Night Football Photo Challenges

I think this was a Central High School football game, but I can’t swear to it. I have a few Missourian clips of high school sports, but none of these photos were in the ones I could find.

Shooting night football was full of challenges.

  • The fields were too dark and the film was too slow to shoot available light, so you had to use flash.
  • Electronic flash was better than flashbulbs because you could shoot as quickly as the strobe would recycle. Unfortunately, the more you shot, the more the battery discharged and the slower the recycle time.
  • Electronic flash duration was very short, so it stopped action very well. Unfortunately, the shutter had to be completely open when the flash went off, so the shutter speed had to be set at 1/60 or 1/90 of a second. The flash would stop the action, but there would be enough ambient light that “ghosting” would occur. You can see it on some of these shots where there is a blurry line around a helmet or arm.
  • The flash was limited to about 30 feet, so plays down the middle and on the other side of the field were out of range.
  • You had to guess where the play was going to be so you could set the exposure correctly. You could follow focus as the action moved, but you were pretty much stuck with your exposure.
  • You had to judge where the action was going to be, give or take 30 feet. Do you stand slightly ahead of the line of scrimmage and hope they run toward you? Do you go down the field and gamble that a pass that will be on your side of the field? When you get close to the end zone, do you stand under the goal posts and hope for a play coming at you or do you drop back behind the line of scrimmage? By the time the game was over, you probably covered as much of the field as the players did.
  • The goal was to drop off one to three prints at the paper before deadline. Usually there was only room for one in the paper. So, you spent a couple of hours shooting the game; an hour processing and printing it; a drive to the game and to and from the office; film, chemical and photo paper that cost about $1.50. For all of that, you got $5. Oh, I forgot to mention that you had to buy all your own equipment, too. Maybe I should have paid more attention in math class, because something doesn’t add up here.

Football photo gallery

If anybody knows the teams or anything about the game, chime in. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

14 Replies to “Night Football Photo Challenges”

  1. Ken,
    I recognize some of this but with the lighting and conditions it is hard with out a year book in front of me. If your pics are labeled correctly and this is 1965 that would have been my senior year graduating in 1966. The only player I’m POSITIVE of is #66 George Arthur in pic #1. Player #85 could be Larry Johnson or a big kid named Snider (I think). Harold Pruitt wasn’t that tall.

    In picture #3 player #12 would be ME, and the guy on one knee could be Mike Schuette (again!!). If I had to guess the play looks like the fake field goal (one of few plays where Mike and I were in backfield at the same time) where I was throwing a pass to #85 (note the tumbling tight spiral).

    Of course if this was Fall 1966 instead of 65… Mike and I would have graduated already. The only thing I can GUARANTEE IS GEORGE ARTHUR who would have be there both years.

    How about some help guys???

    1. The quality is pretty ugly. I would never have submitted most of those to the paper, but I thought folks like you might enjoy picking them apart. The only reason I guessed 1965 was that I had stuffed them in the same negative page as some photos I KNEW were from 1965. Since they were “coffee can films,” proximity doesn’t necessarily mean that really were taken at about the same time.

      Any idea who the other team was?

  2. Brad, I believe this is fall ’66, because the field goal kicker #12 is left footed and that would be me. #10 was Pat Godwin, #20 is Alvin Miller, #36 is Steve Emery.

  3. Brad, this is fall ’66 because the field goal kicker is left footed and that #12 would be me. #10 is Pat Godwin, #20 is Alvin Miller, and #36 id Steve Emery.

  4. Mark,
    You are definitely correct. These pics are the Fall of 66 and graduating class of 67. Mr. Steinhoff was close but one year off.

    Now that I look at those pictures with the names you suggest it is obvious who they are. Especially since #12 looks too short and slow to be me.

    I was correct about my old neighbor from Luce Street #66 George Arthur. Who was #85??

  5. Ken, more football pix would be fun. ’65 and earlier if you can. Brad and I want to see ourselves :-). Nice job by Mark of picking out players. I think the shots are very good. A photographer may see technical problems, but it looks like a lot of football action to me. I always liked the black “away” uniforms. Is the game being played at Perryville?

  6. I gave my brother, Gary(possum) Wren, some pictures of mike playing baseball, basketball and football. They were very good pictures of Mike. He was supposed to give them to Terry Kitchen in order to get Mike inducted into Cape Central Hall of Fame. Contact him for copies. His # is in the phone book under Gary Wren on Revlon Dr. in Cape Gir., Mo. 63701. He had a whole poster board full of school athletic photos that I used for his memorial.

  7. I think 85 was John Ruessler. 66 was George Arthur. Bob Bishop is 70. Pat Godwin should be 10.All outstanding players. Remember Mark Stuart also.

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