Sunday, March 30, 2008

When I woke up this morning it was sunny and I thought "wow, I really got lucky." They called for rain on Wednesday night, and they also predicted rain on both Saturday and Sunday. So far not a drop!

I wrote up my article for yesterday's baseball game and posted it on the DC Sports Box as well as posted several photos from various shooters. Everybody's keep very busy lately and that's good for us. I have noticed though that the captioning could use some help. Some of the shooters are just getting factual information wrong. For example, two shooters misquoted the final score of a game they attended. It's kind of funny actually that both would incorrectly report the final score in their caption.

It's actually a pretty easy thing to do. In one case I misquoted a score and had to go back and re-caption all the images with the proper game score. I then had to re-post the gallery too, which is a hassle.

I'm going to spend some time writing up some photo and writers guidelines for the DCSB. We need some basic documents we can hand to new shooters that go over the ground rules (e.g. how to submit articles and photos, as well as formatting for the title and caption). Nothing too extravagant... Just the basics..

I saw Greg Fiume at the game today and that was nice. He was in lot 1 assembling his gear when I pulled up. I walked over and said hello and we headed down to the diamond together. He told me he's covering the Nats game tonight and he may even have the opportunity to fly in a Park Police chopper for some shots. That's hella exciting - I just hope he doesn't fall out or drop some glass out the door!

By the time I made it to the Terps game the sun had hidden behind a thin overcast and I was forced to shoot at slower speeds than yesterday. That wasn't too bad though because a cloudy sky produces fewer shadows. The colors don't pop as much and the photos aren't as vibrant, but at the same time I tend to get more eyeballs when it's an overcast sky. When it's overcast it's easier to avoid overexposing and blowing highlights. When it's sunny its' really difficult to do. I think if you turn down the contrast on your shot you can do it. But that then takes away from the shot.

I posted my write up of Maryland's Game 3 loss to Clemson along with my photos. Please go take a look!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

After shooting a softball game I headed over to Shipley to take in game two of the Tigers vs Terrapins matchup. It was a pretty warm day and there was a good amount of sun available, so I looked forward to this game on the way over.

I bumped into James Lang at the game. He was there on assignment from Greg Fiume while Greg worked the track and field event. Dave had remarked that he would have liked to shot the track and field event. I would have enjoyed that as well but I don't know how to write for track and field. It seems like a lot of it would be just posting of stats from the event, so in that regard it might be pretty straight forward. I wish we had some more Terrapin writers...

The baseball game was pretty good and the Terps turned around a 3-0 deficit to emerge victorious at 5-3. I got all my photos processed last night and wrote my article this morning after waking up. I was knee deep in post processing softball and baseball photos, as well as posting Dave's baseball and softball photos, Al's Nationals photos, and Mike's lacrosse photos. It was a lot of bit-pushing last night!

I scored my first sunburn of 2008 today. I didn't realize I was getting a burn during the day but it definitely came out last night. My lips started pulsing from the burn and my forehead and face caught it pretty badly. Definitely need to add sunscreen to the go-back in my car.

Google News continues to be good to use in so far as our hits on DC Sports Box. We've doubled or tripled our site traffic just by getting into their index. That's great news for us - hopefully it will help with advertising or in cutting deals with people in the future.

Please cruise over to the DC Sports Box and read my article on Maryland's 5-3 victory over the Clemson Tigers at Shipley Field. The story sucks, but I don't pretend to be a writer.

Dave Lovell recently joined the DC Sports Box and has volunteered to take on some Maryland shoots. I was really happy to hear that because it meant I had some backup on days where there were multiple games going on simultaneously. Today was one of those days...

Dave had an event that didn't end until around 2:30pm so I decided to take Game of the Maryland Terrapins and Virginia Tech Hokies in softball. I enjoy shooting at the softball stadium because the field is small, the crowd is friendly, and the players are loud and boisterous. It also helps that the stadium isn't very tall because the sun stays up longer and lights up more of the field longer.

Today's game was pretty fun and I enjoyed taking the pictures. It was sunny and fairly warm (mid 50s) and the logistics of the shoot went pretty well. I'm really careful these days after cracking my UV filter over at the baseball stadium. Today was no different.

