Courtland's Josh Dubose (50) forces Eastern View quarterback Simon Pendleton to fumble the ball as he is tackled in the backfield in the first quarter. Courtland recovered the ball on the play. Courtland defeated Eastern View 31-10 in the Region I, Division 4 final at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 27, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Courtland's Wahid Moore pulls in a pass in the second quarter for Courtland's first touchdown against Eastern View. Courtland defeated Eastern View 31-10 in the Region I, Division 4 final at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 27, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Michael Bailey carries the ball against Eastern View in the third quarter. Courtland defeated Eastern View 31-10 in the Region I, Division 4 final at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 27, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Courtland's Maha Williams scores the Cougars' final touchdown in the fourth quarter. Courtland defeated Eastern View 31-10 in the Region I, Division 4 final at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 27, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
The Cougars celebrate following Courtland's 31-10 win over Eastern View in the Region I, Division 4 final at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 27, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
I suppose the title is misleading since I haven’t shot any of these pictures on Black Friday. The first two were of a man and his nephew as they camped outside Best Buy. They got there on Tuesday. The other is late Thanksgiving night at Toys-R-Us which had the decency to open at 10pm instead of something crazy like 3am.
After running out of bounds late in the second quarter, Washington Redskins fans taunt Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star) Click on the image above for more photos from the game.
Director of Photography Dave Ellis and I made our way to FedEx Field to cover the Monday Night Football game featuring the Redskins and the Eagles. Night games can be rough because of tight deadlines and last night was no exception and the weather did not help things. Initially I thought the rain wouldn’t start till after 10 – unfortunately it started fairly early. The big news of the day was McNabb’s new contract but that would soon give way to the drubbing the Skins received at the hands of Vick and his Eagles.
I was shooting the game action and Dave was running memory cards between me and the photo workroom to edit and send pictures back to the paper. It can be tough to cover a whole game on your own as you are on the move a lot and occasionally out of position no matter how hard you try to anticipate the game – I had a hard time deciding whether to hang near the backfield or go ahead to cover big pass plays. Action was happening everywhere so it was tough to settle into a rhythm. In the end, I began to focus on Eagles offense and stayed close to Washington’s line of scrimmage as McNabb was spending a lot of time on the move.
As I mentioned, the weather was definitely a factor. Cameras don’t react well to excessive amounts of moisture so I had to use rain covers which tend to fog up and make it difficult to handle multiple cameras. During a game I use three – one with a long lens, one with a medium zoom and one with a wide-angle if the action gets really close, as in the frame above.
Half the time, my glasses were covered in water, the cover was fogging and I was praying the autofocus was working properly as all I could see were burgundy blobs moving around with green blobs.
I thought the above picture was a pretty good representation of how people feel about Vick – they love him as a quarterback but others cannot forgive his past. Click the image to see a slideshow from the game.
Chancellor's Alex Willingham breaks up a pass intended for Wahid Moore in the first quarter at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 5, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Courtland's Maha Williams scores the Cougars' first touchdown against Chancellor in the first quarter at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania, VA on Nov. 5, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Spent the evening at Courtland High School watching the Courtland-Chancellor game. I don’t know if it was me or the kind of action but I came away with pretty lackluster pictures tonight. Compared to many of the stadiums in the area, Courtland isn’t any darker than most. While I am pretty amazed with the performance of the D3 in low light (both images were shot at ISO 6400, which was unheard of a few years ago), I am looking forward to some daylight playoff games in the coming weeks…
Spotsylvania goalie Allie Kirsch blocks a shot by James Monroe's Taylor Herold in the second half. James Monroe defeated Spotsylvania 2-1 in the Region I semifinal match at Maury Stadium in Fredericksburg, VA on Nov. 3, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
I’ve been on the night shift for the past week so that means more sports assignments, which is fine by me. Plus, the fall seasons are winding down so the competition is heating up as teams start heading into the regional and state playoffs. That translates into a lot of field hockey and volleyball on top of the usual Friday night football. Here’s a couple frames from the last two field hockey matches. Tonight, it’s volleyball at Courtland. More on that later…
Stafford's Carley Sullivan and Colonial Forge's Katie Kline collide in the second half of Tuesday's game. Stafford defeated Colonial Forge 5-2 in the Northwest Region semifinal match at Stafford High School in Stafford, VA on Nov. 2, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
I spent the evening at Representative Rob Wittman’s election night party in downtown Fredericksburg. Wittman defeated Krystal Ball, a Democrat, for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District seat. I usually enjoy covering political assignments and a lot of parallels can be drawn between them and sporting events. Like games where one team maintains an insurmountable lead, there is often a certain lack of explosive emotion at the end. Such was the case tonight. And while I have no doubt Mr. Wittman was happy to be reelected, I don’t know that there was ever any serious doubt he would win. I am happy with the above image of him with his family and staff watching returns if only because it isn’t your typical podium shot.
