Saturday, December 22, 2007

Things keep getting worse for the Terps. This evening the Terps fell to regional challenger American University in horrible fashion. The Terps were lackluster in their perfomance and didn't seem to put much energy into the game. American hasn't defeated Maryland in over 80 years of play across 14 games. You can read Anthony's article over at the DC Sports Box along with my photos.

I found a nice compromise for my in-game photos. I'm uncomfortable posting them to my blog due to the NCAA rules and questions about whether blogs are journalistic or commercial creations. To play it safe I stopped posting my NCAA photos on here. I created a flickr account and that allows me to restrict access to certain sets of photos to people that are my "Friends" or "Family." If you'd like to see the high resolution versions of the photos head over to my flickr account and add me as a Friend. I'll then look at your photos and add you as friend of mine and you'll be able to see the photos.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2 games and 2 losses by 3 points in just 3 days. Times are tough for the young Terrapin team. There are quite a few freshmen and sophomores on this team and I think they could really come together down the road but right now they're playing pretty sloppy. I'm sure that's common with a lot of teams in December, but things are going to have to get tighter as we close out the month and head into conference play in January.

We secured a credential to the men's game tonight and our spot was right there on the floor. There were a few more photographers present tonight but not so many that it was really tight. I had room to haul out my 400mm lens in the first half to shoot the Terps on the far side of the court. I love the shots off the 400mm lens - they really blur out the background and draw my subjects into focus.

I looked at some prices on 300mm lenses. The AF-S II looks to go for around $3k used. I was hoping to pick one up for $2k, but it looks like those are AF-I (considerably noisier and slower to focus). Looks like I'll be saving up a bit longer than I had expected! I'm still not convinced I need the 300mm lens. The 400mm is ridiculously tight in basketball, but as you can see from my photos over at the DC Sports Box I'm able to get a few action shots with it. While I could get a ton more with a 300mm I'm having a hard time justifying the cost. I have a feeling I'll stick it out with the 400mm until I see a 300mm AF-S II that is remarkably cheap (sub $2500 range).

Please go give my DC Sports Box article a read and tell all your cool friends about it!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Heading into this weekend I knew I was going to be busy. I shot the Maryland Women's Basketball game on Friday night, then 2 wrestling matches on Saturday, my company holiday party Saturday night, a Maryland Women's basketball game on Sunday, and lastly the Maryland Men's basketball game on Sunday night. Heading into a 2 day 6 event schedule is pretty challenging - you must have all your batteries charged and all your equipment packed and ready to go. While you're at the events you have to stay on top of your game and work through your photos as efficiently as possible.

While I shot the women's game on Friday night I went back through and deleted bad photos during media timeouts. I wrote my article and posted all my photos to my personal archive and to the DC Sports Box before I went to bed on Friday evening. My batteries were on the quickcharger so that they would be ready for wrestling tomorrow.

I did the same thing while shooting wrestling. I went through my photos during the match to reduce my post-processing workload. I managed to get through almost all of them by the time I had to leave to go shoot my company's holiday party.

I finally got around to posting my writeup of the Rutgers wrestling match. Please have a look over at the DC Sports Box.

The Terps dualed with Rider this afternoon in the Comcast Pavilion. Maryland performed solidly and scored 2 out and out pins, and 1 technical fall. The lighting was difficult to work with as usual. I had a good time shooting the match because I listened to my iPod. Yay.

I snapped about 300 or so photos during the match and reviewed them in the 45 minutes between the Rider and Rutgers dual. Greg was there with his shiny D3. I'm so envious of him. He shoots at 6400 and 1/500th and his shots are brighter, sharper, and less noisy than my 1600 D200 at 1/250th. But his camera costs about $5K and mine ran me around $1500. I'm happy that for 1/3 of the price I'm able to get some usable shots.

Please go take a look at my article and photos on the DC Sports Box.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Terps played out-of-town Northern Iowa this evening and put a lot of points on the board. 91-37 was the final tally. 4 Terp starters scored in double figures (Laura Harper, Marissa Coleman, Crystal Langhorne, Marah Strickland, and Kristi Toliver). Kat Lyons also knocked down 2 3 pointers late in the first half to score 6 points. It was great to see Kat score - she's a freshman guard who's looking to find her feet. Hitting 2 three pointers must have given her a confidence boost.

There really isn't much else to talk about with respect to the Terps in this game. There wasn't much competition offered by the Panthers, so it was a big stats booster for the team. Before gametime Coach Frese presented game balls to Crystal Langhorne and Kristi Toliver. Langhorne became the all time leading rebounder for the Terps, and Toliver eclipsed the 1,000 point plateaus. I believe that 4 current Maryland players are now over the 1,000 point plateau (Toliver, Langhorne, Coleman, and Harper). It's pretty remarkable.