Towards the end of the game Dave showed up and we got a chance to shoot together and talk. I'm glad we had some overlap because we got a chance to talk about shooting at Maryland as well as doing some Nationals games later on this Spring and Summer. Dave hasn't shot much as a credentialed photographer, so he's in the same boat I was about a year ago. I was more than happy to give him some pointers about what to do and what not to do.

It was pretty interesting to talk with him because he has many of the same fears I had last year: I don't want to screw up the game, I don't want to get us banned from the arena, I don't want to do a bad job, etc... I had a tough time mentally in learning the ropes and asked a lot of strangers a lot of questions. So I was glad that I was able to talk with him and tell him about the ground rules they have at the various facilities. Hopefully he'll be able to learn from what I picked up over the last year.

We're going to do a single article for the Virginia Tech series and post 3 galleries. Since we're only through 2 of the games I can't link you over to the DC Sports Box article yet. But when it's up I'll come back around and post. In the meantime you can look at my Flickr account for photos of the Maryland vs Virginia Tech Softball Game 1.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not a whole lot to say tonight other than ... I hate Ludwig Field. The lighting is awful. It's so sharp and from the sides. It's so difficult to shoot at night at Ludwig because the light is pretty much from one direction. You can't shoot from the sideline because 1/2 the players faces are dark when they look at you, and you can't really shoot from the sidelines either because the players backs are towards you because they are looking at the goal. The only possible players you can shoot are on the far side but you can't get them because the lights behind you can't reach them. Ugh...

I drove past the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex on the way to the game tonight and wished that the match was being placed in that facility. It's smaller but the lighting is so much better. Oh well...

I worked the 2008 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament first and second round at Comcast Center this weekend. Unfortunately we didn't obtain photo credentials due to an NCAA regulation that prohibits online-only entities from taking photographs. Mr Dull at Maryland explained the rule to us and basically said the matter was out of his hands. It's unfortunate both for us and for the NCAA because there were very few (a handful at most) photographers covering the games. Both the NCAA and the DC Sports Box would have benefitted from photographic credentials because it would have generated more publicity for the league and better content for our group. But the rules are the rules, and we opted for file photos for the Duke and Maryland games and the NCAA Basketball logo for all the other games. It's hokey but at least we didn't break any rules.

There's been a lot of interest in our group lately and we have a few photographers and writers we've brought on board. It's exciting to see our group grow and succeed and I'm looking forward to being able to take more of a back seat with respect to covering games. I'd like to still be involved in order to help drive our group forward but I need to take a step back at times in order to regain my health and sanity. I've been sick a large number of times this winter and there's no doubt in my mind that it's a direct result of late nights up writing, editing, and processing photos, exposure to arenas with lots of people in them that are also sick, and also just the stress of trying to start up a new business. Having some other people shoulder the burdon will be very welcome.

The game tonight was pretty exciting. Lots of shooting and scoring and that is always good from a photography standpoint. You don't want to get lacrosse players just passing the ball and orbiting the goal. You want them bashing each other, flicking shots, and chasing down loose balls. I was pretty happy with my shots tonight, but my interest waned as the sun set and I switched my white balance over to stadium lights. Most of the shots I ended up using for the sight are from the early game. Please go read my article and view the photos I took of the Maryland vs Towson women's lacrosse game at Ludwig Field in College Park.

I ran into a new Diamondback shooter tonight. I didn't speak with her but I did notice that it was a new person. Maybe she's Yuchen's replacement. I also saw the photographer from the PG Sentinel. I keep meaning to ask her name since I see her at a lot of events and talk with her, but I always forget... Maybe next time. I also bumped into the CSC guard that worked next to me at the NCAA games this weekend. Most of the CSC guards I've met are personable and friendly people and this guy was very warm hearted. We chatted about the student section and the crowd and how successful Maryland has become in the past few years. It's nice getting to know the people you work with even if you only see them a few hours every other week.

