Thursday, January 31, 2008

It's been about a week or so since the Maryland vs Duke women's game in the Comcast Center. The DC Sports Box was fortunate enough to receive credentials to this event and it was a lot of fun to attend. Tonight the Terps were back in action playing the Miami Hurricanes.

In the media room prior to the game several reporters were conversing over pasta about how nice the women's game are to work in comparison to the men's games. I've felt the same thing this season. The women's games are much more low key, they're faster, and theres a lot more room down on the floor to work.

Tonight was a good game for the Terps. Crystal Langhorne scored her 2,000th point just 24 seconds into the first half. The 2,000 point plateau is pretty significant. Only 15 other players in the ACC have crossed that threshold, and none of them from the University of Maryland. Toliver also picked up her 500th assist this evening. Ashleigh Newman got a ball for something like 139 consecutive starts as a Terrapin. The team is really racking up the records!

Langhorne's 2,000 points is really remarkable. In comparison, James Gist just passed 1,000 points on the men's team. With 2,000 points she had to score something like 20+ points per game since joining the team. It's pretty amazing.

Anthony was there working on an article. That takes a big load of my shoulders. I'm able to simply photograph and post. His article (along with my photos) of Maryland's 90-50 win over the Miami Hurricanes is over on the DC Sports Box. Please go take a look!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On Tuesday I received an email in my inbox from the Terrapin Athletic Office. I was approved for media credentials for the upcoming men's basketball game against Duke. My jaw dropped to the floor in my amazement as I forwarded the email to my wife with the text "".

It's hard to believe that 4 short months ago I couldn't get a credential to field hockey or soccer game, and here I was in late January staring at an email in my inbox thinking "I must not have read this correctly. It has to say declined somewhere." I really thought it was a mistake!

It turns out that we were approved for a reporter position and all the photos spots were taken. The photo spots would have been great, but I understand that WTTG, WUSA, and WJLA take precedence over the DC Sports Box. I set up my laptop and took meticulous notes during the game.

The reporters I sat next to didn't take very many notes at all. I glanced at them at various points and they just had players names. No stats, tallies, key plays, or anything to help them jog their memory. I hope they can remember a lot because their notes didn't seem to be very verbose!

Bombale Osby and James Gist played a helluva game, each scoring in double figures. Boom almost had a double-double by halftime. Vasquez also played well, as did Eric Hayes. They had a lot of turnovers in the second half though that disrupted the flow and ultimately led to the downfall of the Terps. Hopefully they'll get that back in check for the Virginia game on Wednesday night.

The press conference was packed with reporters but it was actually pretty quiet. I skipped the player interview because it would've been too busy to get anything meaningful. I know that Rose and Sean go to those and I can just use the quotes they transcribe.

Anyhow, please go take a look at the Maryland vs Duke article over at the DC Sports Box.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Terps lost to the Carolina Tar Heels this afternoon down in Chapel Hill. I was up in College Park reporting on the wrestling team, but I considered traveling south to cover this game. The two teams are very good (#3 vs #4) and both teams are loss-less in the ACC conference. Whoever won this game climbs to the undisputed #1 position in the ACC, so it was a pretty important game.

Ultimately I decided to stick around at home. I did watch most of the game and reviewed the box score and notes and wrote an article. It's not very good since I wasn't there in person but its the best I could muster.

The Terps are back in town on Thursday for a game against Miami. I'll hopefully be there to shoot and report.

My Dad came to the wrestling duals today at the Comcast Pavilion and sat behind me in the stands. It was nice to be able to look back and see him watching the duals. Before I became involved in Maryland Olympic sports my Mom and Dad only attended the Football and Men's basketball games. They went to a few women's basketball games, but this year they've been to nearly every home game. Since I've started reporting on Maryland athletics they've broadened their horizons to include volleyball, field hockey, and men's and women's soccer. This spring they're going to purchase season tickets to men's lacrosse!

I worked through many of my NC State photos during the 30 minute intermission before the Duke game and got them down to around 30 images that I wanted to keep. I didn't start cropping, lightening, and captioning them because my Dad was sitting next to me and I figured it would be better to chat with him and post-process later!

My Dad and I were watching the GameTracker CSTV coverage of the women's basketball game against North Carolina. Unfortunately the Terps lost but it was nice to be able to keep tabs on the game while taking photos of the wrestling duals. Before the Duke game my Dad said he'd probably just stay for 1 or 2 matches and head home. It turns out he stayed for all the matches!

It was fun to shoot the Duke match but it started getting tiring being on the floor for around 4 hours. I got to chat it up with the videographer for the team as well as Kim Gabrielson from "Mirror Image Photography." I've noticed Kim at the other duals and in talking with her I found out that she photographs several wrestling duals in the region as well as some ice hockey for the Navy.

A Duke photographer was also present and shot from the far side of the mat. She looked to be using a short lens (17-55 or 85mm at the max) but used a flash. I thought about walking over to tell her that there is 1/2 - 1 full stop of more light on our side of the mat, but since she was using flash I decided not to.

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

It's been 11 days since I've been behind the lens for a sporting event. Last weekend I was out of town so I missed the Georgia Tech vs Maryland game, but fortunately Anthony Amobi and Mike Busada covered it for the DC Sports Box. I'm happy that there are enough people at the DCSB that we can get some other people to cover events when I'm not available!

It was nice to get back into a sporting event and see all the familiar faces. Joey Flyntz was there covering the event for the Terrapins and I went up and shook his hand to say hello. After the event Joey handed me my Maryland vs Duke media credential for the men's basketball game tomorrow night.

The dual was pretty good and the Terps won by a large margin. Please go over and take a look at my article and photos on the DC Sports Box.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tonight was Maryland's third conference game (2nd at home) and it was against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a credential approval late Monday from the Maryland athletics department. I must admit that Maryland has been quite good to us since we initially met with them back before the basketball season. My hope is that our fortune will continue with the athletics department and they will continue to give us the opportunity to report on the successes of their teams.

We received a photo and writer spot for tonight and I took the reporter slot so that another photographer could have a chance on the baseline. Kirk Queen got the nod from Al for the shooter spot. I've worked with Kirk in the past on a few assignments for Al and have always gotten along very well with him. He's on-time (which is a real plus in this business!) and has a lot of experience with photography.

I sat behind my long-time friend Reza and next to his coworker Eddie. It was a unique experience sitting in the press area. So far I've sat everywhere but there (all over the stands section, with the students, on the baseline, and courtside on the chairs). I took a few photos before the game and headed up to the upper levels to take a few game photos during the first half.

A few nights ago I transcribed the schedules for the upcoming spring field sports for the Terps. Baseball, softball, and men's and women's lacrosse will keep me very busy this Spring. The lacrosse and baseball games are revenue sports and there are quite a few of them. I think we're going to have to approach Maryland and ask for a season credential for those sports. It's going to be a lot of work (both for them and for us) to process single-game credentials.

I wrote up a quick article about the game and Julie will be working on a more in-depth analysis of the game tomorrow. Please go read our article on the Terps vs Wake Forest game over here. I also posted one of my photos for the game but I'll be updating it once Kirk sends me his photos.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Maryland Terrapins took on the Duke Blue Devils tonight at the Comcast Center. No it wasn't the men's team. This was the women's basketball team. They managed to bring out 15,531 fans and set the 5th highest attendance record in the ACC. Maryland holds the top 7 spots for attendance at women's basketball games.

Marissa Coleman played an OK game. She scored 30 points so I suppose that's pretty good. That actually ties a career high for her. Toliver started out a little cold with only 2 points in the first half but finished strong with 21 total points. Harper also played well and forced several steals and made some clutch free throws down the stretch to cinch the win.

Whenever Maryland got ahead a little bit the Blue Devils were able to even the score. They tried to slow the Terps down a lot and it worked on a lot of occasions. I heard Coach Park yelling to the team to keep moving and to talk. The zone defense is challenging and it was pretty effective.

In the end it was a solid performance in the final 6 minutes that gave the Terps the win. Duke went ice cold in the final minutes and only made 1 field goal and 1 free throw. The Terps were solid on rebounding, shooting, and free throws to end the game and that made all the difference.

