Austin Photographer Patrick Meredith

www.meredith-photo.com

Posts Tagged ‘football

Thursday Night Lights

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Lake Travis running back Andy Erickson carries the ball for a touchdown against Cedar Park

Lake Travis running back Andy Erickson carries the ball for a touchdown against Cedar Park

I had the opportunity to see Lake Travis extend their winning streak to 33 games (the longest in the state of Texas) as they rolled over Cedar Park in Leander last night at the renovated Bible Memorial Stadium in Leander.

The ‘new’ stadium is a really treat to us photographers on the sidelines…They installed new light banks, 8 total, (including 4 for JUST the end zones) and made a new press box complete with wifi.  Now the old lights weren’t terrible by any means (ISO 3200 @ 1/400th f2.8 for darker uniforms – according to my rolladex of Texas stadiums I keep), but the new lights were just as bright if not brighter than the ‘Palace’ in Round Rock.  I’m talking ISO 2000 @ 1/640th-800th f2.8…But maybe I’m crazy for caring about a few stops of light…

Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris reacts to a Cavalier touchdown during their game against Cedar park.

Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris reacts to a Cavalier touchdown during their game against Cedar park.

One of the only things that I don’t like about such bright lights are the big shadows they cast under players helmets and people wearing hats, like Lake Travis Head Coach Chad Morris above.  The trick is to get low enough on the ground, either by kneeling, sitting or laying down (AAS photographer Jay Janner’s time tested technique) so you are shooting up into the helmet/hat so you can see their face.  A lot of people try to correct for this by just dodging in post, but it always makes your subject look like…well, you dodged their face (above).

Cody Cloud (#31) breaks up a pass intended for Andy Erickson in the first quarter.

Cody Cloud (#31) breaks up a pass intended for Andy Erickson in the first quarter.

Anyhow, the action was good and it was nice seeing a good team of kids playing some football.  Heck, it is always a good time watching some football.

Lake Travis quarterback Michael Brewer throws for positive yardage

Lake Travis quarterback Michael Brewer throws for positive yardage

And speaking of watching some football, it was cool watching Michael Brewer, who replaced Garrett Gilbert at quarterback when he graduated and joined the Texas Longhorns, live up to all the hype I’ve heard and read about on the internet.

Speaking of the Longhorns, I also recently purchased an entire lot of Texas Longhorn photos and films from 1960-1973.  The gentleman was a photographer in Austin that shot and filmed a large number of Longhorn games…I’ve been meaning to give them to the university, but I haven’t had the time to get over there.  Here are a couple of photos from a game in 1960.  If you can find a roster from 1960, please let me know.  I can’t find anything online…

The band plays at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 1960.

The band plays at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in 1960.

One thing that really got me is that I was told this was the view of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium looking East, where I-35 looms today.  From what I found on the internet, I-35 was built through Austin in 1962.  I’m kind of jealous of everyone that got to see Austin then…

A Texas Longhorn battles for yardage against a defender during a game in 1960.

A Texas Longhorn battles for yardage against a defender during a game in 1960.

And try to imagine a Texas Longhorn football game with that many empty seats and NO ONE on the sidelines today!  Kind of crazy really…

Colt McCoy eyes up James Kirkendoll in the end zone during a game against Baylor last season.

Colt McCoy eyes up James Kirkendoll in the end zone during a game against Baylor last season.

Kind of amazing just what a few years can do….

Friday Night Lights tonight!  Hopefully the rain will stay away, as I lost my AquaTech Sport Shield at a game last week.  So if you see a blue rain cover made for a camera and a 300mm lens, please let me know! 🙂

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A few new ones…

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Dell Diamond at sunset Round Rock Express

It has been a hot minute since I last updated (literally one of the hottest summers in history), but here we go.  As I mentioned on a previous update, I shot the Round Rock Express‘ last home game against Nashville Sounds a couple nights ago.  Pretty fun shooting some baseball again.  They are ending their season this weekend/Monday, so you should get out there and watch some baseball while you still can.

Nashville Sounds Chris Cody

The action was pretty good, including a small collision with the pitcher and the catcher of the Sounds…

Reggie Abercrombie Round Rock Express

Despite having a couple of bad at bats, Reggie Abercrombie came through with 2 RBIs and a couple of nice catches near center field.

Round Rock Express

I also grabbed a bunch of detail shots (kind of like the one above) and some panoramas from just about every angle I could find…

A view from the stands at the Dell Diamond during a Round Rock Express baseball game in Round Rock.

A view from the stands at the Dell Diamond during a Round Rock Express baseball game in Round Rock.

