Well, this was the last game for the Carolina Panthers. Since they did not make the playoffs, their season ended right here at the Bank of America Stadium. They did win the game, but New Orleans did not play Drew Brees. It was not a real exciting game other than the fact that the Carolina Panthers won………………..But they did win, and that closed out the Season on a positive not. The big issue of the day was the cold. It did not get past 28 degrees all day long. Some people can operate well in that cold, but for me, it is a true pain in rump. Let me say, “I HATE the cold.” All of these images were shot with either my Nikon D300, or my Nikon D2x. I love the D300, and I like the D2x in certain situations……but I think that this will be the D2x’s last assignment. It is time for an upgrade which will occur this year. Nikon is making some FANTASTIC equipment, I do love the company.
This game was truly a game of the “run offense.” Since Drew Brees was not playing, the Saints kept the ball on the ground. And on the Panthers side, since Steve Smith is injured, they tended to keep the ball on the ground also. The above image of Mike Goodson (33) somewhat sums up the feel of the game. It was just real “smash mouth” football. This image was shot with my D300, and a 300mm f2.8 lens. I wish that it had better light in it, but it is what it is.
These next images are of running back Jonathan Stewart (28). He broke 1000 yards rushing for the season during this game. It seemed as if the ball was in his hands more than anyone during the whole game.
This next Image was shot with my D2x and my 500mm f4 lens. I LOVE me 500, but you have to be careful with it when the laght starts to fade.
This next image of Jonathan Stewart (28) was also shot with my 500mm f4 and D2x. The ISO was 250 shutter speed 1250 @ f6.3.
The next Image of Jonathan Stewart (28) was also shot with my 500mm lens. This is guy is just so powerful, seemed as if it took the whole Saints defense to take him down.
I also used my 500mm lens in these next 2 images. They are of the punters, which to me, are hard to get a good shot of. I placed myself at the opposite end zone, and decided to try and catch them through the line of scrimage as the play developed. The one of the Saints punter Thomas Morstead (6) did not thrill me as much as the one of the Panthers punter Jason Baker (7). In the image of Jason Baker (7), you can see the ball. In the one of Morstead, the ball is already gone………but I liked it anyway.
I really only caught 2 pass plays the whole game, and one was not even a catch…….but I thought that it was still a very cool shot. I vowed at the beginning of the Season to really work on the Passing Game. Looking back on it, I think that I did OK, but still have a ways to go before I am really happy. I this next shot, I caught Jeff King just as he reeled the ball in after the catch. I shot this with my 500mm f4 lens. For some reason, I had put my D300 body on the lens……..so this was shot with my D300 and my 500mm f4.
In this next Image, Robert Meachem (17) of New Orleans stretches out, but he just misses the ball. I thought that it was a really neat shot, but probably not all that worthy from an Editorial point of view. I shot this with my 300mm 2.8 lens and my D300 camera body.
These next 2 images are from the same sequence and play. What I found interesting with them was the play on the light. There is one part of Bank of America Stadium that was “pools” of light form in the late afternoon. They are more towards the sides, and if you can catch someone in them, it makes a very good image. I was fortunate to catch Devery Henderson (19) of the Saints in them. Both of these were shot with my D300, my 300mm 2.8 lens, and the camera set at “Shutter Priority” for the operational mode. I had the shutter speed set at 1000. i think that they turned out nice. The only thing that I wish could have been different is to catch Henderson catching the ball in the pool of light, but that was not to be.
This next image was also shot with my D300 and my 500mm f4 lens. I shot it at shutter speed 1000, at f5.6. The ISO was 250, and the exposure was straight up. It is of Tracy Porter (22) chasing after a loose ball.
As I stated in the beginning of this, it was all about the running game on this day. Here are some images from the running game. All of the following were taken with my D300, and my 500mm lens. I used Shutter Priority for most of the day as far as my operating mode. These were all shot with Shutter Priority, and the exposure was straight up.
The following are some images of the quarterbacks in action. Like I said, there wa not much passing, and when they did pass, it seemed if I was on the wrong side of the field……..just only able to get there backs. Here is what I did get.
Here are 2 images of Mark Brunell (11). Both were shot with my 500mm lens on Shutter Priority. The shutter speed was 1000.
Here are 2 images of Matt Moore (3) in action. These were both shot with my D300 and my 300mm lens. Both on Shutter Priority with the exposure straight up.
I posted these next 2 Images with my take. I just consider these “gritty” football images. The one below was shot with my 500mm lens……the thing that I liked about it was the Reggie Busch (25) from the Saints is just “stonewalled” by the Panthers secondary. I thought that it was just a good football shot.
This next image was shot with my 80mm~200mm lens and my D300. The reason that I included it was that it was a goal line stand. The Panthers stopped the Saints right in their tracks at the goal line.
These next images are of some of the emotions that I caught after a play. I have vowed to work on catching these moments more. I have gotten better, but still have a ways to go.
Being that it was the last game of the Season for Carolina, I wanted to get some of the guys coming off of the field. The light was very nice on one part of the field, so I tried to catch as many players as I could walking through it. I shot these with my 17mm~35mm lens. I used my D300 camera body.
Well, that is a wrap for the 2009 Panthers NFL Season. I really wish that they had made the play-offs, but there is always next year. I have worked very hard at Football this year, and I think that I have made some strides in it. I plan on shooting more college as well as the NFL next season. I am really looking forward to it.
Well, for now, it is on to the NBA……and Motorsports is just around the corner.
Thaks for reading!