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

Al Santos came out to the game tonight to take photos. It was fun being with Al prior to the game. Yuchen was also back from Las Vegas. He looked like a hitman because he was wearing a suit. We joked that he was in the Chinese mafia but he claims he was just in jury duty today. It was nice seeing them and chatting before the game. Usually I'm just back in the media room working on my lappy and eating a sandwich. But tonight it was nice to be around people I knew.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So this appears to be it: the last non-conference game for the Terps for awhile. Tonight they faced Holy Cross. The talk in the media room prior to the game was that it was going to be tight due to Holy Cross's large inside players. Julie volunteered to write an article for the DC Sports Box for us. I welcomed the offer because it reduces my workload and she's probably a better writer than I am. Please go take a look at her article over here along with my photos.

There was an article on Slashdot today about the Creative Commons license and how it is inappropriate for photography. The author, Dan Heller, makes some good distinctions between the CC being applied to photography vs other original content. I'm on the fence about it but I'm not very well versed in this matter so I'm not sure that it much matters.

What I did find interesting was Dan Heller's tutorial on model releases. I've had a lot of restless nights thinking about how to publicize my work to attract more interest (and thus get me more work) and how that is at odds with the credential process. Heller points out the distinction between "publishing" and "publicizing" and how you can "publicize" your work on your website and that does not constitute "use" (otherwise known as publishing). This makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems very cut and dry for things like wedding photography.

I'm not sure how that interacts with a credential for a sports game, so I looked at the back of a Maryland credential to see exactly what it says. Sure enough it speaks to any non-editorial "use" of the media is prohibited without consent from the University. Also subtle I think that puts me in the clear for publicizing my work on Flickr under my user account. I'm not 100% sure on this and I'll try to talk with Al about it the next time I see him.

It's difficult operating under such uncertain circumstances. If you approach Maryland for clarification they'll take the safe route and probably just say "no" without understanding you are publicizing (but not publishing) and that could lead to trouble. But if you don't say anything at all it could lead to bigger trouble down the road if somebody ever has an issue with it (like another photographer). And lastly there's the desire to publicize because it gets comments, suggestions, and possibly connections with other photographers who need assistants. Such a sticky place to be in!

If anyone has any thoughts on this photographic limbo please add them to the comments or email me!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Well this will be a game the Maryland women won't soon forget... 64 point margin of victory. It's the biggest in Clemson Tiger history and the largest ACC margin of victory for the Terps since they played Wake Forest back in 1980, and the second most lopsided win for the team in the history of the program. They shot 73% in the second half as nearly every shot managed to find the basket. Even diving throws into what seemed like oblivion fell in.

Laura Harper is just amazing. 11 rebounds and 27 points. She's now the 2nd leading scorer in Maryland school history (she past former teammate Shay Doron this evening). Vicky Bullet (now with the Mystics) is the current record holder (from back in 1989) and she's 38 points ahead of Harper. It was great if Harper could become the scoring leader during the upcoming Duke game on Monday. I suppose it's possible given that we play BC on Thursday. 19 points per game? Maybe...

Crystal Langhorne is also ridiculous. Harper's the righty and Langhorne is on the left. Between the two they control the post position. She was the second leading scorer this afternoon with 25 points. Toliver came behind her with 19. It took Toliver awhile to start shooting (she mostly just dished in the first half) but when she did she notched the points pretty quickly. She hit 3 3-pointers and had 10 assists overall.

Ashleigh Newman played her in her 123rd consecutive game, tying a team record.

Lots of fun shooting the game and writing the article tonight. Please go take a look over at the DC Sports Box.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The holiday break is finally over and a lot of teams are back on the court playing hoops. It felt good to get back into the arena this evening and shake hands with the other photographers. I shot and reported on the Maryland Men's Basketball game against Savannah State this evening. While picking up my press pass I found out that Jill Wentzel is no longer with the Athletic Department. She was only there for a few months but she was always very friendly and helpful towards me whenever I needed something. I'm sad to see she's gone.

The game was a lot of fun tonight. I shot part of the first half from up in the stands and then headed down to courtside for the remainder of the first half. It was pretty exciting because it was a little sloppy at times. Lots of loose balls and the like.

The second half cleaned up and I got some good shots of the players shooting. I focused most of my time on my D200. I pretty much don't use the D2H in Comcast. The lighting is just too dark and the noise level is just too high.

Please go over to the DC Sports Box and read my article and view my photos.

I've also started posting my photos up to Flickr. My sports photos require you to be my "friend", but that's very easy for you to do. You can see my other Flickr photos by going here.