As usual there were very few photographers present. Diamondback was there, as was Greg Fiume. Nick Waas from the AP shot from up in the stands for much of the first and second half. Yuchen has been absent for the last few games - I need to check in with him to see what he's up to. I shot from the baseline in the first half and then went up high for the second. I got some great shots from up there.

Please go read my article and take a look at my photos. I'm always looking for critiques and ideas for places to shoot from!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Two local teams faced each other tonight: Morgan State and the University of Maryland. The Terps emerged victorious due in large part to solid ball handling in the second half and 5 3 pointers by Eric Hayes. Vasquez also got back on the scoring side of the fence and hit 17 points. Gist had 18, and Osby banged in 6 field goals and 4 free throws. Please go read my article over on the DC Sports Box.

I had a lot of fun shooting the game this evening. My only regret is that I used my D2H on my short lens, and as a result the quality of my photos is not very good. They're kind of grainy... I think I might try my D200 on my 17-55 lens during the next game for my under-the-basket coverage. It just does better in low light.

Tomorrow night I'll be shooting the women's basketball game at Comcast. The men play their ACC opener on Sunday against Boston College and I have no idea if we'll receive credentials or not. Hopefully we'll at least get reporter credentials and that will allow me to walk around with my 400 lens and shoot from the stadium.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Terps came home and played this evening against Middle Tennessee. Maryland sure looks tired... I can't blame them - as of December 9th's game against Temple the Terps will have played 14 games in a month. That's almost 1 game every other day!

There's also a flu bug going around the locker room. A couple of players had to leave the post game press conference early to take care of themselves! The team sure has played hard. I'm sure they've learned alot about themselves and each other having played so many games in such a short period of time.

Middle Tennessee shot a lot of 3 pointers tonight. They knocked down 7 of them in the first half and that really kept them competitive. During the second half Maryland had a tough time on rebounding. But Kristi Toliver came through with her offensive prowess and hit a 3 pointer that gave the Terps the lead with 4:17 to go. She then followed it up with a rebound and a coast-to-coast drive and a bucket. That sparked the team's offense and Maryland held on to win it 74-69.

There were about a dozen people present tonight total. It snowed in the DC area today and the roads were in terrible shape.

Please go take a look at my article and my photos over at the DC Sports Box.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Terps traveled to Piscataway NJ to take on Rutgers this evening. I didn't invest in the 3 hour travel up to NJ, but a few people I know went. I saw Yuchen on TV and Greg talked about going. I'm not sure if he actually headed up there or not though.

Terps did well in the first half and went into the half up 10, but fell apart in the second half as a result of Rutger's defense. Epiphany Prince also came to life and shot out the lights. A big 3 pointer by her gave the Scarlet Knights the lead and the momentum. I wrote an article about it and used a file photo for the photo. You can read more about it over here.

Maryland is back in town on Wednesday night to play Middle Tennessee. The men also play on Thursday I believe against Morgan State. I'll hopefully be at both games.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Terps are playing the BB&T Classic and fortunately we have a credentialed reporter and photographer present at Verizon Center. Since I'm trying to spread the wealth around with my fellow reporters I decided to cover the Wrestling dual this afternoon. This was a first for me: I've never shot or written about wrestling before. It was in Comcast Pavilion so I was familiar with the venue, but I was unfamiliar with the players or how the game is tallied.

My photos came out so-so. Wrestling is a lot slower than volleyball so I was able to slow down my shutter to 1/120 - 1/200th. Down around 1/120th I got some motion blur. Up at 1/200th it was dark at times (at 1600 ISO). It was difficult to work with a black mat. The players faces look down for the most part and the black light doesn't reflect very well.

Please go over to the DC Sports Box and read my article!

The Terps played the Braves in the third round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Terps were looking for a College Cup but their hopes were dashed after a 2-0 lead dwindled to a tie in the final 2 minutes of regulation. The Terps played solidly in double overtime but fell with 1:31 remaining in the second overtime on a redirected header. You can read more about it and see my pictures over at the DC Sports Box.

This was a very difficult shoot. The lighting was abysmal as usual, but it was unusually cold. It was about 35 degrees at game time and there was some wind to make it feel colder. I had on my convertible mittens (yay) and they helped, but there's only so much heat you can retain after being outdoors in 35 degree weather for 3 hours. Towards the end my fingers and toes were numb. I was hoping for the Terps to pull it out so that we could go home after regulation, but the Braves forced the double overtime.

I chatted with Yuchen and Greg for awhile tonight and listened to my iPhone. It was fun listening to Greg talk about some of the jobs he's done. He's gone to the Olympics and it was neat to listen to him talk about working with the media people here and what they're like. Maybe I'll write more about it some time later. But for now I'm sleepy and cold so I'm going to go jump into my warm bed!

Tomorrow I'm shooting a wrestling match. I have no idea what that's going to be like...