Saturday’s Portland Timbers home opener was a long time coming. 223 days between home matches to be exact. It was fantastic to be able to photograph a game at home and not on the road! I missed Providence Park and the great atmosphere that we have. No other venue on the opening 12 game road trip even comes close to replicating it. To properly cover an event of this magnitude, my assistant Sam Ortega and I set up 4 remote controlled cameras and each had 3 hand held cameras (with wide, medium and long lenses) during the match. We shot a total of 4,732 images. According to our Fitbit data, we walked over 10 miles apiece and climbed around 30 flights of stairs over the course of the day. But even with the two of us spread out throughout the stadium, it is impossible for us to be everywhere at once no matter how hard we try.
One of my favorite things to do in the days after a big match is to browse the social media feed of photographers who covered the game. There were over 45 photographers and videographers from various media outlets on the field Saturday. As you can imagine, with that many photographers all shooting the same thing, there is a huge variety of photos and moments captured. Because every photographer has his or her own unique style, even though we are all photographing the same thing, we are all doing something different too.
Here are a few of my favorite photos (in no particular order) from other photographers at the home opener:
1. Ray Terrill from the Timbers Army (Twitter @rayterrill)
Ray does an excellent job shooting images that are used on the Timbers Army website and social media feeds. He also always has the inside line on which angle will showcase the tifos best. I am a sucker for dramatic light and this image of Timber Joey’s chainsaw before the match is beautiful.
2) Troy Wayrynen from USA Today Sports Images
I chose a few of Troy’s images because he really killed it, as he always does. Troy has been one of the best sports photographers in town for a long time.
The first image is an interesting angle on the people holding the giant flags during the national anthem. You might not even notice them from the stands, but it takes a giant crew to bring those out and this photo shows that.
I love this second image because it puts you right in the thick of the action. One of our jobs as photographers is to make the viewer feel like they are in your place and this image does a great job of making you feel like you’re in the stands, while also showing off the new eastside expansion.
This last image from Troy is a great view of Brian Fernandez’s crazy bicycle goal in the second half. I did not get a good photo of this. Troy nailed it.
I have quite a few images from Nikita that I love. She is, by far, my favorite photographer shooting the matches. She is typically found on the sidelines at Thorns games but I am so glad she covered the Timbers this weekend too. Her work is the most unique of anyone shooting soccer right now. It is so clean and graphical and artistic. She uses light and shadows so well, has super creative edits and I just cannot say enough things about her work. She constantly sees things in a way I never do and inspires me to try new things and to be more creative in my work.
4) Edgar Garibay from LAFC (@garibayphoto on Instagram)
As much as I hate to admit it, LAFC fans BROUGHT IT on Saturday. They were the loudest, rowdiest, largest group of traveling supporters I have ever seen at Providence Park. They put every other supporters group to shame (yes, even you Seattle). The traveling supporters made the atmosphere even better than it already was and you could feel the intensity in the stadium. I absolutely love the emotion and layers in this image shot by Edgar Garibay from LAFC.
5) Nick Carnera - adidas Creators Network (@nickcarnera on Instagram)
Nick has a style of shooting that I enjoy as well. He is a great lifestyle photographer and delivers his unique vision to the league via adidas every week. I like this first image of the new expansion because the light is very nice and it gives a good perspective on the massive wall of people. I like the second image of Cristhian Paredes celebrating his goal because it is shot a little more loose than a typical sports photo and gives a cool perspective of the excitement in the stands and on the field.
6) Fletcher Wold - MHCC (@fwold_photography on Instagram)
Fletcher is a photo student at Mount Hood Community College and he is going to be a great photographer when he is done. He has an excellent work ethic and is always trying new things. To contrast Nick’s image of Paredes’ goal, I like Fletcher’s version of the exact same moment, but shot traditionally tight. His image has great emotion.
7) Al Sermeno - KLC Photos (@alsermeno_soccer on Instagram)
Veteran sports photographer Al has the best angle I have seen of Fernandez’s goal, shot from the opposite end of the field.
8) Kris Lattimore (@krislattimore_footy on Instagram)
One of the things I like the most about looking at work of my fellow photographers is seeing what angles I might have missed. I love this angle of the MAX station and the expansion. I will definitely be copying this idea.
9) Jay Davis (shotfromacanon on Flickr)
This is a great angle by Jay Davis of Timber Jim cutting the ceremonial log. Not only is this view unique but it shows how many different photographers were on the field as well.
10) Chris Jackson (@chrisjackson_503 on Instagram)
And finally, my favorite fan photo from the game. I always browse the #RCTID hashtag on Instagram after a game to see what kind of cool light and angles I might have missed. Oftentimes, fan photos from Instagram give me great ideas for angles to shoot from, or of nooks and crannies with interesting light. As I was browsing the feed this image popped out to me because of the interesting lines and cool perspective. There are certainly a lot of new angles and views to shoot fun photos from on the new eastside and I am excited to try them all out over the course of the season!