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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

NCAA Football goal post remote?
Brian Cripe, Student/Intern, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 7:48 PM on 10.29.07
->> Has anyone ever put a remote on the goalposts at a NCAA football game? I'm not thinking at the part the ball passes through for field goals, but on the support above the pad. Our team has quite a few short runs up the middle into the end zone, and I think it would make an interesting angle. I'm thinking a 35mm lens on a full frame body would work well.

What I want to know is what the rules are regarding this (I couldn't find anything in the NCAA regulations, and I'm pretty sure I've seen this done at NFL games before). Also, any suggestions from those who have done this (prefocus? let it AF? lens selection?) would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | US | Posted: 8:00 PM on 10.29.07
->> I'm pretty sure you've never seen this done (at a sanctioned NCAA game at least). No way.

Of course...if you'd do it, you'd prefocus since you cant really follow the action with a remote right?

Regarding lens selection...the wider the lens the better the chance you have of actually making "some" image. I applaud you for "thinking outside the box"...and I'm a big fan of trying things....so go for it.


You said: "I think it would make an interesting angle"

I'm not sold on it...try to visualize the image. It won't make any play more impressive since you'd be shooting from ABOVE the play. You're actually minimizing the players and the athleticism. It's not like basketball where the players play a vertical game i.e. "above the rim".

Have fun. Shoot pictures.

D
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 8:04 PM on 10.29.07
->> Brian,

All I've seen at NFL games are remote TV cameras, not still.

Anything mounted on the goal post would have to stay behind the cross bar to avoid interferring with field goal tries and high enough and out of the way it won't interfere with a pass or have a player collide with it.

The NFL has rules regarding what happens if a kicked ball hits the remote camera. I don't know about NCAA.

To do it you would probably need tons of approvals from the home school, both coaches, the officiating crew and the conference office. By the time you get all that approved you'll be into next season.
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Brian Cripe, Student/Intern, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 8:29 PM on 10.29.07
->> I work for the athletic department, so I'm not worried about approval. It would be well behind the uprights, so no worries about interference there; I did find the specific rule in the NFL about hitting a camera mounted on a goalpost, but I don't believe that would be a problem.

I realize it's a crapshoot - I'm just thinking of something different because we have a lot of shots from the ground, on both sides, of the type of play that our team frequently scores on (the "bruiser" running back averages 2 TDs a game, usually runs of less than 2 yards). Plus it could be interesting for kicking on extra points.

I assumed prefocusing would be the way to go - high enough ISO so you get a good depth of field (f/8 or greater). I've done plenty of remotes for basketball and other sports - just looking for diversity of coverage since shooting for he university a lot of the photos go into the media guides/game magazines/etc. Thanks for the input.
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Brian Ray, Photographer, Assistant
Steamboat Springs | CO | United States | Posted: 8:44 PM on 10.29.07
->> I remember seeing an update last NFL season of someone here on SportsShooter who did this at a Cowboys' game. Can't remember the name but it was definitely somebody in the DFW market that shoots the Cowboys' games on a regular basis...if only I could remember a name....

From what I do remember, it looked like a pretty wide lens that had been prefocused. Unique angle but I don't recall any mindblowing images out of it...everything was pretty far away. Seems like you could get a similar angle shooting from up in the stands, through the uprights with longer glass. Perspective would obviously be different than a wide angle lens though.

If I can figure out who did that, I'll post again.

Brian Ray
http://www.theclearerimage.com
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Ian Halperin, Photographer
Plano(Dallas) | TX | USA | Posted: 8:49 PM on 10.29.07
->> Sportsshooter member James D. Smith is who Brian is refering to. Check out his member page as it is all goalpost mounted photos. He also mounted one at the A&T Cotton Bowl two years ago, which is NCAA. You can contact him here:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/members.html?id=3102
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Brian Ray, Photographer, Assistant
Steamboat Springs | CO | United States | Posted: 9:02 PM on 10.29.07
->> Yep, that's the one. Thanks Ian.

Brian Ray
http://www.theclearerimage.com
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James Smith, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 10.30.07
->> Brian, I did mount a camera on the goalpost at the AT&T Cotton Bowl a couple years ago, and have shot a preseason Dallas Cowboys game like that each of the last three years also. The NCAA rulebook just references a camera mounted on the goalpost, it doesn't say video or still (page 37 of the 2007 rules, the link is http://www.ncaa.org/library/rules/2007/2007_football_rules.pdf). For the college bowl game, after checking with the television director that the TV crew wasn't going to mount a TV camera on the goalpost, I informed the SID from each school about using it, and also cleared it with the referee. I used a mounting plate (called a stickypod, the link is http://www.stickypod.com/) on the top of the goalpost support bar, about eight inches back from the crossbar, and taped it down so it would stay stable horizontally. The "gorillapod" could probably be used also, they weren't available when I started doing this. This was done a few hours before the game. I didn't leave the camera up there in warmups since the field goal kickers may hit it in pregame as they keep moving backwards to find their range. After the teams cleared the field, I used a ladder and mounted the camera on the plate, used a Canon Mark II, and a 16-35 lens, and used it around 16mm. I prefocused on the three yard line, and put it in shutter priority mode, used a speed of 1/1000 for the daytime game, which gave me an aperture of around f/5.6 with a 200 ISO. The mounting plate had a little three inch post with a ball-and-socket tripod screw, so the camera was elevated a little bit above the goalpost. I pointed the camera down a little, to show the goalpost along the bottom of the image. I used a pocket wizard to fire the shutter, and used a rubber band to hold the pocket wizard in place, behind the camera. I didn't want to put it in the hot shoe on top of the camera, in case a football hit it. I used a 2G card, and when the action got near the goalline, usually inside the 20 yard line, I shot images. I used the ladder at halftime and changed cards and checked to make sure it was still shooting ok, then after the game was over, took everything down.
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Brian Cripe, Student/Intern, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 11:20 AM on 10.30.07
->> Thanks for the input. I'll give it a try this weekend and see what I get!
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 12:56 PM on 10.30.07
->> Brian,

I'm gonna have to agree with Delane on this one. Looking at James' shots (kudo's for your out of the box thinking, also, James, and nothing against your creative work), I don't see anything that is more compelling than what you get shooting from the back of the end zone.

