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Through the lens: An MVP year for Aaron Rodgers
Team photographer Evan Siegle chooses his favorites of the Packers QB from 2020
By Evan Siegle Feb 06, 2021
Photographs By Evan Siegle, packers.com

This past season was historic on so many levels, from adapting to the ongoing pandemic, to witnessing memorable individual player performances and an NFC Championship Game held on the Frozen Tundra. Luckily, I was right there with my camera documenting every play and moment embedded throughout the 2020 season.

One of my biggest joys of being a photographer is capturing a unique moment or maybe the unexpected. Sports photography is often associated with capturing peak action, but what I love about documenting sports is the emotions and quiet moments that someone might not have the chance to witness. There's no better felling than capturing a stunning image that can have so much power and inspiration.

Amongst the players, Aaron Rodgers had an unbelievable year...an MVP season, so it's only right to showcase some of my favorite images and moments of the quarterback.

12 + 69

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12 + 69

One of my favorite images from this past season was this simple photo of Aaron Rodgers and David Bakhtiari just hanging out after a late August training camp practice at Lambeau Field. It's kind of rare to have a regular training camp practice inside Lambeau, but it's even more rare to have two All-Pro teammates sitting atop the wall shooting the breeze. This moment unfolded after practice (sometimes I think the best moments happen before or after practice) and it took a little scrambling on my part. When I saw it happening, I realized that I was way too close to make the composition work. I did snap off a few frames to be sure that I had the moment, but I quickly rushed farther away to add space. I think it was important to show the empty seats and the height of the wall to give it a sense of place. There's nothing fancy about the image, but it was something that I haven't documented before, a quiet moment among friends and teammates. (Canon 1DX Mark III, 400mm, f2.8 at 1/1600th, ISO: 200)

Snow globe

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Snow globe

For the last five seasons I can count on one hand the number of times we've witnessed a heavy snowfall during a game at Lambeau Field. You'd think the opportunities would be endless, but it's not. Snowfall looks great visually, but it's a pain in the butt for focusing, tracking subjects and keeping your gear dry. Anytime you do get a heavy snowfall you always want to make the best of it. Week 16 was actually the perfect game for the white flakes because it was a night game. I knew a dark sky and the stadium lights would add nice layers to the composition. My main goal was to capture a nice winter scenic with Aaron Rodgers & Co. at work. This wide-angle composition is layered with some cool details ­too, such as the bright stadium lights, snow-covered field, shoveled lines to show the yard lines on the field, and the body language of the players. I chose the north end zone because I knew that I'd have more of a dark sky to work with, meaning more contrast with the white snowflakes. I also wanted this image to be taken from behind, so their names and numbers stood out more. Having Aaron Rodgers centered in the frame is fitting to this winter wonderland shot. (Canon 1DX Mark III, 35mm, f2 at 1/6400th, ISO: 2000)

Leader of the Pack

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Leader of the Pack

Only fitting that this past Tuesday (Feb. 2) was Groundhog Day…sometimes I feel like I'm reliving game days over and over again. Everything is on a schedule leading up to the game. I've actually stated before that my opportunities can become redundant. We've all seen the players walking out of the tunnel or huddling up for a pep talk. The challenge is to take away something different from the same opportunity. The difference could be use of light, perspective, lens choice, focal point, etc. Sometimes you fail and sometimes you come away with a beautiful shot, which can surpass your previous attempts. Big Dog (aka Marcedes Lewis) always spoke to the team after coming out of the tunnel for warmups. It always makes for some great moments. I usually find myself racing around the huddle looking for an open spot or clear angle. This game I found myself locking in on Aaron as the snow fell from the sky. His eyes caught my attention. I lowered my perspective to incorporate the stadium lights too, which I think added a nice layer to the image. Fists uniting and Aaron's eyes say so much without having words. (Canon 1DX Mark III, 35mm, f2 at 1/5000th, ISO: 2000)

Entering the arena

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Entering the arena

Sometimes when I see a possible composition, I'll wait for an attempt to get a perfect shot. Sometimes it will pan out and other times it might not even come together. Before a practice in late September, I noticed that an overhead door was left open inside the Don Hutson Center. Maybe the equipment guys forgot to close it, or they were still using the entryway to take gear out to the practice field. Regardless, I was taking advantage of the scene. It reminded me of a fine art chiaroscuro technique – a nice transition from light to dark. As the players walked inside, the shadows and highlights made for a creative, yet dramatic composition. The challenge was getting a nice clean composition, which works best with one player, so the frame doesn't become too busy. Luckily, Aaron came walking around the corner and into the frame. The photo was definitely worth the wait.

(Canon 1DX Mark III, 400mm, f2.8 at 1/2000th, ISO: 400)

King Aaron

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King Aaron

I think the celebrations are just as important to document as the actual touchdowns. In the past I've documented Rodgers' arm flexes, fist pumps, "I Love Gold" and other comical gestures. This season we were introduced to "the crowning." During Week 15, against the Panthers, Rodgers ran in the ball for a 6-yard touchdown. The play was short and sweet, but it delivered a big-time reaction. We witnessed the "championship belt" and "the crowning" all in one photo. It was majestic and very fitting for the season he had. (Canon 1DX Mark III, 400mm, f2.8 at 1/4000th, ISO: 4000)

Choosing only five images of No. 12 is totally unjustifiable, so I've compiled a bunch of images to be showcased in a photo gallery. Here's hoping to another memorable season next year, minus the pandemic!

Team photographer Evan Siegle shares some of his favorite images he took of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers throughout his MVP season.

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