There are a few events this weekend and I'll probably attend them. It all depends on the weather though. If it's rainy I'll probably stay in. But if it's sunny it should be a fun time!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I avoided some out-of-travel this weekend in order to spend some more time at home. Earlier today Julie and I went up to her brother's house for our niece's 2nd birthday party. I was looking forward to taking pictures of the kids because they're so animated and lively. They find excitement in almost everything they do and as a result they make for excellent subjects in photography.

I played around with using motion to isolate my subjects and liked how it turned out.

After Cassidy's birthday I headed home and did some post processing. I've been growing more and more frustrated at my laptop's performance as of late. I recently installed Time Machine and despite claims from Apple that it "only runs in the background" I've found that backups frequently zap my computer of any responsive behavior. I constantly get the rainbow spinny ball while the Time Machine runs and my kernel waits on I/O.

Aperture has also frustrated me lately. I upgraded to version 2.0 and my Automator script I use to caption everything has gone from taking about 30 seconds for 30 photos to taking over 20 minutes. It seems to apply each individual IPTC tag on each image as a separate transaction rather than doing a bulk update. I adapted by using the Lift and Stamp tool in Aperture but come on Apple - please don't give me the finger after I paid you $200 for Aperture. I'd like my v1.5 Automator script to function with the same (if not better) performance after an upgrade to v2.0. Is that so unreasonable?

Aperture itself has irritated me as well. They have made some good performance upgrades and fortunately it no longer takes me 5 minutes to start up the application and get to work. But the import is still extremely clunky as are copies/moves of masters and versions from one album to another. I copied one set of photos from Album A to Album B and was able to delete the photos in Album A without any change to Album B. Then I came along and did the same thing but found the photos in Album B were gone. Fortunately I had a backup but still... Stop giving me the finger Apple - I gave you $200.

I went to the Maryland baseball game this afternoon to get a few shots for my own personal use. Dave Lovell was there on a DCSB assignment so I got to just enjoy myself and shoot and not pay much attention to what was going on from a reporter standpoint. It was very refreshing and I can definitely get used to it. I got a LOT of action photos from the game today and I was very pleased with my results. Oddly enough I caught 3 or 4 players with their eyes closed in the middle of an action shot.

Usually I don't quite catch the exact moment of an event because my timing isn't very sharp and I only use a D200 or D2H. But today I caught the exact moment where a player swung on a pitch, an outfielder caught a fly ball, or a first basemen reached out and caught a ball to record an out. In many of those photos the player has his eyes shut. It was really odd to see!

I can't link you all over to a DC Sports Box article just yet because we're waiting for Game 3 to be played tomorrow before we post our story. But once it's up I'll come back and update my post with a new link.

I also started taking photos for Julie's blog tonight. She'd like some more pictures to use in it so I offered to be the photographer she can use for free. Well maybe not free... I did ask her to bring me up a Coke from the basement as payment for tonight's piggy bank photo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

After notarizing our refinance application I headed over to the women's lacrosse game. I was looking forward to seeing how the D3 would perform in the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex. The lighting in there is the best outdoor lighting on campus but I figured that putting the D3 through a true outdoor low light test (even if it was the best lighting on campus) would be an interesting experiment.

I started off at low ISOs (1600) and gradually worked my way up until I was shooting around 3600 or 4000. The noise looks great on the photos and you can hardly tell that I shot at such high ISOs. Even better I didn't have to lighten in Aperture at all!

They charged admission for the game tonight and I was able to sneak in next to my friend who works in the Athletic department. He was on his way there to help someone and we were chatting while we walked in. I need to get on Al to get me a season credential for the LAX and baseball games.

I had fun shooting the Lacrosse game and I took a lot of notes on my voice recorder. I practically filled the thing up recording notes on how the different goals played out. Terps scored 17 goals and took something like 42 shots during the game.

I finished post processing my photos and published my story over on the DC Sports Box. Please go take a read about the Maryland Terrapin women's lacrosse team and how they defeated Richmond 17-9.

Work at Zenoss was really busy today. We were pushing out a release and when that happens the entire team gets involved to help build, test, deploy, and push out all the new files to the rest of the world. As a result I didn't make it to the start of Game 1 but I did make it by the top of the 6th inning.

