The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

From on the field to behind the lens

The crew boys team practices ahead of their season. Mason Stern takes photos of a variety of sports around the high school.

As the ball is skillfully passed down the field, a crescendo of cheers comes from the crowd, voices blending in anticipation. The intensity builds. Then, in a heartbeat, the world seems to hold its breath as the player takes aim. The player is not alone in this moment of focus and control. Along the sidelines, a photographer is poised, capturing the essence of this moment with a single click.

Sports photographers are an essential part of athletics that often go unrecognized. Sophomore Mason Stern has been taking photos of the football team since his freshman year.

“Last year around this time, it was the football season and the freshman team wanted a photographer,” Stern said. “I liked it and then I slowly started doing it more. Now I do it multiple times a week.”

Stern said that he continued in photography because of the support from the athletes.

“It’s the athlete’s reactions. They keep asking me to come, everyone likes the photos, and it’s just seeing people happy about the outcome of their photos that makes me keep wanting to do them,” Stern said.

Stern uses a 3100D camera with a 70-200mm lens and photographs with an f-stop (the focal length of the lens) of 2.8. He said that there are a lot of factors to consider when taking a photograph.

“’I’m thinking of where to place myself. For example, for soccer, I try to be on the other team’s half, because when we score, I can get the goal and the celebration, and that’s where I can get the best shots,” Stern said. “I think about my ISO (the level of light the camera lets in), how much zoom, all that.”

Oleg Schapov has been professionally taking photos for five years and often photographs the crew teams, which his daughter is a member of. He said that his love of photography stems from his childhood, when his father would take photos and Schapov had a smaller camera of his own. However, Schapov’s return to photography began with traditional learning.

“I had some free time, and I just decided to try photography again,” Schapov said. “I took a couple classes in a local education center and started to take pictures almost every day.”

Schapov said he takes photos of a wide variety of subjects with various cameras and lenses as well as a drone. People are his favorite subject, but he said he especially likes sports.

“I take pictures of cityscapes, landscapes and people. I love, of course, sports because it’s people, it’s emotions, it’s dynamic with a lot of adrenaline. But maybe I love taking pictures of people more,” Schapov said.

There are a lot of elements that aren’t thought of in our day-to-day lives that are important in photography. According to Schapov, location and lens are vital elements for a photographer, especially in a sport like crew.

“I use one camera, but I use so many lenses. It’s also very important to choose the right lens for short distance, for close ups or very long distance,” Schapov said. “I use different lenses, not just one universal lens, because the universal lens also may not have the best quality, but when you have different lenses, you can bring the best quality.”

Another essential part of photography is post-production. According to Schapov, due to different conditions, editing may take a long time, sometimes even longer than an event itself. Additionally, the editing process eliminates a large number of photos. Where Schapov may start with 1000 photos, he ends up with 150.

“People think you take pictures and it’s all done, but no, I spend a lot of time to get the right settings for post processing, because it’s different weather,” Schapov said. “It can be sunny, it can be overcast, or it can rain, but to get great pictures you need to have some presets, or different settings for light, contrast, sharpening, for example, and also for colors and for saturation.”

Stern said that his least favorite part of photography is when he misses a shot but he said that working through mistakes is a key part of the practice.

“Just like an athlete would miss a play, I can miss a photo that I thought would be very cool. It can be too blurry and there’s a lot of things that can go wrong, so you really have to be precise and quick,” Stern said. “You’re going to make mistakes. I make mistakes a lot, and it’s going to happen, and you just can’t think about them.”

Schapov advises aspiring photographers to learn from existing experts in the field.

“I recommend finding a good expert and getting some experience from them because you can spend years and years, but if you have a very good adviser, you can get the same experience in a shorter time.”

Both photographers said that practice makes perfect and that not dwelling on mistakes is key.

“Photography, it’s practice,” Schapov said. “You have to practice often, almost every day. That’s how you get a really good experience.”

“Photography is fun, but like I’ve said before, there’s a lot of mistakes that come with it,” Stern said. “It can be frustrating, and it does take a lot of time.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All comments are reviewed by Cypress staff before being published. To read our complete policy, see our policies underneath the About tab.
All The Cypress Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *