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Old Apr 23, 2008, 6:51 AM   #1
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Soccer season has just ground to a stop for me from a coaching standpoint (a great season it was not). It was the first season in which I have had a DSLR for shooting soccer, and the results, overall, were highly convincing to me. Here are a few shots from the last couple of weeks of the season. (The girls' shots were ones I took. I have included a couple of boys' shots taken by my student manager then turned over to me for processing mainly to show the DSLR's performance in low-light and completely under the lights.)







Because the girls' matches were played first, they were shot before the sun went down, and we were able to get by with a longer and slower lens, while still having plenty of light. When the light began to fade, we had to switch to the DA*50-135. Obviously, the focal length limited opportunities, but the shots overall were FAR superier to what we were getting under the lights a year ago with a high-end P&S.







One of the biggest disappointments of the season, from a photographic standpoint, was that I didn't get to really test the Pentax K20's high ISO capability because I got a defective camera. The replacement is due in this week, so a real test will probably have to wait till football. Hopefully, by then, I'll also be sporting a 70-200 f2.8.


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Old Apr 23, 2008, 8:31 AM   #2
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Paul, when you get the new gear i think you will come on leaps and bounds!!, the quality of yourlenses at the mo IMO are limiting you!! I think once you've picked and instructed the team, you should shoot yourself !!, even looking through a lensI find Ican gauge how a game is running. (unless this is prohibitive in USschool soccer)??. Look forward to next season!. Graham.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 11:04 AM   #3
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bluesman graham wrote:
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I think once you've picked and instructed the team, you should shoot yourself !!, Graham.
Graham,

I'm afraid I'm going to strongly disagree. The athletic director is paying Paul to coach. Parents are expecting him to coach. If I were either one I'd be pretty POd if i saw a coach taking photographs. That's not what they're being paid to do.

Besides that, having a camera glued to your eye limits your ability to see the whole field. After all, you can't have a single subject filling the frame and still be aware of what players 30 yards away are doing.

Never let the job you want to do interfere with the job you're paid to do.

Just my .02
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 12:57 PM   #4
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Yea, Id have to agree with that one. For me, it actually takes some concentration to photograph an event. I couldnt see being able to do both things really well.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 1:41 PM   #5
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JohnG wrote:
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bluesman graham wrote:
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I think once you've picked and instructed the team, you should shoot yourself !!, Graham.
Graham,

I'm afraid I'm going to strongly disagree. The athletic director is paying Paul to coach. Parents are expecting him to coach. If I were either one I'd be pretty POd if i saw a coach taking photographs. That's not what they're being paid to do.

Besides that, having a camera glued to your eye limits your ability to see the whole field. After all, you can't have a single subject filling the frame and still be aware of what players 30 yards away are doing.

Never let the job you want to do interfere with the job you're paid to do.

Just my .02
Sorry, , maybe we're at cross purposes as to school coaching!, most coaching at high school level here in the UK is on a voluntary ,own time, basis and therefore less stringent on what is expected of the staff. If it's a paid possition i agree entirely Graham.
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 2:03 PM   #6
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For all the reasons he lists, and several more, I have to agree with John. I am a paid coach, so my only responsibility, as far as the school is concerned, is the match. Were I to try to shoot while coaching soccer, I would do a terrible job at both it and the soccer. I find myself irritated when I have to take my attention away from the match momentarily to advise on an adjustment, much less if I were to try to shoot myself.

The other, perhaps more important factor, is that, because I have no paid assistants, I am fully responsible for the behavior and safety of the players from the time they arrive at the stadium (or get on the bus) till they time they head home. If I'm not supervising and one gets hurt in horseplay, etc...(or gets himself caught smoking behind the bleachers by the principal before the match--this actually happened this year)...it's my tail on the line.

I can get away with shooting for a little while at the start of the girls' match while my players are arriving, but once they arrive, I'm more than busy.


Besides, I can't imagine the number of expensive cameras I could go through in a season like this one if I had them handy to throw.....
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Old Apr 23, 2008, 2:09 PM   #7
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bluesman graham wrote:
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I think once you've picked and instructed the team, you should shoot yourself !!,
Graham, there is one other factor in addition to those discussed. The role of the coach in American high school soccer is far more active than in British football. In traditional football, governed under FIFA rules, teams are allowed a set number of substitutions, traditionally three, and once a player leaves, he may not return. In American high schools, substitution is unlimited and players may leave and return as many times as they wish. This greatly changes the strategic role of a coach during a match as he is more able to influence the flow of the match through substitutions.

Paul
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