NCAA College Football – Aug. 30, 2012 NAU at ASU

There are some general guidelines on how to photograph college football, but sometimes you just need to be lucky.

I know, I know nobody likes to read too much text so I’ll use fewer words and more images for everyone out there with attention deficit disorder (ADD). Also, just so you know, NAU is Northern Arizona University, and they are the Lumberjacks and ASU is Arizona State University and they are the Sun Devils.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Arizona State Sun Devils WR Rashad Ross (15) completes a 50 yard reception against the NAU Lumberjacks during the PAC-12 season opener at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

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When photographing a college football game sometimes pure luck is important, like with the image above, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and managed to lock focus on the players in time to get this shot. Most of the time I wouldn’t be this far past the line of scrimmage and with most short passes I can’t anticipate which player the quarterback is going to throw the ball to, so for this I just got lucky.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Arizona State Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly (10) keeps the ball to gain yardage during the PAC-12 season opener against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

I will generally try to get a few “safe” shots of the quarterback doing what they do, but that puts me much closer to the line of scrimmage, or even behind it so those shots from 40 and 50 yards down the field are much harder to get when you are hanging out so far from the action.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

Before the game I like to grab some shots of the cheerleaders, or spirit squad dancers, or pom-pom girls, who knows what they would like to be called these days. She is holding pom-pom’s, so . . .

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

She had a nice smile and the blurred backgrounds were looking perfect that night, so I was clicking away.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

Some of the pageantry the takes place before the game is of interest to me, I think it helps tell the story of the game, but others might disagree.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

The blurred backgrounds and the little Sun Devils tattoo on her cheek are what make this image work for me.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks QB Chase Cartwright (15) scrambles out of the pocket during the PAC-12 season opener against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

Back to the action.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Northern Arizona Lumberjacks QB Cary Grossart (5) hands off to RB Zach Bauman (34) during the PAC-12 season opener against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

I’m sorry but the NAU Lumberjacks are in the Big Sky conference and the ASU Sun Devils are in the PAC-12 conference, so really this isn’t the PAC-12 season opener, my captions failed as far as that goes.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Arizona State Sun Devils WR Richard Smith (3) carries the ball during the PAC-12 season opener against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

I just love these 3/4 action shots, sometimes you need to be lucky to get these kinds of shots as well.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

30 August 2012: Arizona State Sun Devils RB DJ Foster (8) carries the ball for a score during the PAC-12 season opener against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.

I managed to be in a good position for this touchdown run, but mostly these take some luck as well, if I am on the left side of the field, they go to the right and if I am on the right side of the field they go to the left, and if they go up the middle it’s just a mass of bodies and doesn’t make a very photo.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

You are always looking for good head coach shots, like this one of Arizona State Sun Devils Todd Graham.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

More cheerleader shots.

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

I wonder if she hurt her fingers while spinning batons of fire?

NCAA FOOTBALL: AUG 30 Northern Arizona at Arizona State

Sparky pumps up the student section.

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