Shooting Sports in the Rain - what fun, not really!

December 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

It was with some hesitancy that I hauled my gear out to the car last Saturday. It was pouring rain and I had a long drive ahead of me. One of our local football teams was playing in the high school football Super Bowl and I assigned my self to shoot the game. I have photographed way to many Santa Claus events in my time and that was the other choice. So off I went to the Meca of football in New England, Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. It poured rain all the way down and when I got there it kept it up. I try not to shoot sports in the rain if I can help it and that means I have not dropped a ton of cash on rain protection. Let's face it a good heavy trash bag will do the trick. That's how I usually roll. The heavy contractor bag with a hole in one end for the 300 f2.8 lens and either tape or an elastic band over it to keep it on. Then another hole for the mono pod. There is enough bag left over for you to cover your head which is awesome. The only problem can be condensation so I tend to give it some air every once and a while. This is great if you are only using one camera. If you are using two you have a problem. Most of the cheap plastic covers don't have a way for you to hang the camera off your shoulder. So if you shoot some frames and forget to cover the back of the camera you have a large puddle forming on the back of the camera ... not good.

Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L Canon 7D w/300 f2.8LWhen you can't see through your glasses what do you do take them off and squint of course.

Canon 7D w/300 f2.8L

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LWhen covering a big event that captures the communities excitement getting crowd photos is a big deal. They are as much a part of the event as the actual game.

So I do my best to shoot long stuff for the first half unless the team I am covering gets near the end zone then I start shooting with the camera that has the 70-200 f2.8 on it. When the action is close the 300 is not a great lens and the shorter telephotos are better.

Canon 5D Mk3 w/70-200 f2.8LMelrose's Jack Hickey reacts to scoring Melrose's only touchdown during their close loss to Dartmouth 14-7 in the MIAA Div. 3 Super Bowl Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Wicked Local Staff Photo / Kirk R. Williamson

When I get into the second half I take off the 300mm and set things up differently. I put the 70-200 on the 7d and the 24-70 on the 5D MK3. This gives me more flexibility. So at the end of the game I can get all the sideline action as well as some decent on field action with the 70-200.

Canon 7D w/70-200 f2.8LMelrose's Christian Pizzotti just misses this pass at the end of the game as Dartmouth's Marley Dembitski attempts to break it up during Melrose's close loss to Dartmouth 14-7 in the MIAA Div. 3 Super Bowl Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014. Canon 5D Mk3 w/24-70 f2.8LEnd of game reaction is so important. Getting the distraught player in the foreground and the excited players in the background are key.

Problems did arise as the cool cheap plastic cover I had does not allow for the camera straps uggh. Therefore a puddle was forming on the back of the camera. I noticed it in time and was able to wipe it off, thank god, or the 5D would have been toast. For the second half it worked out great as I did not use the camera straps. My other camera was a challenge as I grabbed a trash bag out of the press room and just covered it up until I needed it. I then poked a hole in the end and stuck the lens out. Yes I was pretty soaked but the LL Bean 3-1 worked great. I wound up with 13 images transmitted and another 18 images of the crowd transmitted as an online gallery.


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