The San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1) snapped the New Orleans Saints (5-6) three-game winning streak with a 31-21 win at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.
The Saints stumbled and missed an opportunity to gain ground in the NFC playoff race as the 2012 NFL season winds to a close.
In this blog post, I will go over a few of my favorite images from the game. If you'd like to see more, check out the full gallery: http://www.michaeltortorich.com/p933152261
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis smiles during pregame warmups.
There are certain things photography books, websites and videos can't teach.
I've found from experience that the best photos are felt. I've trained my eye to look for emotion, and more often than not, it translates into a strong image.
To me, a generic headshot of a player during a pregame routine turned into a portrait because of the emotion involved.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis adjusts his helmet.
As a general rule, I like faces in photos. Sometimes I break that rule. That was the case with this photo of 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.
Saintsations dance team members stand for the national anthem.
I love events because there are so many photo opportunities. Instead of searching for the generic, mundane shot, I look for sights that are different.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick yells signals at the line.
I love action shots. You have a narrow window of opportunity to capture something that will never happen exactly that way again.
I also love shots like the one above. The Superdome was loud. I knew the crowd would try to rattle the 49ers' young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. This is where experience and knowledge kicked in, and allowed me to anticipate and capture this image.
49ers tight end Vernon Davis slips by Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins on a pass play.
The action will be there. It's more than just being in the right place at the right time. It's also about being prepared to properly capture the image when it is presented to you.
49ers Colin Kaepernick and Kyle Williams celebrate after a touchdown.
I look for what's real. I look for what's raw. I find these moments make the best images.
49ers wide receiver Mario Manningham tries to break free of Saints cornerback Jabari Greer.
Sometimes everything falls into place, like in the above image.
You know a large part of why I love this shot? If you look in the left corner, you will see the Z-man, Michael Zagaris. Check out his story through the link attached to his name, it's an interesting read.
He has been a photographer for the 49ers and the Oakland A's for years (longer than I've been alive). He's seen a lot through of epic moments through lenses.
I can tell you from seeing him in the Superdome for the Saints-49ers game, he burns through lots of shoe soles. Even after all these years, he approaches photography as if he is still a child who woke up on Christmas morning with a new camera under the tree. He's such an inspiration.
49ers safety Donte Whitner dives into the end zone, putting an exclamation on an interception return for a touchdown.
It was a rough day for the Saints. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees threw two uncharacteristic interceptions for touchdowns. One swung the momentum just before halftime as it tied the game.
Then came the one pictured above, which ended with safety Donte Whitner flying into the end zone. Notice how I composed the shot to show the fans in the stands react. I like the contrast of the 49ers fans celebrating while the Saints fans look on disappointed.
Saints wide receiver Marques Colston catches a pass against the 49ers.
Also of note: Saints wide receiver Marques Colston scored his 56th touchdown of his career (all with New Orleans), surpassing the team's all-time rusher Deuce McAllister for the club record.
NBC Sports reporter Alex Flanagan interviews 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick after the game.
I find myself using the same instincts from the football field in other aspects of photography. Those same "muscles" worked at the NFL level also apply to the amateur ranks.
I know when things feel right, and I know when things feel wrong.
This same skill and experience also comes in handy when photographing parties, weddings, and other functions.
I've learned that you can't buy experience, and you can't obtain it from a book.
In the immortal words of Nike, you have to "Just do it."
If you'd like to connect with me, check out these links:
Michael Tortorich on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/tortorich
Michael Tortorich Photography on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MichaelTortorichPhotographyLLC
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Michael Tortorich on LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-tortorich/22/35a/a61
To reach me directly, call or text me at 225-717-0762.
Michael Tortorich Photography is based in south Louisiana.