I love pushing myself photographically.

I am constantly looking for new techniques, studying other photographers, seeing where I can be creative and different. I think you have to do that these days as a photographer. Anyone who is in this business and isn’t learning and growing isn’t going to be in this business very long. There’s always someone who is doing it better than you are, so if you aren’t getting better yourself, you’re going to be left behind.

So anytime that I get to do something different, I get psyched. Tuesday was one of those times.

We take the sports photos at my son’s school, Freedom Christian Academy here in Knoxville, and Tuesday we were scheduled to take the co-ed soccer team’s group and individual shots. After that was done, we stuck around for the game and I got the chance to shoot some soccer action for the first time.

Fantastic experience. I used my Nikon D90 and my Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.5 lens, a combination I haven’t gotten the chance to play with that much since my trip to Israel last fall. That lens is very big and heavy and brings stuff very close. Most of my shooting is portraits, and I’m usually closer than 50 yards from my subjects, so that lens has limited use for me. But for an outdoor sport like soccer, it was perfect.

And it was great to push myself by doing something I haven’t really done before. I’ve shot a lot of sports, but never soccer and it was definitely a challenge. The action is non-stop, and with so many players on the field, it was difficult keeping my sight lines to the ball clear. But as the game went on, I started to get the hang of it, and I think that I was able to capture some decent images. A couple of these I was pretty proud of. Check them out and let me know what you think.