I think when you start out you know the hype of being at the big game and the noise and the idea that you're at a Super Bowl is great but when you're kneeling down there in the corner all that matters is whether you get the picture my name is al Tillman's I'm a staff photographer Sports Illustrated I'm John beaver with Sports Illustrated hi I'm Damien Joe Meyer from port illustrated magazine I'm Simon bruty and I'm a Sports Illustrated photographer [Applause] I'm down here in New Orleans Louisiana for the BCS Championship game and we're going to see if Alabama else you can make a little bit more exciting this time so there are five photographers here and we are part of a team the guys on the field will be split up and we'll take different sides of the field or maybe they'll take different end zones but then it's really kind of freewheeling as long as you know where the other guys are you're good to go and to do what you do best at this game we're really at the mercy of the action they have what they have us in each corner is set up and generally the same equipment as everybody else it's ROM any charge of a sideline but I know where everyone else is it takes a lot of pressure off you you've just got to cover your area you know we have a sense about what where we need to go to get the game covered and we work as a team there's a lot of risk taking and just educated guesses goes into where you're positioning yourself and you know what you end up getting so I'm shooting in the catwalk because for me it gives a really unique perspective to the game and instead of being on the field competing against 250 other photographers I'm on my own competing with myself there's a unique perspective and also an exclusive in it what makes an interesting image unfortunately a lot of times is luck I think that you've got to be prepared you've got to know your subject what's going on in the game what's supposed to happen at the game what's the most unlikely scenario at the game and then you know you want to position yourselves accordingly but a lot of times what happens is you've just got to be lucky you've got to have that fumble happen happen towards you not away from you the winning touchdown happened in your corner not the other corner and you know not everybody likes to talk about that because there is a lot of luck involved the best point pictures I think are the ones with the whistle with something showing in the face some the emotion of the player there's so many good sports pictures these days that something's going to stand out so it's either generally something that is an eye-level normal sizing it's like either high-low type or wide what makes a great picture I think you almost kind of can tell only after they've been made you know once they're all laid out on the table you're like this is the most relevant picture and then maybe the guy three spots down from you has the slightly better angle of the key picture and that's just the reality of what we do if you're shooting you know a big football game they push you back on the sidelines and to get into the action you need a three or four hundred mil at the minimum a 300 to 800 400 to 800 to eight six hundred f/4 I mean there you go those are the lenses that you need to shoot sports we can't predict what's going to happen but that that's why we have five cameras in five different lenses I always perceive shooting football in terms of like crescents so I shoot a crescent with my 50 millimeter 400 millimeter and then a 600 millimeter and there's dead spots in there there's dead spots that you can't cover with those lenses they need something wide for dunk by the goal line generally a 70 to 200 is down there and a 24 74 real close you have to be comfortable transitioning from one lens to the other for the long telephoto lenses you should have a monopod unless you're Superman so use a monopod for anything 300 and up do I don't use a monopod for zoom lens right prefer shooting indoors or outdoors while never rains indoors which is nice doesn't get cold indoors which is nice shooting in the rain it's hard but boy man you know you get the mud splashing in the rain bouncing off a helmets and you know balls our guys are fumbling because it's wet it does add something to it it's harder and as you get older it's unpleasant snow and mud Novica brain present opportunities that you don't have in fair weather okay I'm happy about them they're well I don't know I'm probably not I mean it's like it just pretty uncomfortable but after it's all done you say oh well this is pretty interesting I like sitting outside because you have a chance the possibility of working with the lioness shadows if you're shooting in a dome there is pretty much zero chance of the elements getting involved in your photo photography if you're outside you want the elements to be involved because it's going to create such a great photograph and that's what you're after ultimate tomorrow night there's going to be a real pressure to get cards in get them edited make a folder it selects and I'm sure at the magazine up in New York they're going to be laying out as we go along so the way Sports Illustrated have it set up is that I take the card out of the back of the camera and on a big game like the BCS Championship final there is a number of technicians here who deal with the transmission they will transmit the whole take to New York with the offices and that photo editor will go through every frame there they will make their select and then request the raw files from there and they can be published pretty much instantaneously and that's the basics of how the transmission works their quantum leap in the last 10 years is just was basically we started shooting digital in 2000 or 2002 so it's been 10 years now it's an enormous jump back then with film yet your exposure had to be a lot closer on after they had to be within a third of a stop otherwise it was unpublishable we shoot JPEG and RAW both and with with the raw file you can save a lot of pictures I mean we're shooting pictures at night that rival pictures we're shooting in broad daylight when I started in 80s we were shooting film that was so much better than the guys in the 70s had and we were like oh my god can you believe you were shooting on this film in the 70s and look what we're shooting with now a difference between film and digital I mean you know it's night and day these days because you know you're not second-guessing yourself constantly as you were with film I think what reviewing your pictures gives you is you're able to see if something's going wrong if there's something wrong with your camera or your lens you're going to know it right away you know you shoot film you shoot an entire take you wouldn't know if anything went wrong you redditor would call you the next day and say yeah you got a problem or definitely made things easier but if they'd think easier for everybody get you to look throught photography to the masses I mean it definitely you know everybody's a photographer now I think what you have to look at is photography better now than it was pre digital and the bottom line is it is it gets definitely better I think you have a little more idea now when you shouldn't even see in the back of your camera what you have back when you shot film send the film out on process have no idea of a sharp or anything and then when you open when you get the magazine first of all if you see a cover is that mine that's mine they sometimes they don't tell you at the stage of the career that all of our photographers are at the competition for the cover is the bigot always I mean that's what you're most concerned about getting coverage you know I've been doing this for as with outside for over 20 years and it's still exciting to get a cover getting really great picture in as a double truck yeah that that excitement doesn't go away you know it's a good photograph when you see it on the back of the camera I mean obviously opening up the magazine a week later and looking at it or looking at it on the iPad on one of the electronic issues yeah it's great it's great to see it it's great to see you name by it I think you would find it interesting to hear the Sports Illustrated carvers talk at halftime of any football game we never have any picture never do we're never ever ever happy with what we have it's always like I didn't have this I didn't have that now this game is awful we you know we I'm not getting anything the reality is court is far different from that it's funny how you can go to games and you know people ask how you did after the game and usually you're wrong on that you know you say I thought I had a great game and they the editors say he didn't or you think you had nothing in the editors safety a great game so it's it's really hard to hard to predict the thing about Ford's photography is you can never get it all it's impossible you can't possibly be everywhere you can't but we have perfect timing to get every single you know play so the average photographer that wants to do this for a living you got to follow your dreams first and foremost you got to do what's in your heart you know if you're doing what's in your heart you don't have to make as much money is just getting a job and paying the bills if you're happy doing what you're doing if getting up in the morning is never a chore going to work is never a chore it's a great feeling and money becomes secondary but you do eventually have to pay the bills and if you have a family you know it can't be all playtime it's a difficult thing to get into it's very expensive to get into you have to be lucky along the way but if you're good enough and you have enough drive and talent you'll find a way to get in the competition is tough which means you have to keep your standards incredibly high and that you know obviously by looking at images in Sports Illustrated will give you a sense of what what is a great sports photograph and and what kind of standard you need to reach to get to get to that level but you have to find that fashion you have to figure out how to take that passion and make yourself a professional and compete at every level you're at now I'm competing at the highest level now but ice compete is the lowest level and every step you have a plan the most important thing is when you get a credential and you're down on the field you have as good a shot as anybody else to get the great action picture from that game and that's what you should keep in mind

