MLS Seattle Sounders tie 1-1 LA Galaxy
I covered the MLS Seattle Sounders as they tied 1-1 with the LA Galaxy. Although they were without David Beckham, the LA Galaxy put on a rough and rowdy game, really sparring all over the pitch with the Seattle Sounders.
I was shooting the match for the Seattle PI alongside my boss Josh Trujillo. We decided before the game that I would spend most of my time shooting features while he covered the action on the pitch. To me this the more fun assignment — just walk around the stadium and look for interesting people and moments.
But let’s back up a moment and go to the start of my day: a text message from Josh telling me there was a pre-match rally going on a 1/4 mile away in Occidental Park, in historic Pioneer Square. Often there is a pre-match rally and a band will play as much of the crowd gathers around them cheering. It is a lot of fun, and you could tell that the crowd was enjoying it. They then marched as a group following the band playing them on.
The march made its way back to the courtyard outside Qwest Field and I went to go pick up my media credentials for the game. After successfully navigating to the southwest corner will call (why am I always on the wrong side of the stadium?) I got my creds’ and entered the stadium. The sell-out crowd was roaring already, and there was still an hour until game time.
I made my way up to the press box to set up my template captions for the event. I use software called Photo Mechanic to add basic information as my pictures are pulled off the memory cards. For this event, it added my Seattle PI photo credit, as well as “MLS Seattle Sounders v. LA Galaxy Sunday May 10, 2009 at Qwest Field in Seattle, WA.” That way at halftime and post-game, I only had to label the players in the picture and what they were doing — it saves a lot of time! If you need quick and easy software to view your photos, look no further than the industry standard for photojournalists: Photo Mechanic.
Once that was done I went down to field level and worked on some feature photos of the crowd. The crowd was a sellout 28,000-plus.
I spotted this kid leaning way over the field and asking for autographs from passing players.
I liked this shot a lot, but then I thought about how it might look from underneath him.
I can’t decide which one I like better.
Even though this guy is at almost every Sounders game, his hair and dedication are wild. -Click-
My game plan for this event was to just roam the stadium for the first half, transmit at halftime from the pressbox, and cover the action in the last half.
I wanted to try and shoot an overall from the highest point in the stadium, to showcase the packed crowd. After hiking up a ramp three stories, I found a nice vantage point high above the crowd. It was strange to be up in the stadium with nobody around, since the upper deck is closed off for MLS games.
Some photographs from the upper deck:
I continued exploring for the next fifteen minutes and then found it close to halftime. I hustled back up to the pressbox to transmit.
I finished transmitting some images from the pre-match rally and the first half, and a few beats later halftime was over too.
I decided to stay up in the pressbox to finish looking at a few of the earlier photos. A few minutes later I heard a commotion and looked up: there was a pretty big scrum going on at midfield. Players arguing and shoving, and eventually, a Seattle Sounder ejected with a red card.
Shooting through the pressbox window is not usually my preferred vantage point, but it worked out nicely for the unfolding fracas. As it turns out, it happened to be the best angle on an unusual situation. From field level, there would have been numerous possibilities to be blocked by players, refs’, etc, but shooting from the press box worked out nicely.
You can check out more of my work at www.bermanphotos.com.
Thanks for looking!