How To Photography: It’s Time to Capture Football Tailgating Fun with your Digital Photography. Go, Team, Go!
It may be the depth of the hot summer, but for football fans, the gridiron season is just around the corner. If your family and friends enjoy tailgating before and after the game, then you have an excellent opportunity to create a digital photography story of all the fun.
Whether your favorite team is college or pro, or both, your photography essay begins with images of you pulling all your tailgating equipment—cooler, grill, banners, pennants, clothing and various team-logoed paraphernalia—from storage and preparing it for the first game.
When that day arrives, make sure to record photos of preparing food items in the kitchen, choosing team clothing, applying face paint or donning that colored wig and trying to pack your tailgating vehicle with more equipment than it will hold. Before you leave, compose group photos of everyone dressed for tailgating and stoked for the big game.
If you’re picking up other family members or friends, then photograph them in their team garb too, before everyone jumps into your vehicle and heads to the game.
When you arrive at the parking lot or tailgating area, ask whoever is trying the car, truck, SUV or bus to wait a moment. Then, position yourself to take a series of photos as the vehicle parks, and with everyone hanging from the open windows cheering, yelling and acting crazy.
You can avoid helping to unpack and set up all your cooking and other tailgating equipment by telling the gang you will shoot photos of them doing all the hard work. Move closer to everyone and all this activity and use a wide-angle focal length to capture more interesting digital photos. Look for a good low camera position, in the lane between parked tailgaters, for example, and use that wide-angle perspective again to photograph the wild celebration. If possible, access a position above the tailgating lot for a high-angle view. If your camera has a panorama mode, then you might want to bring a tripod and position your equipment to compose a panoramic image of a long row of tailgaters.
When the designated chef starts to cook his or her special-recipe ribs, brauts or wherever, spend some time capturing images of his or her magical skills as well as a series of photos as the food progresses from raw to cooked. Snap a couple of pictures of the entire spread before everyone starts feeding their faces, and then shoot more photos of everyone enjoying the food (if you can put those ribs down long enough to concentrate on your digital photography!).
If you’re at a college game, then it’s likely the marching band and cheerleaders will walk to the stadium near the tailgating area. Check on their route in advance, so you’re strategically positioned to photograph them. Use that wide-angle lens again: place you and your camera near the ground for exaggerated angles of a marching musician, especially a tuba player. Try to step close and capture a reflected image from the shiny surface of an instrument that shows a band member.
When it’s time to enter the stadium, photograph the entire group in a fanatic mood to cheer the team to victory. If you’re allowed to take a camera into the stadium, then record the highs and lows of the game as expressed on your family members and friends’ faces. The fun continues after the game, especially if your team has won, so make sure you have plenty of memory cards.
Even if you’re tailgating occurs at home in front of the big-screen HD TV, there is also a digital photography story to tell. Just adjust the ideas above to your in-home celebration. You’ll need plenty of rest during the week because there is another big game next Saturday or Sunday!
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