I spoke with Al earlier in the day and he informed me that another photographer and reporter would be covering the game with us. I was happy to hear we have another writer. Writing is not my strong point and it's really time consuming. It's a lot of work to photograph, post-process, analyze the game, and write a meaningful article.

I arrived at the game and didn't look for Al or our new reporter. Instead I headed straight down to behind home plate to get some photos of Meredith Nelles pitching. Pitcher photos are always your go-to shot if all other shots fail. There's always action in the pitcher's area.

I was a little by an fEE message from my 400mm f/2.8 AF-S I lens. I connected it to the D3 and got the error and initially panicked thinking that I had somehow broken the D3. I then tried the 400 out with my D2H and got the same error message. I tried my 70-200 f/2.8 on both bodies and it worked fine. I then adjusted the aperture ring to f/22 and the lens started working again. It's very strange...

Eventually I bumped into Al and we chatted for a little bit. He asked if I was going to head over to Lacrosse later on and I nodded my head. Julie and I are refinancing our second home in North Carolina and we had to have some things notarized this evening. I called Julie and got her to agree to get the notary stuff done earlier so I could work the Lacrosse game.

As a result I don't have very many photos of the Softball game. You can view the photos of the Maryland Terrapins and Pittsburgh Panthers softball game over on my Flickr account.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

On Sunday I feverishly wrote up an article on the ACC Wrestling Tournament outcome. I worked really hard on Saturday to post process as many of my photos as possible and by the time I went to sleep I had captioned all of the photos from the first round and selected my photos from the semifinals and finals. I knew I needed to caption the semifinals and finals as well as write my article but I was simply too tired to get it all finished the day of the event.

On Saturday morning I woke up around 5:30am. I've essentially been working 2 jobs the past couple of weeks: my day job as a software engineer, and my night job as a photojournalist. I've gotten accustomed to 5-6 hours of sleep for the past week. On Friday I received a D3 to demo and I was extremely excited about using it on Saturday. Either it was my excitement or my body naturally waking me up after 6 hours of sleep but I was up at 5:30 on Saturday.

My laryngitis kicked into full swing on Saturday and by Saturday evening I barely had any voice. Fortunately it came back today on Sunday but it made working on Saturday very challenging. I was looking forward to today's softball game under the full sun because I would have a chance to work alone (and not speak with anyone) and test out the D3 under supreme lighting conditions.

The D3 performed remarkably. The colors are rich and the focus is sharp as a tack. I can't complain about a single aspect of the camera - it is wonderful in every regard.

My shots came out well and I was able to get all of them posted up on our website. Before the game I shot a bunch of warmup photos I can potentially use for file photo purposes.

And by the end of tonight I posted everything. All told it was 3 wrestling duals and 3 softball games. But I spent time on the side posting Yuchen's articles and photos for LAX as well as his Wizards gallery. This second job is really a lot of work!

Please help us out by reading my article and photos on the Terrapins 2-0 shut out of the Columbia Lions in the 2008 Maryland Invitational.

During the consolation wrestling matches I snuck out to the softball stadium to take a look at the Terrapins game against Seton Hall. I grabbed my coat, a hat, and my gloves on my way out to the stadium while Greg just headed out. The weather was extremely variable and the sun was going in and out of the clouds. There were also rain clouds in the air.

I got in about an inning or so before the weather really opened up. Since I had the D3 (a $5000 camera) I was being extremely cautious with the rain. As soon as I saw the first drop I headed for the media area. I really sprinted once I reached the top of the bleachers and fortunately made it into the media area before the rain started in earnest.

To my surprise it started hailing shortly after the rain came in. I was amazed to see it hailing so hard - the pellets practically covered the infield. About 20 minutes later it all let up and we were able to resume the game.

I got another 3 innings in before it started raining solidly and I was forced to pack it in. I covered up my lens and body with my jacket but eventually it was raining so hard that I had to call it quits. I was kind of happy about it because I didn't want to stick around outside and risk getting sick(er).

Al was at the softball game and we talked for a little bit. He headed home though because of the weather.