How Sports Illustrated Photographers Shoot Football
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28 thoughts on “How Sports Illustrated Photographers Shoot Football

  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    What great advice: Practice, practice, practice on everything as much as you can and Never give up. Great advice

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Still true in 2019, Cheers from Germany.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    The video made by FStoppers with Bergman and Bon Jovi is…amazing in it's won right. This video is the very best Fstoppers made.. These guys are all unemployed now and we'll never see them in their career environment ever again.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    You had to buy the camera dummy

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I shoot dog sports and I have the newest Nikon 70-200 f2.8 with the Nikon D750. The low light performance is a lot better than anything I had before but I still struggle to keep things high quality when I'm shooting an indoor sport. I was hoping these guys would talk a little more about technical stuff, camera functions I don't know about, strategies with ISO. But it was a motivational and interesting video.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Sorry but there is no 500mm f2.8 I have no idea what he is talking about

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    So what i should do is be 6 guys and give myself assignments in 6 areas? And be Lucky.  Wow, great tips.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Hopefully, these guys got new jobs.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I would love to see an update about Basketball or other sports. This is a great piece and gives great insight for current Sports photographers as well as people who dont know much about it or the pro level that exists

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    This is so very true still, if you ant it, you have to keep pushing no matter the knock backs, make it work and you will get there, this is appropriate for all photography positions which every photographer wants to be in, you just got to have a bit of luck, be in the right place and make your impact known. Do that enough times and people will see you and your work.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Great video. Check out my sports photo channel.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    This was the most inspirational video. Takes my motivation to another level.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    well i can tell where the guy leaning against the green door is from, haha.

    within 20 miles of Philadelphia lolol

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I've always a touch time deciding whether I should go with my 400 2.8, my 500 2.8 or my 600….

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I thought they laid all their photographers off

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    The new 500mm 2.8 ?

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    Inspiring. Thanks a lot for the insight!

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    one of my dream job. . … 😢

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    they all got let go by sport illustrated but that build some of the new freelance agency in the usa and rhe world i work for them sence 2014 geat work and great workplace. I love this work.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    4:55 that headshot is so noisy. But I think it works with this shot in particular.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I love hearing some professionals talk like this because I've never been around any. Thanks

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    6:05 What application is used here? Thanks.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    I know Al Tielmans.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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    very inspirational and informational!!!! thank you!

    Reply

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