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Friday, June 11, 2021

2020 (and in to 2021): Photography During a Pandemic...Continued

Swimming action taken from the stands due to Covid restrictions.

The winter and spring sports seasons brought much of the same challenges as the fall season did.  While there were a few exceptions, there was still a lot of photography from the stands, or from outside the courts, or playing fields, flexibility required, and mask wearing was still a must.  So, while not a whole lot changed one sport stuck out.

Collegiate men's basketball photograph
taken from court level.  While photography
from the floor was allowed for this game,
photographers were required to be back
further than normal from where the action
was occurring.  Is this instance I was up
against retracted bleachers.
Swimming is, generally, a sport where the best images are made pool side, but, to quote The Rolling Stones, as with everything else in the sports photography world during this pandemic, "you can't always get what you want."  However, while what I would have preferred under normal circumstances was not possible, photographing swimming from the stands provided an opportunity to add a little creativity to my images.  I found that, as depicted in the image above, if positioned correctly, the flags hanging over the pool acted as a way to frame, or draw attention to, the swimmer that was the subject of the image.

As far as other sports were concerned, while the winter and spring seasons felt a lot like the fall season, there were some hints of normalcy.  While things weren't fully normal by any stretch of the imagination, these hints of normalcy occurred during a league playoff basketball game, hockey games where I was working for the visiting teams, a baseball game that took place at an independent, professional baseball team's stadium, a softball game, and a league track and field championship meet.  Usually, these bits of normalcy came with caveats, or other reasons for for the decision for a slightly more normal seeming photography experience.  These reasons ranged anywhere from trying to keep students watching from the concourse separate from the media, to vaccinations, or Covid tests, being required for all in attendance at the event, to who the work was being done for.

Finally, I should note that while I did have a variety of opportunities to photograph sports this past season, there were other instances where, as a freelancer, Covid prohibited me from getting into events that I would have normally had the opportunity to attend.

So, all things said and done, the 2020-2021 sports season gave me a new appreciation for being able to photograph sports, and will not be a season that I will soon forget.  Now, here's looking to the 2021-2022 season.

Army/Navy baseball game photo at the Rockland Boulders' Palisades Credit Union Park
taken from the stadium's first base photo well.  Everyone in attendance at this game was
required to either have been vaccinated against Covid, or have a recent negative Covid test.

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