Please go over to the DC Sports Box and read about Maryland's 3-2 victory over Seton Hall.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wrestling: 2008 ACC Tournament

On Friday I got together with a Nikon Professional Services representative and he offered me a D3 to demo this weekend and for a little bit this upcoming week. I was very excited to take advantage of the offer especially given the subject matter I planned to photograph this weekend: wrestling.

The 2008 ACC Tournament for wrestling was held in College Park and I was looking forward to being a part of it. I've gone to a few duals at Maryland this winter and have had trouble working with the light. Greg shoots a D3 and he reports you can get very good performance at high ISOs.

I was very impressed with the D3. I was able to shoot 1/500th of a second at ISO 4000 and not have to do any lightening in my post processing. I used auto white balance and the shots came out a little weird. I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's saturation though...

I had a great time shooting the D3 on my 70-200mm lens. It was sharp as a tack at 200mm and I was very happy with it. During the consolation games I snuck out and did a softball game. The 400mm performance on the D3 was incredible.

Please go read my article that reports on the 2008 ACC tournament results and includes photos of all the matches.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This afternoon the Terps played a double header against James Madison at 4pm and 6pm. Fortunately my day job affords me the flexibility to adapt my schedule to accommodate the athletic events I enjoy photographing and reporting on. But unfortunately this often comes at the cost of reduced take home pay. Such is life I suppose...

I planned to leave the office around 5pm today to catch the trailing end of Game 1 and get some decent shots with some of the golden sunlight, but those plans didn't pan out. I stayed at the office until around 6:10 before heading out and didn't make it down to Maryland until around 6:45. At that point the sun had completely set and there wasn't any twilight to be had.

None the less I pulled out both the D2H and D200, loaded up my 400mm and 70-200mm and got to work. I've somehow managed to misplace my photography gloves and as a result I was bare-handed this evening. It was particularly nippy tonight with a brisk wind and temperature in the 40s. My hands were numb by the time I was finished with the first half of an inning and I knew that wasn't a good sign at all.

It was nice being back in the Softball field. Last Spring I discovered Softball after shooting a spattering of lacrosse games in low light conditions at Ludwig and Byrd and after a brief stint shooting women's hoops inside Comcast. The games at Shipley were ideal for me. A smaller field offered me sufficient reach with my 70-200mm, and day time games offered good light. I never attended a night game last Spring.

The stadium is a very new addition to the Maryland campus and is quite nice. The lighting is fairly decent and you can get about 20 feet away from the batter. If all you have are short lenses you can actually do quite well in this environment.

The shoot didn't turn out too well tonight but I attribute that to the cold as well as it being my first game of the season for Softball and a night game at that. I'm sure the next game will be better.

Sarah Dooley struck out 11 people and led the Terps to a 2 game sweep of James Madison. Please go view my photos on the DC Sports Box.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My NWS pager was beeping all day about flood watches, severe thunderstorm watches, and tornado watches that were being issued in advance of a cold front approaching the area this afternoon. Heavy showers, gusty winds, and possible rotation from a low and strong jet stream were all combining to create a hazardous weather situation in the late afternoon and overnight hours. This was exactly the same time that the No. 5 ranked Maryland women's LAX team was set to take on the No. 2 ranked Virginia Cavaliers on CSTV in College Park.

Al called earlier in the day and offered me a demo Think Tank bag to use on my camera. He didn't have a Nikon adapter for it but the bag would still work. I took him up on the offer and picked it up before heading over to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park.

I was very pleased that the Terps elected the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex over Ludwig as the venue for this evening's game. Ludwig's lighting is awful and is by far the worst lit field I regularly shoot. The Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex is actually pretty decent and you can get some good shots if you post-process and lighten things up.

As I headed over there I had fond thoughts of the field hockey season and how much I enjoyed using my 400mm lens on this field.

I saw Yuchen at the game along with another photographer I recognized from some other games. Yuchen was there with another writer from the Diamondback. He asked me about the DC Sports Box and asked if he could write for us. I handed him my card and asked him to email me. I figured that's a good first step - if he takes the time to email me that's a good sign. We can then offer him some assignments to cover and if things pan out we can increase our involvement with him. But if things don't work out we can easily back away.

