As photo editor of the Maneater student newspaper for the University of Missouri, I had the opportunity to follow the Tigers to Houston for the Texas Bowl on New Year's Eve. Missouri played the Navy in the bowl, and although it wasn't the most prime time bowl pick, it was an exciting opportunity for a young journalist like myself!
I was excited and anxious to go to Houston for multiple reasons other than to shoot a bowl game. My first obstacle was the fact that I would be flying alone - for the firs time ever! Luckily, my dad was there to help me out via frantic phone calls every once in a while, so I didn't miss any of my connecting flights and had plenty of time to hang out during my layovers with the free Internet that was provided for holiday travelers! I was also pleased to be visiting Houston, not only because I am a big fan of the state of Texas (it just has a lot to offer!), but because I have recently fallen in love with the Houston Chronicle after seeing some of their entries in Pictures of the Year International last year, a professional contest hosted by the School of Journalism at MU. I picked up a paper or two and was pleased with the content and the size, and may have even sat in the photo room with a photographer of their's!
I am pleased to say that Houston is quite a nice city. For being the fourth largest city in the United States, it has a lot to offer but doesn't seem too overwhelming. Although I didn't venture into the worse parts of Houston (I hear there are some bad areas), what I did see of the city, such as the lightrail, Minutemaid Park, a bit of downtown and the area around the stadium, I was pleased with.
Unlike the Tigers, who couldn't get it together and lost 35-13, I thought I shot pretty well during this game. Unlike the Nebraska game earlier in the year, the weather was quite nice (it is Texas, after all), and although it was a little chilly and a bit foggy, it was great football weather for someone running up and down the sidelines.
The Midshipmen's triple-option offense did prove difficult to shoot. I didn't realize it while it was happening (although I've gotten better, I'm not the most sports-savvy person), this unique strategy allowed for Navy to hide the ball pretty well - from the other team and also from poor photographers like myself.
While I do think I need to work on my go-to peak action shot, one thing I've been enjoying is sports feature photography. While my heart poured out for the seniors of my Tiger football team, I worked to stay objective and capture their emotions as they walked off the field with a defeat in their last college football game ever.
After this game, I discovered how exhilarating and challenging it is to shoot a football game. In the past, I've grown bored after the first quarter of the game, but found time flew by a lot faster during this game. This may be because I understand football just a bit better now, or because I'm actually trying harder and become excited with every play. Whatever it is, I am disappointed that football season is over, especially after I just started to enjoy it so much! I may not be able to shoot it again for awhile, but...I do know that basketball season is in full swing and most conveniently, the Tigers are currently undefeated at home. I think I will soon get over my heartbreak for the end of football season; this could make for a long and prosperous basketball season for me and the men's basketball team.