Sunday, October 28, 2007

On Sunday afternoon the Terrapin volleyball team played the Duke Blue Devils.

This promised to be an exciting game because the Terps were unbeaten at home and Duke was ranked #2 in the ACC conference. The game was televised on CSTV and there were a ton of fans in attendance. The weekend day games always gather the largest crowds, but this one was especially large due to the opponent.

Unfortunately the Terps fell in 4 games. They put forth an excellent effort but the Blue Devils were just too much for the Terps. I managed to get several good shots, and Greg was there too.

I took up my normal position for volleyball and sat in the front row as close to the net as possible. I noticed that Greg was standing right next to the net on the other side of the court. I wanted to do the same but I didn't think that anyone could go over there unless they had a credential or worked for the athletic department.

Eventually Greg came over to the crowded side and sat down on the floor. He was back behind the white line, and he was back behind the dashed white line as well. None the less, a referee from the ACC came over and asked him to move during a timeout. The same referee asked me to move earlier in the season. I noticed that Greg chatted with him but eventually moved.

When Greg came over to talk with me I asked him about it and he said that the referee was wrong about where he could sit but he wasn't going to argue with him. I was happy to see that it's not just me that manages to be told what to do from time to time.

I offered him my spot so that he could get some good shots for the team while I moved to another place. He said he would find a different place to shoot but I said it was ok and moved on.

As the bleachers filled up the staff started letting the fans start sitting on the other side of the gym (behind the teams). With that side open I decided to move over and take some shots. There were fewer people in the stands on the other side and I thought that would give me more room to move around.

The other side also allowed me to take photos of the coaches during timeouts. It was dark but I managed to get some decent shots.

I pushed the ISO up to 3200 and used 1/500th of a second exposure at f2.8. As usual I only brought my 70-200/2.8 VR lens. I considered bringing my 17-55/2.8 with the SB-800 speedlight to take some pictures after the game but decided against it. I didn't want to get in the way of the athletes and I wouldn't use any of the photos anyway for my story on the DC Sports Box. You can read my article here.

The shots at high ISO in Comcast Pavilion came out pretty well. When I shoot at high ISO on field sports the background is all black and the noise is very apparent. But when you're in a gym inside and the background walls and ceiling are gray the noise is less noticeable.

I tried to convince Greg to attend the women's soccer game this evening but he declined the offer. He likes to shoot day games so he can get a lot of good shots. But I like the early evening games because the light is so soft and colorful.

Still no news on the credential front. We'll be submitting some requests this week that will hopefully allow us to coverage some women's basketball games.


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