Stafford's Darrien Johnson (28) watches as Brooke Point's Akil Abdulbarr (6) reaches for a pass originally intended for Alex Figueroa (center) in the first quarter. Abdulbarr made the catch, scoring Brooke Point's second touchdown in their 17-0 victory over Stafford on Oct. 29, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
This week I went to the Stafford vs Brooke Point game. For the first time this season, it was a bit chilly and finally felt like real Friday night football. The game itself was kind of a drag with both of BP’s touchdowns happening in in the first quarter. The first one I was totally out of position, set up in the end zone, shooting Stafford on offense. Instead, they fumbled in the backfield and it was scooped up by Brooke Point and run in for a TD. All I saw was the backs of jerseys. The second TD, pictured above was actually kind of impressive. At first after shooting the play, I thought it was an incomplete pass in the end zone but then the ref signaled a TD. I had to scroll through my pictures on the back of the camera to see how the play unfolded. The rest of the game was a lot of running up the middle and pictures of piles of players. Not terribly exciting. Anyway, it’s not the prettiest picture but I’ll take a storytelling image over peak action just about any day of the week. To see more from this game as well as fellow staffer Pete Cihelka’s coverage of the James Monroe vs Chancellor game, head to our high school football page.
James Monroe's Kasine Conway breaks away from Eastern View's Louis Wilkins during Friday's game at Maury Stadium in Fredericksburg, VA on Oct. 22, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
I photographed the James Monroe vs Eastern View game tonight at Maury Stadium. As far as atmosphere goes, you can’t beat Maury – old school stadium, lots of enthusiasm from the crowd, generally some good football and it is a block from the office. The downside is the light – it is one of the darkest stadiums in the area – and the end zones are significantly darker than midfield so you need to be prepared to adjust if you are in the end zone and the action comes your way. It was a fairly one-sided victory and when I left with three minutes to go in the third quarter it was something like 44-14. The final was 53-35. Click on the image above to see a slideshow from the Jayem game as well as some of photographer Pete Cihelka’s pictures from the Mountain View-North Stafford game.
Rain spatters a fallen leave along Washington Avenue in Fredericksburg on October 20, 2010. (Mike Morones/The Free Lance-Star)
Occasionally whatever we had planned for a section front falls through and often a photographer is sent out to find a picture. For the last few months, it seems like this has been a rarity but in the last week, I’ve been out twice looking for what is often called a feature hunt or wild art or enterprise photos. Whatever you want to call it, it is often me driving around, hoping to have a little serendipity poured in my lap. Sadly this week, I’m 0-for-2. The success rate for going out and just driving around, hoping to stumble across a photo, is generally pretty low. Usually it helps if you can get a look at community calendar or can otherwise do some research before heading out the door. Yesterday I went the graphic route, just trying to shoot a rainy-day weather photo that referenced fall. In my opinion the result is sort of one-dimensional but it served its purpose. Fortunately I can try again tomorrow.
Here are a few leftovers from Sunday’s game against Indianapolis. Being that it was an 8:20 kickoff, photo editor Dave Ellis and I had to work relatively quickly to get pictures out in time for our deadline. The first two, despite being shot before the game began, made the slideshow as real estate in the paper is scarce and they really only added some flavor to the coverage rather than substance. The last two were shot well after deadline and had no chance of making the paper.