Am I missing a possibility here? Or maybe having a different viewpoint is worthwhile by itself?

I normally think of a remote camera as being useful when it can either go somewhere a person can't and results in a genuinely unique perspective (like on a basketball backboard, or in a hockey net, for example) or when it allows a single shooter to be several places at once (as in a remote covering home plate in baseball, or a remote in the rafters at a basketball game).
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Ian Halperin, Photographer
Plano(Dallas) | TX | USA | Posted: 4:53 PM on 10.30.07
->> Like any "different" angle, it often takes several attempts to get the shot. James got a great shot from the Cotton Bowl of the game winning field goal as it is about to cross the goal post. It was a long kick, in daylight, and the teams are visible in the background. While he may have had a card full of "almosts," this photo (and the one just prior to it) made the effort well worth it.

Maybe he'll post it.....
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Jordan Murph, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu & Los Angeles | HI/CA | USA | Posted: 5:02 PM on 10.30.07
->> Neil Leifer

http://tinyurl.com/yu25fk
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 8:09 PM on 10.30.07
->> OK, Leifer's shot is cool (though I'd counter you might have been able to get this with a "camera on a stick") and like I said, I didn't mean to diminish James' shots. However, the winning FG could have been gotten with a WA under the goal posts (although maybe not as compelling of a shot since you wouldn't have gotten it from above the players), and if the game winning FG wasn't involved, would there have even been a shot worth the effort?

I'm all for trying new angles and positions (hey, watch it, now) but this seems like a lot of work for what you get, as opposed to basketball or hockey goal remotes, or home plate cameras, etc, that almost always yield something useable providing the thing doesn't lose focus, or it doesn't slip downward to miss the original intended point of focus, or the batteries go dead, or you forget to put it in manual focus, etc.
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Brad Mangin, Photographer
Pleasanton | CA | USA | Posted: 8:32 PM on 10.30.07
->> Dennis- Neil's amazing goal post image that was shot around the corner from Grover's house at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco would not be possible with a stick cam because back then the goal post was on the goal line- not 10 yards deeper in the back of the end zone like it is today (it was moved in the early 1970's). If you are old like me you will remember seeing bloopers of players running into the goal post from that era!

Not even Neil would have been allowed to stand in the end zone during a game. This is what helps make Neil's image extra dramatic compared to what is possible today- having the goal post on the goal line allows the remote camera to look straight down on a play. This is not possible today.

The whole point of doing remotes like this is NOT trying to get a high percentage shot- but trying to get a truly amazing once-in-a-career image that no one has ever seen before.

Here is a terrific example of what I am talking about- once again from Neil Leifer. This image is one of the featured images from his upcoming book on baseball:

http://tinyurl.com/39nz3h

Sometimes it really is worth the hassle to get a truly special image.
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Brian Cripe, Student/Intern, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 10:40 PM on 10.30.07
->> Thanks for the input from everyone. Like Brad said, you have to take risks to get a different and creative image sometimes. I'm not expecting a high-percentage remote shot like an overhead or post remote at basketball, but I'm trying for an image that can't be made any other way. With the style of play of the team I shoot for, I think my odds are decent enough to justify the time/effort to set this up.

I agree that a "camera-on-a-stick" wouldn't work because of the distance that photographers have to stand behind the endzone. Also, shooting with a "camera-on-a-stick" would prevent me from shooting with a normal camera and potentially causing me to miss a shot. Things like this should be an extra - I don't plan on relying on the remote for a great image, but I hope it pans out.

If it doesn't work out, all I've lost is a bit of my time (when I would have been at the stadium anyways). I'll be sure to post any results and my experiences with setting it up.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 9:20 AM on 10.31.07
->> OK, I get it.

Brian, I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Where the heck was the camera on that sliding shot Brad linked to? In the base? Under the base? In the infielder's right shoe (hah!). I think this shot is taken looking towards first base from second base (the telltale Top Deck that wraps around home plate at Dodger Stadium is visible in the upper right of the shot), so where are the 1B coach, first baseman, umpire, et al?

This great shot makes you want to spend 10 minutes looking at it (I just did) trying to work through all the questions I posted, and then some. Can't imagine many "regular" sports images would make me want to do that.
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 11:57 AM on 10.31.07
->> Another part of the story... where Brian is shooting, the center 20 yards of the south end zone is inaccessible to photographers because they put the dance team there. ;-)
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James Smith, Photographer
Dallas | TX | USA | Posted: 11:39 AM on 11.01.07
->> I have added the image of the last second, winning field goal for Alabama in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl as the main image on my home page, please take a look at it. The kick was just a "knuckle ball" spinning sideways, and never got more than about 20 feet off the ground, and the ball in the photo is just about to to through the goalposts to the right of the center. Was just trying to get a different angle on some plays, and it worked out that the winning field goal was attempted on that goal post that I had selected to put the camera on.
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Dennis Wierzbicki, Photographer
Plainfield | IL | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 11.01.07
->> James,

Very cool shot, and you were set up and ready to take it.

This was a 45 yard kick IIRC, right?
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Thread Title: NCAA Football goal post remote?
Thread Started By: Brian Cripe
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