I've shot a lot of football games. Not just at the NFL level, because I'm only working on my fourth season there. But when I look back at my career ... college ball, high school, etc., I've shot a lot of football.
Until the Steelers' 27-3 rout of the now 0-4 Bengals, I don't think I've ever shot a player catching a touchdown pass with no one else in the frame. Ok, maybe a corner of the end zone kind of thing at an angle that makes it easy to isolate someone ... But not as wide as I shot the above photo. Not looking straight downfield like the above photo.
This one ... is just weird.
That's Diontae Johnson making his touchdown catch in that photo. And only Diontae Johnson in the photo. He didn't just slip by unnoticed in the end zone to make this image. He went unnoticed by everyone except for Mason Rudolph, who connected with the rookie for their second 40-plus-yard touchdown in the last two weeks.
43-yards to be exact, and that's a heck of a lot of territory to cover with no one else in the frame. I put the image out on Twitter, and I was met with a lot of reactions from people who also thought it was quite unusual:
I joked about it with a few other photographers who were baffled by the isolation of their own images ... General consensus was that we've only made similar images on the training ground at camp. Even then, a stretch.
That wild, wide, empty image of Johnson kicks off this game's gallery and the rest of the game's best images follow. See you guys and gals in the comments!