Friday, October 12, 2007

Men's Basketball: Georgetown Hoyas Media Day

Last night Al emailed around 10pm and asked if I was interested in attending the Georgetown Hoyas media day today at 3:30pm. You can read my write up on the DC Sports box page by clicking here.

I told him I'd cover the event. It wasn't too difficult to get out of work early today but I have to be careful with how much I do that this time of year. It's the end of the federal fiscal year and work isn't exactly abundant while we wait for the next budget to be passed by Congress. As a result it's not like I can make up the work another time. The work simply isn't there.

Well, it's there.. But it's not good work. It's work.. So I need to do enough of it to pay the bills and to save some money for the future. But in terms of it being the regular invigorating and exciting effort it has been in the past that's simply not there right now.

So I left work early and headed over to McDonough Arena at Georgetown to see the players. I had to make a pit stop on the way home to pick up some fuel and to adjust my route to a more familiar path. I ended up arriving at Georgetown at 3:30pm and so I missed the team photo in the beginning. But I managed to get there in time to get several shots of the players while they did interviews.

There were 3 or 4 other photographers present and lots of reporters with microphones. WJLA, FOX, and NBC were present shooting video. 3 of the photographers appeared to be from the campus newspaper. They all seemed to know each other and were pretty young. The other photographer appeared to be the team photographer. He knew the media coordinator and other people on the team.

The school photographers didn't have any flash equipment with them. The team photographer did, but he didn't use it very much. He was shooting a 80-200 AF-D for most of the event, but went wide on a few occasions.

I picked up an 18-55/f2.8 DX lens this week and broke my own "anti-DX" rule. In the past I've stuck to purchasing full frame glass with the thought that one day Nikon will release a full frame sensor. That day is coming in November when the D3 is released, but I have a feeling it will be a long while before I get a D3! In the meantime I could definitely use an 18-55/f2.8, and there isn't a full frame version of that yet. The closest you could get is 17-35/2.8 and a 35-70/2.8.

When I shoot basketball I want the 70-200mm or I'd like a 300mm prime on one camera, and on the other I want to have roughly 18-70mm of range. There aren't any f2.8 lenses that shoot that range, so that means you either have to go with 18-55/f2.8 DX or you have to compromise on your zoom range and either do 17-35/f2.8 or 35-70/f2.8. It's a tough call...

Since Nikon is building in DX compatibility into the D3 everyone's DX lenses will still work on the D3. So it's not like you need to sell your DX glass when you upgrade to a D3. You can still use your DX glass you'll just get a smaller photo than if you shot with full frame glass.

Also, glass holds it's value remarkably well. I've heard several stories from photographers who've purchased glass for $N, held it, and then sold it 3-5 years later for 90% of $N. They basically lost 10% of the value after 3-5 years of use. That's incredible!

So in summary, I didn't want to get the DX glass, but after thinking about it from an economic and practical standpoint I decided to go with the 18-55/f2.8 DX lens. I also decided to buy this lens new because I've heard 3 separate photographers complain that they've had to send this lens back to Nikon for servicing. I didn't want to buy used and save $100 only to have to send in a broken focus motor a year from now and spend $300 for a repair.

I also picked up an SB-800 speedlight on CraigsList earlier this week. A gentleman was selling it for $260 and they go for $330+ new. He used it for 1 or 2 shoots a month ago and hasn't used it since. It's practically brand new, and he never registered it with Nikon. I think I did pretty well on the purchase.

With the 18-55/f2.8 DX and the SB-800 in hand I looked forward to this shoot. I love using the 70-200mm/f2.8 VR lens because you can get in really close, but there are also some great shots you can get when you shoot wide.

Tonight I got a chance to experiment a little bit with shooting wide and I'm liking it. I definitely suck at it, but I think I can get better. I took a few shots that came out pretty well. One shot shows the head coach answering some reporter's questions while sitting underneath an "NCAA Champions: 1984" banner. It looks pretty cool.

I also got a shot of a player answering reporter questions while standing up and all the reporters arms are feeding into him from my position. I flashed and so the exposure isn't that great but the wide effect is definitely interesting.

I tossed 90% of the shots I took on the D2H. Low light and my D2H don't get along well. The D200 works so well. I even tried putting the 18-55/f2.8 DX lens on the D2H and the SB-800 and the shots didn't come out too well. It's weird... That camera is great in sunlight and outdoors. But inside and in the dark I just can't seem to get a good shot with it! I don't get it...

Unfortunately I missed the Maryland Media Day for men's basketball today. I wasn't aware it was happening. If I had known I would've gone and asked Al to find someone else to go to Georgetown. I'm glad I went to Georgetown because it helps our chances for getting credentials for games this season, but at the same time I really am focused on Maryland Athletics.

We still haven't heard a response to the credential request we sent in on Monday for Friday night's Maryland Madness. Al is going to send in a follow-up tomorrow to ask where things stand. I'm going to keep my opinions to myself on Maryland's delay in responding to us.

Tomorrow should be a busy day. I'm working during the day but I'm heading over to Maryland by 5pm for a field hockey game. I'm not sure how that game will go from a light standpoint. It's late in the day during the golden hour, but there are a lot of trees around their field. I have feeling that it's going to be dark. Hopefully it won't be tho.

After the field hockey game there's a volleyball game at 7pm. I had a lot of fun at those games the last time I shot them and I'm looking forward to them. I wish it was brighter in the gym but I guess you don't have much control over that as a photographer.

And lastly I may be heading to Maryland Madness. I have my doubts though - we missed Media Day today and Maryland hasn't been kind to us so far. I have a feeling they're going to decline our request for Maryland Madness and further decline our other requests for credentials for games like Soccer.


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