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Cheerleading Tryouts

This past weekend the Baltimore Ravens held their annual cheerleading tryouts. Hundreds came out, but only a select few made it past the two day tryout and on to the interview round. Here is my take…

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Last stop, Cincinnati

I got to travel with the Ravens to Cincinnati for their final regular season game. With a win the Ravens would have clinched their 6th consecutive trip to the playoffs, but in the end they couldn’t pull off a victory.

This is only the second year since I have been photographing the Ravens that they have not made the playoffs, so it is still a weird feeling knowing I won’t be shooting any football  games in January.

I am definitely disappointed that the season is over, but to be honest I am excited about some other things I’ll be able to accomplish with a little extra time on my hands. Hopefully that includes finally building a new website and spending some quality time with my lovely wife.

Here are some of my favorite moments from the game.

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When the Snowing Gets Tough…

Just hours before the kickoff of the Ravens-Vikings game, the forecast was “flurries/light snow with accumulation less than one inch.” No big deal…right?

WRONG! Shortly after player introductions I realized that we were experiencing a much more significant weather event. With near whiteout conditions , my camera struggled and searched to find focus amidst the densely falling snowflakes.

Even if the camera locked focus it was extremely difficult to even see what I was shooting. When shooting at 400mm there are A LOT of snowflakes in between you and your subject.

But, I knew I still had to make pictures, so I didn’t panic and just kept fighting through it. My perseverance paid off.

Despite the snow complicating things like focus, changing media cards and just generally seeing what the heck is going on…it makes the pictures look awesome.

I often find that challenges during a shoot make me concentrate even more on what I am doing, and thats a good thing.

Besides the weather, this was one of the craziest games I have ever seen. There were five lead changes in the last two minutes of the game, with the Ravens eventually ending up on top thanks to a touchdown pass with 4 seconds left.

I’m sure I’ll look back on this game as one of the most memorable of my career.

Here is my take…

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Wild Weather in the Windy City

This past weekend I traveled to Chicago with the Ravens to cover their game against the Bears. I had never been to Chicago before, and unfortunately I didn’t have much time to really enjoy the city. However, from what little I saw, it was pretty awesome.

In addition to some truly unique architecture, Chicago also had something else unique to offer me…some crazy weather!

Only minutes into the 1st quarter of the game, it started to rain, the wind began to blow and with reports of a tornado in proximity to the stadium, we found ourselves forced to evacuate the field. The ensuing two hour delay provided me an unusual opportunity to see what players would do during such a situation. As it turns out, nothing too exciting! They passed the time by watching game film, stretching, eating, listening to music and some even playing video games.

Eventually the weather passed and we were welcomed back to the field with sunshine and blue skies. However those conditions didn’t last for too long. Shortly after, the skies once again darkened, the rain picked up and the wind…oh the wind. We spoke to one of the Bears field crew members and they confirmed that the wind gusts  on the field reached 60 mph!

Shooting in wind like that was something I have never experienced before. Forget holding a 400mm lens steady. It literally felt like someone was pushing on the side of the lens as some sort of practical joke to prevent me from lining up my shots. On two occasions, from a kneeling position I was actually nearly blown over, only stopping myself from face planting in the mud by putting my hand down to catch myself.

For the second week in a row the Ravens ended up in overtime and unfortunately this time it didn’t go there way. Despite the loss, this was an experience I won’t soon forget.

“The Windy City” definitely lived up to its name.

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