Gauntlet: Action Is Not Only On The Field

By Gary Fong
Photographer: Octavio Jones
Figure 1
In the Speed Graphic 4x5 days, a sports editor asked a photographer to shoot the start AND finish of the world’s fastest athlete running the 50 yard dash. As many people can appreciate, old time photographers had to be fast, very very fast. 
He had to shoot the runners as the gun goes off, race down to the finish line with his camera, change the flash bulb, and shoot the winner coming across the finish line.  Now that’s fast. The judges should award the photographers first place…then award the athlete.
Shooting soccer might be a little easier…cause the photographer has the entire field to maneuver. It only gets tough when he tries to run down the ball kicked the entire length of the field (more than 50 yards) to photograph the goal.
Most photographers have a tough time covering both goals. Octavio Jones is no exception. So…he adds another dimension to his coverage…the fans.  
Now for the Nit Picking
Octavio, like many sports photographers, find it impossible to shoot both the start AND finish of a 50 yard dash…let alone a soccer game.  It’s hard being in two places at the same time.  A few people might be able to do it…but I haven’t met many who can.
However, I do know shooters who can cover the action on the field…then turn around to do additional coverage of fan reaction. Shooting the reaction of the crowd is a very important part of covering the game.  The action is not all on the field.  It’s in the stands, at the food concessions, and at the close of the game. It’s a good way to add depth to one’s coverage.
I’m going to think, there must be a few sports editors who want the red faces of Spanish soccer fans color corrected back to normal looking flesh tones. If it were flag painted team U.S.A. fans, most editors would catch the hint…the red, white, and blue faces are suppose to be like that!!!