highlight for the Thunderbirds.

September 13, 2012: The quarterback for the Hinkley Thunderbirds runs through the Arvada West defense on the way to a touchdown in the Varsity Football game between the Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

With the sun fading quickly behind the Rocky Mountains, so did both the offense and defense of the Thunderbirds.  Arvada West, trailing by 7, would quickly take control of the game and tie the game up in the first.  And the scoring onslaught would begin.

September 13, 2012: Surrounded by blockers, the Arvada West quarterback rushes for a big gain in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

In the bright sunlight, I was getting some good shots.  I will not say that my focusing issues are over with the 7D, but this was by far the best football game I have shot in a long time.  But with the light fading, I was concerned that issues were coming fast.

September 13, 2012: A Arvada West wide receiver catches a touchdown pass in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

The above picture I was happy to capture, but also disappointed a bit.  I was shooting the 7D on auto ISO because with the bright sunlight, at ISO 200 I could get 1/2500th shutter speeds at F2.8, but the shaded areas, that would be way under exposed.  So, with Auto ISO, the camera switched me to ISO 1250 for the shot, and unfortunately, I did not have a chance to grab my second camera with a wider lens on it, so I was stuck at a 143mm setting as I zoomed out from 300 to try to grab the action right in front of me.

September 13, 2012: The Arvada West quarterback breaks down the sideline for another big gain in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

Near the end of the first half, A-West was demolishing the visiting Thunderbirds.  Most of Hinkley’s possessions ended up being 3 downs and punts, where it seemed like every time the Wildcats touched the ball, they scored.  The sun was going down and things were getting too dark to shoot without flash.  So, with two minutes left in the half I pulled out my flash.  I did things a little differently this game.  Instead of using my Vivitar, I picked up a cold shoe at Mike’s Camera in Boulder so I could mount my Canon 580 EX II.  I still used my pocket wizards to trigger it, but I really like the light that comes out of the Canon compared to the Vivitars, but I will always have the Vivitars.  Such a versatile flash!

September 13, 2012: A Hinkley Thunderbird lineman shows a crazy face in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

The above shot does not have a lot of action.  I try to get the linemen when I shoot.  It is so easy to focus on the ball and ignore the defensive and offensive lines, linebackers, and other non ball handling players.  I am glad I picked this moment to shoot this lineman as he made a great “crazy” face.

Arvada West would go on to a 40 point lead in the 3rd quarter when the Mercy Rule would take over.  Except for time outs and injuries, the clock would run until the game was over.  This made for a fast 4th quarter.  A-West would end up winning 50-7.

The next two photos are flashed photos that I have only done a basic edit for levels, and then resized and sharpened for the web.  It shows how much light you can get from a flash mounted below your camera remotely triggered.  I had the flash at about 1/8th power in manual mode.  I probably could have turned the flash down a little more, as the shadows from the grass are kind of distracting, and they are a little hot looking.

September 13, 2012: A Arvada West running back in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

September 13, 2012: A Arvada West player breaks through a hole in the Varsity Football game between the Hinkley Thunderbirds and the Arvada West Wildcats

This is Friday night, and while it is Friday Night Lights, I decided to spend the evening at home with mom as we just found out that she will be closing on her condo in the next couple weeks.  But with it being Friday Night, I wanted to share something with you.  This game, as well as all the high school games I am shooting in Colorado are for MaxPreps.com and tonight MaxPreps has launched a new feature.  Friday Night Live. Friday Night Live is a live 1-Hour online show airing from 10-11pm EST. It will air on both MaxPreps and CBSSports.com. Occasionally photos from MP photographers will be highlighted on the show but mainly the show will have video highlights as well as “LIVE” reports from top national games across the country.

Also, for those fans at Colorado games, you can be part of the action by helping keep others apprised of what is going on in the game you are at.  With Quixcore, you can update MaxPreps with live scoring action. Check it out. Also, MaxPreps is giving away $1000 (limit one per school) each week to the home team with the most views on Qwixcore pages (mobile and desktop). MaxPreps will also pay the person that Qwixcores that game $500.

And we aren’t stopping there! How about $10,000 more? MaxPreps will give the league with the most completed Qwixcored games at end of the season $10,000 to split amongst all the teams that participate. If there happens to be a tie, the money goes to the league with the most registered Qwixcorers.

What do you need to do? First, sign up at www.maxpreps.com/qwixcore to reserve your spot as the official Qwixcorer the next game you are attending. Then tell the PA announcer, the school morning messengers, the newspaper, the radio hosts and everyone you know to follow that game online so that the school and the Qwixcorer (you or someone you know) can both earn CASH MONEY!

Forward this email to anyone you think would enjoy live scoring and a chance to win $500.

Let’s get those Quixcores going everyone!  And remind your coaches to post official scores and stats so your school can participate in post season play.  MaxPreps is Colorado’s official Post Season Tournament scheduler, and if MaxPreps does not get the scores, then your team could miss out on a State Championship run.

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