I had a lot of fun shooting lacrosse. It's definitely easier than men's lacrosse because it is slower. However, the women don't collide with each other as much and so it's difficult to get multiple players in the same frame. Most of my shots tonight were good for file photos and it was difficult to get shots of action between players. I did my best though.

Please go over and read about No. 5 Maryland's women's lacrosse win over No. 2 Virginia Cavaliers 8-5 at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex and view my photos.

Monday, March 3, 2008

At the conclusion of last night I had photographed and post processed photos from 3 baseball games, 2 water polo matches, and 1 men's basketball game. I also wrote up the article for the men's basketball game as well as 1 of the water polo matches. I planned to condense my baseball photos from the series into 1 article and that worked out well.

Today was ridiculously warm (62 degrees) and bright sunshine. I planned on waking up early, going to work, skipping lunch, and leaving early to shoot the men's lacrosse game this afternoon but that didn't happen. I'm so tired from working on photos and writing that I didn't manage to crawl out of bed until 8am today. I headed to work, did my thing, and then left at 2:30pm to get to Maryland by 3.

I arrived and walked into Ludwig Field without any problem from the CSC staff. I'm not sure if they were collecting tickets or not but I just walked in and everything was fine. There were a lot of photographers present, including Greg, Yuchen, Bill Vaughn (Terrapin Times), and some wire guys. There were also some photographers I didn't recognize.

I locked up the 400 and 70-200 lenses to my usual D2H and D200 and started shooting. The light was so great. I had my knee pads on and I was able to get really low and shoot the players at the knee level. I bet it must've looked funny to see me in my work attire (corduroys and a turtle neck, along with knee pads, laying flat on the ground taking photos). I had such a good time though - the weather was great, the subjects were lively, and the photographers were all very pleasant and happy.

I didn't get to my photos until late tonight after going through my article backlog but managed to post them to Flickr, DC Sports Box, and my media server. You can read about Maryland's 13-5 defeat of Providence and see photos over at the DC Sports Box.

Sitting down and post-processing 2 baseball games and a water polo match on Saturday evening took a lot of work. But I got through the roughly 1,000 photos and got them uploaded to Flickr, DC Sports Box, and my media mirror. I wasn't able to write any articles or update my blog but I felt good that I was able to stay on top of the games. I figure that if I was actually a professional photographer it wouldn't be my job to write articles but I would be expected to produce my photos in a timely manner. In that regard I was pretty happy with myself.

But it was around 1:30am before Julie and I finally went to bed and my body was aching from tugging around all my lenses today. I can't wait for my new wheels to arrive on my Think Tank. Lifting that pack is horrible and it really put a strain on my neck and back muscles today.

As I went to bed I contemplated sleeping in on Sunday morning or getting up and going to the water polo game. If I slept in my body would like me better but then I would miss a game and more importantly I would miss some time. I thought that i I forced myself to get up and go to the game I would then be up to maybe crank out an article before the afternoon baseball game.

It ended up working. I dragged myself out of bed Sunday morning after about 6 hours of sleep and headed off to the recreation center for the water polo match. This time I had warm lenses because I brought my case in from my car last night. I just used the 400/2.8 lens on the D200. There was considerably more light in the pool area than last night because of the large number of windows that are present.

The match went quickly and we were even treated to an extra 2 periods of overtime. Maryland lost to Hartwick 16-17 in overtime, and you can view all my pictures at the DC Sports Box.

During the baseball games today Greg Fiume asked me if I was planning on heading over to Water Polo this evening. Since I don't track the Water Polo schedule I wasn't aware there was a game. And since Julie was up at her brother's house this afternoon I figured "why not."

I left Game #3 of Maryland vs Hofstra early and headed home to swap out some memory cards. I was freezing and really looking for an excuse to leave early. After being outside for nearly 6 hours in 40 degree temperatures and 20 - 30 mph winds I needed the comfort of indoors for 10 minutes. I also wanted to grab a quick bite to eat before heading back out.

