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Picture This: All Eyes On Jackson

Posted Feb 6, 2014

Drew Hallowell started with the Eagles as an assistant photographer in 1996 and aided in the team’s transition to digital photography which was completed in 2003. This photo received honorable mention accolades in the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 43rd Annual Photo Contest in the Action category. Here is his perspective on how he got this photo which was taken during the Falcons-Eagles game on October 17, 2010 …

The thing I remember the most in taking the picture was the pink because it was the Tackling Breast Cancer game. The pink in the gloves stand out to me in that picture, along with the eyes of both of the players.

I think that really makes the picture different from the typical action photo. DeSean Jackson’s focused on the end zone and Atlanta’s William Moore is trying to zero in on him, but he knows he’s beat and is just not going to get there in time for the catch. The blurred background is the advantage of using a big, bright lens with a very shallow depth of field so you know the background is going to be like that the closer you get.

I set up for the shot about 5 yards deep in the end zone on the Eagles’ side of the field. Once the team is at the 35-yard line, I’ll go about in the end zone because they typically go for the corners of the end zone. If you don’t get deep enough, you might get an official in the way of the shot.

From the snap, I stick with the quarterback 80 percent of the time, especially in the first half of a game. I’ll stick with him until he’s just releasing the ball and then as soon as he releases the ball I’ll look up over the top of the camera in the direction where the ball looks like it’s going and then I’ll put my eye back down. A deep pass is usually easier because you have a little bit more time, as opposed to a quarterback throwing a laser over the middle, which is a lot tougher to grab.

The first thing I thought of after I took the picture was, “Boy, I hope that’s in focus.” Usually, you know you have the picture when you don’t see the picture because of the shutter. I remember thinking that I didn’t see the ball touching his hands.

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