Pictures: Mizzou topples #1 Oklahoma

Me walking the sidelines at the game. I used Adobe Photoshop's level balancing on half the image, so you can see the sepia tone that the cameras pick up on the field (Look at the guy in the white shirt). Photo by Megan Homan

Check them out in the “related content” box on the right side of the story at the KCTV5 website

I figured it out, what differentiates a great photographer from an amateur.

As I struggled to meter correctly and balance my shutter speed and aperture, I asked one AP photographer and another from ESPN how they pull such great color out of such obnoxious lighting in their photos.

I will always remember the insightful comment from the gentleman working for ESPN.

“I just put the thing on auto and press the button,” he said, a $2,000 camera and $12,000 lens on the desk beside his laptop.

There you have it folks. Work for an organization that can spend more on a camera and lens, each of which costs more than your car, and all your pictures look fantastic.

Even Missourian photographers [photo journalism majors–I’m convergence] have some big beautiful lenses. Through our convergence department, we have a 200mm Nikon long lens, valued around two grand, and the Nikon D 80 camera for about half that. That equipment is nothing for the casual observer to thumb their nose at, mind you, but compared with the behemoths that the other photo people cart around, it’s rookie stuff.

Among journalism students, shooting a night game at the University of Missouri’s Memorial Stadium has become sort of a running joke. I’m pretty sure the lighting is better at the stadium outside my high school, Cherry Creek’s Stutler Bowl.

You see those two beams of light coming down from the top of the photo? Those emanate from the lights, and as you can deduce from their arrangement, Stutler at the very least has three light fixtures across each sideline–far left, far right, and middle. As in, Stutler has more than just four giant incandescent lights, one at each corner of the field. Mizzou embraces such a four corners philosophy to light Faurot Field. As a result, shadows are horrible and for some reason everything comes out in sepia tone.

A friend of mine in the stands snapped these pictures. Gotta look for those fan pics..

 

In hindsight, I could have lightened the photographs up a bit more in post production than I did for publication to KCTV.  Touching up photos can lead to bad things, though, especially if a journalist over does it–tampering.

As it turns out, most of the lighting issues can be marginally corrected by upping the middle tones towards the lighter side of the spectrum.

In the future, I will have to shoot at a higher shutter speed to minimize blurring and use these touch up strategies in post production. The major tradeoff: when you lighten the picture up, there can be a lot of digital “noise” in the photograph.

Take a look at some of these shots, before and after. Click a photo to see it full size!

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