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All eyes on football

One of the things I have become more aware of when I am editing photographs these days are the faces of the occasional fan or bystander in the background watching the action.

Part of the reason this has come to my attention is that working for this website requires the images I take to be horizontal in nature. Vertical photos don’t fit in the format. As a rule I don’t keep the entire frame of the digital image, usually cropping right to the action. Now I find myself having to leave more of the original image and not zooming in nearly as tight as I would prefer. This leaves more to the photo than just the players involved. 

With football, any action that is near the sideline usually begets a myriad of eyes on the play. Mostly because when you stand along a sideline you have to be aware of the action in order to avoid injury. Yet the sideline also presents a great front row seat to the game.

At the recent inaugural Northern State University football game at Dacotah Bank Stadium, I had several images with players and fans in the background watching intently. In the image of the first touchdown pass we used with the game story there was a fan with arms raised in celebration at the right of the photo. The fan’s celebration had already begun even while the player was still over 10 yards from the end zone. 

I captured the image above at a game in Ipswich last week. If you look close you can see there are ball boys and a chain gang member looking on in awe and surprise as Ipswich’s Matthew Jaenisch breaks up a pass intended for Warner’s Peyton Jung. 

While my goal is to capture the moment of peak action on the grid iron, I admit I am beginning to like this new “Where’s Waldo” hobby of scanning the background to find the expressions on the faces of those looking on.

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