Monday, November 12, 2007

The Terps only had 24 hours to rest before playing the Hampton Roads Pirates. Fortunately we were invited back to cover the event. You can read my writeup of the game over here.

The Terps had James Gist and Landon Milbourne back in the rotation for the game and that certainly helped. They had to sit out the first game of the season for playing in a non-sanctioned game in Ocean City earlier this summer.

Like the last men's basketball game this matchup had a lot of intensity. On the sidelines of soccer you can miss a beat and still know what's going on. That sure is not the case in basketball - if you close your eyes for a second or glance off into the crowd you miss a key play!

The men are so fast when moving up and down the court and you really have to stay on top of them. Fortunately there aren't too many people on the sidelines for these early games and that gives me a little bit of room to place my secondary camera.

It's still tight though. During last night's game an older gentleman and Yuchen got into it because Yuchen inadvertently bumped him. The CSC Staff came and it was a whole big production. It all stemmed from the older gentleman not taking kindly to Yuchen moving around right in front of him and bumping him.

When I headed out to my assigned seat tonight I introduced myself to the gentleman behind me and said that if I was blocking him or crowding him to just let me know and I would do my best to move out of his way. The folks that sit court-side at Maryland Basketball events are the largest benefactors to the University, and they deserve tremendous respect for what they have done for the University. I can definitely scootch an inch or two over it makes a difference for them!

The person behind me thanked me for introducing myself and said that he thought it would be fine. I sat in front of him last night for the North Florida game and I did my best to not disturb him. It's difficult because you have a couple of different competing desires going on: 1.) stay out of the way of the referee. 2.) stay out of the way of the players. 3.) stay out of the way of the fan behind you. Sometimes those 3 things don't line up, but you do your best to make them all work out to some reasonable balance.

I think Yuchen got into trouble because he wasn't trying to find the balance. He was just paying attention to #1 and #2 and wasn't doing much for #3 (at least that's what he told me).

I swapped the D200 bodies I used for the game tonight. During the North Florida game I used Al's D200 on my 70-200mm/f2.8 lens and I used my D200 on my 17-55/2.8 DX lens. The colors on my D200 are so much more vibrant and there is considerably less noise. It's very strange.

I checked the image optimizations and we're using the same configuration. I'm not sure what else to check. There's a noticeable difference in the performance of the two bodies - perhaps it's just a firmware issue?

I was pretty quick in my post processing tonight and managed to get my article and photos posted the night of the game. It's always nice to go to bed knowing that my work is finished and I don't have to worry about it the next morning while at work. It's difficult to explicitly take half an hour or an hour off to wrap things up from last night before starting the current day's work. It's much easier to just do it the night of the event!

Things have been going pretty well with the DC Sports Box. It's difficult to stay on top of all the games that are going on this Fall and I hope that we'll find a way to manage our credential process better. Right now it's very informal with Al serving as the central pivot around a bunch of photographers and writers. This has worked reasonably well but there is room for improvement.

Right now I communicate with Al and Al communicates with other people. There isn't very much photographer to writer communication, or communication across the entire organization. We desperately need to improve that. If we plan to incorporate and be a serious entity we need to communicate on a serious level. A reasonable way to start that is via email or instant messenger.

I regularly report on Maryland Athletics, but I need some other folks to get involved in case I get sick or I'm busy covering another event. Al needs to be involved in order to make the credential request, but there should be a team of people who he can draw upon for covering Maryland Athletics who will step up to the plate when someone needs some backup. Right now we kind of rely on Al to dish out the assignments, and it's worked but it could probably be better.

I think we need some kind of scoreboard that shows people's interest in the various teams we support. Al maintains that in his head right now, but it would be nice to get it down in Trac somehow. We could see that Anthony, Chris, and Kirk are the go-to guys for Maryland coverage. Moreover, we could annotate it by saying that Chris is willing to cover the non-revenue games for Maryland. That way when a scheduling conflict comes up (e.g. Volleyball and Men's basketball play at the same time and day) it's very easy to see who should be assigned what: Chris gets volleyball and Kirk and Anthony get men's basketball.

We're just wrestling through some growing pains right now, and they all come as a result of our success, which is great. I'm trying to think of ways that we can capture our recent successes and preserve them in the long run. I'm also trying to find things we can do to make our jobs easier. That includes scheduling, communication, technique sharing, etc...

I'm very pleased with where we are right now, and I'm so impressed with everything Al and the rest of the team is doing. I'm so honored to be a part of the DC Sports Box and excited to think about where it can go over the next year or so, and I'm also happy to be able to use my software and computer experience to help push us forward to the next level. I can't wait to see what we do next...


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