The Start of Friday Night Lights 2015

Longmont High School Football© Prairie Mountain Media 2015

It’s that time of year again when the temperature drops along with the leaves from trees and the stadium lights burn late into the night. Sadly, I have been at the desk more than I have been able to make pictures. Here is a collection of photos from zero week football. Enjoy.

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Playoff Football: Columbine Vs. Highlands Ranch

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Football playoffs are here. Much to my surprise, the games have been played on Saturday afternoons instead of Friday nights. It definitely makes for an easier time shooting. Here’s a few from Columbines win over Highlands Ranch. Enjoy.

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Gambling with Remotes, Content, Etc.

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Sometimes the best picture that comes from your remote camera is the one you used to test it. I look thrilled to be shooting cross country, don’t I? Better luck next time. As you might have noticed I haven’t had much time to update the blog. I have been super busy trying to find enough content to fill the pages of the 5 newspapers I work for. Yeah, you heard that right. The sizes of our papers are actually increasing. Ad revenue is up, expenses are down and all of our papers have been profitable in the last couple of months. Go figure.

Speaking of good things. All of the new newspaper websites will soon be live. You can go here to see what the new design looks like compared to the old one here. One thing that may or may not be a good thing are the inclusion of blogs. I may end up migrating this, or at least parts of it, over to the new sites. I haven’t decided yet. For those of you that subscribe, I would love to hear your opinions. Sound off in the comments or on twitter.

One of the staples of the new websites will be multimedia. Above all that means more content online. It should have been that way from the start but it wasn’t a priority. I’m not really sure it should be a priority now due to the fact that according to our website visitor numbers we have half the number of page views than subscribers to the physical paper. Small town journalism at its best. People still read the paper and I still drive by empty single copy sales boxes a couple days after we publish.

I should have a post about our “video solution” coming in the next week or so. I actually need to get a couple of videos up online before that will happen though. That about sums it up right now. Off to FCE to edit!

Photo Positions at High School Fields?

© Matthew Jonas 2010

Yep. I was shocked too. Last week I was covering a summer league baseball game at Thunder Ridge High School. I was shooting through the fence and a man who was working the concession stand said told me there was a dedicated place to shoot from off third base. I was expecting a hole in the fence. What I found when I walked up was an elevated platform next to the dugout.  It was high enough that when I was shooting with a 300mm lens on a monopod that it would clear the top of the fence. As I was shooting, the TRHS coach told me it was built by a parent who shot a lot of games there. Who would of thunk it? (A big thanks to whoever built it!!) I need to get on it and start asking the teams that I regularly cover if I can build these. It would make my life a lot easier. Anyone else have dedicated photo positions at High School Fields or Stadiums?

Trying New Angles With Baseball

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Baseball is a sport that I shoot a lot of especially during the summer. The problem is that I have never really enjoyed baseball without a camera. It’s probably one of the things that I have the hardest time shooting. I’m not sure how I was chosen to get season credentialed to shoot the Phillies when I was working for the News Journal, but it’s probably the reason that I have been doing so well shooting it lately. Yesterday I shot my first summer baseball game. The field had low fences, lots of unobstructed positions to shoot from and the light was flat but even. One of those positions was elevated behind the dug out. So I decided to try shooting the game from an angle I don’t usually have the liberty of shooting from with most of the teams I cover.

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High School LAX Playoffs

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I actually made a lacrosse picture that I like!! It should be an easy sport to shoot but for some reason I have had a hard time with it lately. I guess trying to cover 3 games in 2 hours puts the pressure on you to produce.

EOS 7D and High School Sports

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I am becoming more and more impressed by what the Canon EOS 7D is capable of capturing, especially with High School Sports. My main sports camera, the Canon EOS 1D Mark II N, is in the shop this week and I have been using the 7D instead. So far, so good. Another nice trade off is of course the focal length multiplier or field of view crop or whatever you want to call it. The smaller APS-C (1.6x) size sensor gives me an equivelant of 480mm with a 300mm lens. At times, I was using a 300mm lens in conjunction with a Canon EF 1.4x II Extender so I was actually shooting closer to a 700mm (672mm to be exact) lens. Wow. There were lots of tack sharp images to choose from at 672mm at f5.6.

The inevitable friday night lights post


Its that time of year again, the time when temperatures drop, school starts back up and the underpowered lights of familiar battle grounds are fired up on Friday nights. With the available light fading fast, its time to fine tune our technique for shooting high school football. Many photographers dread this time of year while others thoroughly enjoy it. I for one have mixed feelings on “Friday Night Lights”.

While its nice to be shooting organized sports again, it’s also a lot of work. I usually try to show up more than an hour before the game. This gives me an opportunity to shoot some “fan art” and hopefully track down a copy of each teams roster and figure out what equipment I am going to need for the rest of the game.

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