I also shot the second to last home game of the Austin Aztex.  Pretty fun night as usual, but the lights kill me over at Nelson Field.  Thankfully they are moving to House Park (on Lamar/15th)  next season…The lights aren’t any better, but it is a short walk from my house.

Jamie Watson Austin Aztex soccer

Joining the Aztex again was Jamie Watson, who played in Austin last season.  The kid was the top scorer in the USL-2 with 12 goals and 6 assists.  He didn’t score any of the goals in the 1-0 win over Miami, but he took a couple of shots at the goal when he was put in towards the end of the game.

 Eddie Johnson Austin Aztex

Eddie Johnson scored the sole goal, which was enough for the win…The first win in 10 games, dating back to early July.  Always good to see our   take the win.  The last game of the season is on the 7th.  If you haven’t been, it is a lot of fun.  Any why wait until next year when you can do it now?

I also shot my first ‘real’ high school football game on Friday, the Taco Shack Bowl.  I say ‘real’ as in Friday Night Lights.  It was a lot of fun being on the sidelines again and I can’t wait until the season gets into full swing…

Taco Shack Bowl House Park Austin Texas

Taco Shack Bowl House Park Austin Texas

Taco Shack Bowl House Park Austin Texas

House Park Austin Tx

Above is House Park on Lamar and 15th street, the new home of the Austin Aztex.  Check out that view!  You can see the Capitol Building from the stands too.  The stadium, which seats around 5,000 people, should be a better venue for the Aztex.  The sidelines aren’t big and there is no track running around the field, making it less dangerous for players and allowing the fans to sit almost on top of the action.  All they need to do is install some new lights and everyone (me) will be happy.

In other news, VOLLEYBALL HAS JUST BEGUN!!!!!  I’m very excited about this.  Volleyball has got to be one of the hardest sports to shoot.  Granted anyone can shoot a serve and the players standing around, but only really talented photographers can make great images at a game.  Most venues are dimly lit, the action is really fast and the ball can go in any direction.  In any event, it is one of my favorite sports to shoot, even though I’ve only shot 3 or 4 games.  Hopefully this season will change those numbers a bit and yield a couple images for me to post.  Here are two from last season that I enjoyed…..

Caldwell High School Volleyball

Volleyball

And that is it for the moment.

Pedernales Park Johnson City TXHank at Pedernales Falls near Johnson City, TX

One short month to go…

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Colt McCoy directs his offensive line during the University of Texas Spring Jamboree.

Colt McCoy directs his offensive line during the University of Texas Spring Jamboree.

Sunday September 5th.   Sunday September 13th.  Sunday September 5th.  Sunday September 13th.  Repeat with me.

I can’t wait until the football season is in full swing.  The Texas heat *starts* to cool down, everyone is usually in a good mood (unless you are a Chiefs fan) and there is always a game to photograph here in Austin.  High school football kicks off right around that time as well, so my hands should be pretty full.  Not that I’m complaining.

I actually got my first two ‘games’ of the season under my belt a few months ago and just last week.  I went to the UT Spring Jamboree and the Texas High School All-Star game at Darrell K Royal-Memorial Stadium.  Even though I had a huge hit list (2 players I had didn’t play, so that only left 15 or so), it was a lot of fun.  The guys playing looked like they were having a blast as well.

Jelani Johnson, of Hightown, points to the sideline following a play during the 2009 THSCA all-star football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Tuesday.

Jelani Johnson, of Hightown, points to the sideline following a play during the 2009 THSCA all-star football game at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin on Tuesday.

And if you’ve been reading my blog at all, you may have noticed that I like to deploy remote cameras at just about every sporting event I’m at.  I was shooting the Texas High School Championships a few weeks ago and had a remote payoff pretty well.

JessiRay Navarrette celebrates after Chandler Geller strikes out to end the 5A State Semi-Final 11-3 in the Bulldogs favor on Friday in Round Rock.

JessiRay Navarrette celebrates after Chandler Geller strikes out to end the 5A State Semi-Final 11-3 in the Bulldogs favor on Friday in Round Rock.

I was shooting the dugout as the final batter struck out, but my remote captured the follow through and celebration.  This photo ran the entire front page of the sports section of the Austin American Statesman.

I also shot my first basketball game in a really, really long time last week.  I had a few photos run in the Houston Chronicle as well as onlinechron

That and a gallery over at TexasSports for the soccer coverage a post down or so.

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I’ve got a concert to shoot tonight and a big feature story tomorrow…Hopefully all goes well.  I’ll be sure to show you all the results after they are published!