Turns Out That Photographer Didn’t Miss Odell Beckham Jr.’s Catch After All
...He just sort of missed it. Here's what Andrew Mills (that's his name) managed despite being blindsided by the single greatest play in the history of the National Football League:
— Andrew Mills (@AndyMills_NJ) November 24, 2014
Mills was the butt of a bazillion jokes Sunday night, when the screenshot surfaced on social media after people took notice of his unreadiness, markedly visible in vine's like this that "broke the internet," as it were.
"But the joke was on them," he wrote in a NJ.com mea culpa. "With the camera at my shoulder, I was shooting. And at halftime, I was able to tweet my best frame of the catch."
He went on to explain how that epic moment went down, and that he was, in fact, very prepared -- you're just too much of a camera noob to have known how he pulled it off. Ironically, his retelling of how he did it reads like the description of an impossible 40-yard, one-handed catch. Let's not get too carried away here, dude. You still didn't get the ball in frame.
[NJ.com] As I passed the Giants bench, the ball was snapped. I stopped inside the 5-yard line to shoot a few frames with a 500mm lens as quarterback Eli Manning rolled out to his right. He reared back and heaved the ball deep.
As the ball left his hand, I switched cameras to the 70-200 hanging over my right shoulder and immediately swung to the center of the field, hunting for the intended receiver, but I couldn't find one. I swung back toward the bench and spotted Beckham blazing down the sideline right at me, ball in the air.
This is the "Oh, no" point.
I am tracking him, and Beckham is closing fast. Too fast. And I am too close. Way too close. And there's nothing I can do.
So as I began to lower the 70-200 to desperately grab the wide angle around my neck, the play is unfolding, literally, at my feet. I’m shooting (and twisting the zoom to get as wide as possible) the entire time the camera is being lowered. I was able to capture a frame that’s in focus — remember, a picture is not a picture if it's not sharp — of the ball on Beckham’s fingertips, but again I’m tight. Way too tight.
You're right, great catches usually do require sharp focus.
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