March 22, 2013 - U.S. Men's National Team v Costa Rica
My mode changed from sports-mode to journalist-mode the second or third time the "Zamboni" lawn-tractor pushed snow towards us on the sideline. If the weather people were right, this would be a spectacle.
Early on I knew I needed to get weather photos to the editors, and I made my way to the center of a crowd of die-hard American fans in the south end who were cheering like mad even though the game was an hour from starting (first photo). I made a couple of pictures and sent them.
During the game I was hoping for some snow-affected collision or something, but didn't have great luck. I transmitted another 11 images at halftime, including some interesting "jube" after the goal - I say "jube" parenthetically because it was more a scene photo with the crowd in the background celebrating what would be the lone goal and game-winner, occuring fairly early in the first half.
I hustled all over the stadium, alternating between wide and tele since three bodies would have been too much to handle in those conditions, and the wide providing better overall images than a mid-zoom would have. Later I would regret not taking a few more pictures with the 70-200 but it ended up OK.
The snow was as heavy as I've ever been in; it was snowing a half-inch every 10 minutes. The last picture above was my long lens covered in snow for the 10th time; every time I would blow all the snow off it would just accumulate again. My gear was soaking wet after but besides the batteries, all functioned well during the game. I was actually really impressed with the accuracy of the focus of my newer body in those conditions; my excuse definitely wasn't gear performance, even though the gear was a challenge. Plenty of times my view of the action or scene was completely fogged up in the viewfinder, but generally I was pleased to see that the picture was made, even though I could barely see what I was framing.
I am sure that is one of the craziest sporting events I will ever cover, and I am glad for some during-the-game advice from a buddy and post-game props from some other people. I wish I would have done better yet but overall I'm happy I made the pictures I did. Thanks for looking.