I moved my photos over to my laptop and headed back to campus after indulging in a quick piece of dark chocolate. Over to the campus recreation center and the student parking lot behind it. I looked at the long climb I had ahead of me with my Think Tank pack and thought "I can't wait for those new wheels to arrive".

As I walked up towards the front desk I started thinking of what I would say to the receptionist. I didn't know where I should go or what hassle they would give me. I told her I was there for the water polo match and she sent me down to the spectator section. Good thing I brought my long lens.

I couldn't shoot the first half of the match because I had to wait for my lenses to warm up from being outdoors all day and being cold. The front element was fogged on both of them and it took about 25 minutes before everything was ready to go.

I took several shots and watched how the game was played. I've never watched a water polo game before so this was a first for me. Unfortunately the Terps lost 10-9 to Indiana in Day 1 of the 2008 Elite Six Tournament. As usual you can find my photos on the DC Sports Box.

Back to baseball... Kinda where this all started a year ago. After wrapping up women's basketball year I found myself looking for sports to shoot and baseball was really my first venture into the sports photography realm outside of the Comcast Center and women's hoops. I had some fun with it last year but I only had my 70-200mm f/2.8 lens along with a 2x teleconverter by the end of the season.

This year I'm back with a 400mm f/2.8 prime lens and I was looking forward to seeing how well it performed. I'm also strutting my stuff with a D2H. I was quite jaded and disappointed with the D2H and it's performance in low light situations like night time field hockey, soccer, and basketball. But outdoors it's a fantastic camera. I used it on the 70-200mm today and had great results. You can hardly tell the difference between it's shots and the shots from my newer D200.

My shots on the 400mm lens were very sharp. I was very pleased about that. I love day time games and the sharp a prime lens will get you.

It was pretty blustery and cold for today's March 1st game and I bumped into Greg at Shipley. Both of us were in our winter coats along with gloves and hats. He commented to me "you must be incredibly dedicated or incredibly stupid." I laughed and said it was the latter.

I had a good time shooting the first game but the real fun was in the second game when the sun got lower in the sky. It really put that wonderful light on the field that I enjoy working with so much. During midday games the sun is directly overhead and that creates shadows under the hats of the players. When the sun is lower in the sky you can see under their hats more and can catch their eyes if you are low enough.

Maryland took it to Hofstra in Game 2 and 3 with big-run innings, and ended up winning the series 3-1. Of course you can view my photos over at our DC Sports Box website.

This weekend's slugfest of shooting concluded with the final men's basketball game for the season for the Terrapins. It's seems like the season just started and we (the DC Sports Box) were struggling just to get reporters credentials. A few months later here we are in March and we've only missed 2 (maybe 3) games total.

I'm dragging at this point. I did the Hofstra vs Maryland baseball series this weekend (3 games) as well as two water polo games on campus. They were all very enjoyable events, and the lighting was great. But I had to lug around all my camera gear without the assistance of my wheels. All told my bag probably weighs 50lbs. Without wheels that's a lot of weight to carry around campus!

My body is sore, I'm very tired from staying up late and getting up early, and my Time Machine is spinning it's head off trying to keep up with my post-processing. One nice thing about marathons like this is that they really help you improve your post-processing efficiency. I had less than an hour between the 3 sports today and in that time I managed to do all of my post processing and upload my photos. I'm really happy with that considering it used to take me days to get through a batch of photos from an event.

The game tonight was crowded but fun. I got my regular #1 spot and decided to shoot with the D2H and the 70-200 lens. I went with the D200 and 400mm lens for the long shots. It's overkill but if you are lucky you can get some good shots. The D2H high frame rate works really well. I got some really great action shots under the basket this evening.

I was looking forward to Anthony giving me the night off from writing, but I forgot that he is down in Florida covering the Nationals Spring Training. That meant that my marathon session for the weekend was extended with a writing job for the men's hoops game.

Please go read about Maryland's 70-73 loss to Clemson in the closing 2.3 seconds after Oglesby hits a 3 pointer. I have lots of photos there, and yes my writing stinks.