Friday, November 9, 2007

With Maryland giving us the thumbs up for the men's basketball game on Wednesday evening I had high hopes of us obtaining credentials for Friday night's women's basketball game against Princeton. I asked Al to put in the credential request for me and he did so on Thursday.

I think we're on a standby list because we usually don't hear back from Maryland until a few hours before the event. I'm fine with that because it's an improvement over what we've had in the past. Anything they're willing to offer us causes great celebration with us, and we're just happy to be able to cover anything for them.

Sure enough we heard back from Maryland late on Friday with a positive email. We were set for credentials and could pick them up at Will Call. You can read my article here. The game started at 8pm so I had some time to get home and eat some dinner. Maryland offers meals to all the credentialed photographers but they also take down your name and who you're with.

All the places that offer food ask for names and affiliations. I'm not sure why they do that, or if anyone actually looks at those lists. But since I'm trying to put a positive foot forward with Maryland I'm avoiding eating unless I'm starving and haven't had anything to eat since lunch. I may just be acting foolishly, but it's my pessimistic personality in matters like these. I'd prefer to lay low and stay safe for now.

I did pretty well with my shots. The 1600 ISO from the men's game looks fabulous. At 1250 there wasn't enough light in the exposure and I had to do a lot of lightening in post processing. When I lightened it ended up opening up the background and it didn't look good at all. At 1250 ISO I also had to go down to 1/320th of a second exposure in some cases, and that wasn't enough speed for the men to stop the action.

For tonight I decided to go with 1600 on both D200s, 1/400th of a second, and f2.8 aperture. My lens choices were the same as last night: 17-55/2.8 DX and 70-200/2.8 VR.

There were remarkably fewer people at the women's game and the photographer spots were wide open. While this is bad for Maryland's media coverage it's good for us because it means there is not as much competition right now. If we attend and shoot as many games as possible right now we might have a shot at some ACC games.

I had a really difficult time working with the referees during this game. I took the #1 spot so that I could take some shots at 17mm from down low on the floor. I like those shots because they really open up the court in the shot.

The press conference for the women's games is also very convenient. During the men's games Gary Williams holds the press conference over in the Comcast Pavilion, a gymnasium within Comcast but off on the side. Volleyball plays in there. In comparison, Brenda Frese holds her press conferences in the media room itself.

It's very convenient for the media because all of our gear is in the media room. I understand why they have the different room though for Gary - I'm sure there are a lot more reporters present for the high demand games.

It was a lot of fun covering the women's game. I'm looking forward to this weekend as well because we heard that we were granted credentials for football and for the field hockey tournament. Things are really looking up for us lately and that really puts a smile on my face. It was difficult to report on 30 or so odd games in September and October and not make any noticeable progress. But with the approvals coming in these days it's really making me feel like those games did make a difference.

Although it's going to be a difficult weekend because of all the shooting I'm very excited about it all. Lots of opportunities to take great shots, get interviews, and write great articles. I just hope I can make it through the entire weekend!!!


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