'Through the Lens' will appear once per week during the offseason. Packers team photographer Evan Siegle deconstructs some of his favorite images from the 2019 season. Each week will offer a new photo line-up of some of his best photos and stories from the past season.
In the zone
In the zone
To me, the red zone is the toughest area on the field to document. It's tough because you need to cover the farthest part of the end zone and anything that comes your way. It can be a challenge to juggle multiple cameras with split-second decisions.
"I think the photo gods were helping me out that day!"
If I'm lucky I can capture the entire sequence of the play, like this frame from last season's road game against the New York Giants. On this particular play I was able to capture the entire play – scramble, throw, catch and celebration. I think the photo gods were helping me out that day! This image is one of my favorite frames from the play. I love how Aaron's eyes are locked in on Packers tight end Marcedes Lewis, while eluding a Giants defender.
This image was shot with a 135mm lens (ISO = 800, Aperture = f2, Shutter = 1/2500th).
I think this black-and-white image depicts quietness but in reality, it's the complete opposite. The ambiance inside the tunnel is very loud and intense. On this frame I decided to photograph Davante Adams from a different vantage point than I've used in the past. I like how Davante waits for his cue to run out onto the field against the roar of the crowd. This image was shot with a 35mm lens (ISO = 1600, Aperture = 2, Shutter = 1/2500th).
Even though Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes didn't face off against Aaron Rodgers during Week 8, which I think everyone wanted, it was still a great game to document. In the final minutes before every Packers victory my head is on a swivel in search of jubilation imagery. With seconds left on the clock I noticed that Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary were standing on the bench waving to the crowd with satisfaction.
"It was a great moment to capture."
I usually have no idea how long a moment is going to last, so I'm constantly taking pictures. They say, "One is better than none." Luckily, I was able to get to the other side of the bench to see the players' faces. It was a great moment to capture. I really love Za'Darius' facial expression, and if you look closely you can see the Chiefs players on the field (bottom left) as they run one more play before the game is over. This image was shot with a 24mm lens (ISO = 1600, Aperture = 2, Shutter = 1/4000th).
First step, finish, repeat
First step, finish, repeat
I think this is a really solid composition of Kevin King, and it's something I didn't even plan for. I've talked about those unexpected moments before, and this is another perfect example of finding a diamond in the rough.
"It’s a raw and rare moment."
I knew this image would really standout in black and white because of the black sharpie contrasted against the pure white athletic tape. I love all the details and textures in the frame, too. It's a raw and rare moment. This image was shot with a 85mm lens (ISO = 400, Aperture = 2, Shutter = 1/4000th).
Here's a simple portrait of David Bakhtiari, which was taken at the start of training camp. When I hold portrait sessions with the players, I usually run through about eight different generic poses, but I also think it's important to grab some images of the players in their position stances, too. It puts them in their element. David knocked it out of the park with his game face intensity. My three-light setup is pretty easy, which involves one main light (Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000) with a huge Litemotiv 190cm soft box and two side lights (Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 500) with two Rotalux strip boxes 50x130cm. This image was shot with a 50mm lens (ISO = 100, Aperture = 11, Shutter = 1/250th).
Along the line
Along the line
The Packers' season opener was pretty epic on all levels. It was the first NFL game of the season and most importantly it was between two NFC North rivals, which is arguably the biggest rivalry in the NFL.
"...this image has a gridiron feel between two old foes."
It was also the opener of the NFL's 100th season. Anytime a game has historical importance I always try and capture a scene-setter. I feel that this image has a gridiron feel between two old foes. I really like how Packers center Corey Linsley is projected out from the line of scrimmage. My only complaint is that I wish Aaron Rodgers' face was turned this way, maybe shouting out instructions to his teammates. I do love the feel and ambiance of the photo. This image was shot with a 135mm lens (ISO = 1250, Aperture = 2, Shutter = 1/4000th).
NFC North champs
NFC North champs
No caption needed, except that the clinching came on the Vikings' home turf. This image was shot with a 35mm lens (ISO = 1250, Aperture = 3.2, Shutter = 1/800th).
In the latter weeks of training camp, I tend to shift my focus from action photos to more feature-type imagery. I captured this side-profile portrait of Packers safety Darnell Savage right before the start of practice. Compressing the background and finding a clean backdrop really made a difference. This image was shot with a 400mm lens (ISO = 400, Aperture = 2.8, Shutter = 1/2000th).
Photographing Aaron as he leads his teammates to the field never gets old. Sometimes it can generate a great image, like the frame here, and other times it just doesn't work out to my advantage. Most of the time I'm trying to avoid national videographers and their cable runners from getting into the composition. I try and pick my moments to capture the players. I actually love this narrow hallway that the players have to walk to get to the field inside Soldier Field. There are the shadow patterns cast on the walls, the focus in Aaron's eyes and how the lines on the concrete walls draw you in to the players. This image was shot with a 85mm lens (ISO = 3200, Aperture = 2, Shutter = 1/2000th)
I have a love-hate relationship with this image of Packers receiver Jake Kumerow, as he dives into the end zone for a touchdown.
"It’s rare to come away from a game with an image like this..."
First, anytime I come away with a diving catch or play I'm very happy. It's rare to come away from a game with an image like this, but I wish the action were a little closer to my shooting position. I find that the compression isn't quite right and the background is a little distracting. I always say that being a good sports photographer is about preparation, anticipation, great timing and having a little luck on your side. Hopefully, with a little more luck, I get another attempt like this next season…preferably on my side of the field. This image was shot with a 400mm lens (ISO = 500, Aperture = 2.8, Shutter = 1/4000th).