Friday, April 18, 2008

My D3 demo arrived on Monday evening and I was looking forward to Wednesday night's game all day Tuesday and Wednesday. The last time I used the D3 I was very impressed with it's high noise ISO capability and I was very much looking forward to trying it out with some new glass.

Along with the D3 came a 14-24mm f/2.8 N lens. It's wide. Hella wide. There's distortion around the edges but very little vignetting. I wanted to take a stab at getting a huddle picture.

Prior to the game Al sent out an email warning DC Sports Box shooters about taking huddle photos without received permission before a game. I wasn't aware of this subtlety and I'm glad that Al made us all aware of it. I noticed I was one of a few people taking photos of huddles in the past and that probably should've triggered something in my brain to say "maybe I shouldn't be doing this." Oh well - chock it up to one more sign of my inexperience.

I spoke with Matt Lynch prior to the game and he gave the go-ahead for the huddle pictures. When I headed out onto the field I was trailed by a Navy photographer, Jackie from the Diamondback, a CSTV or ACC Select videographer, Mr Collins, and another photographer. Lots of media there. Having checked with Matt first gave me a lot of confidence to walk out there to get my shot. I'm not sure if I hadn't headed out there if any of the other photographers would've stepped onto the field. I'm probably wrong...

My huddle shots came out really well and the D3 did superbly with color richness. It's such a wonderful tool for photographers. I was so pleased with it's performance on the field, and the microphone capability was just perfect. I accidentally left my reporters microphone in my backpack (rather than my photo bag) but my D3 saved the day. Without it I wouldn't have been able to write up my article on the Maryland Terrapins and the Georgetown Hoyas women's lacrosse game.

I learned the importance of sticking around after the game this evening. I stayed for the post-game team huddle and overheard the head coach reminding the team of a ceremony on Saturday to honor a team member who's dad perished in the crane accident in New York City a month or so ago. Afterwards I was given the nod by the coach to attend. Had I not stuck around I wouldn't have found out about that event.

I also interacted with Mr Cowles a lot and afterwards was able to get some great shots of the senior class because the head coach sent them over to Mr Cowles. Unfortuantely for him he only had a 70-200 lens available but I was ready with my 14-24. I got some great shots and had an opportunity to interact with the seniors in the few minutes I had with them after the game. You can check out my post-game photos of the 2008 women's lacrosse senior class over on my Flickr page.

As I've improved on the technical aspects of photography I've begun to focus more on the professional aspects of this hobby. This involves establishing ongoing relationships with sports information directors, trainers, other photographers and writers, and lastly the players themselves. I'm not brown nosing though - I sincerely enjoy talking with many of them. Their dedication to their sport is inspiring and reminds us all how pleasurable it must be to live in a job you love. Every time I interact with Matt Lynch or Kirsten Olsen at Maryland they're always smiling and happy to be on the sidelines at an event. In contrast I walk into my professional job and nearly every day I hear complaints from people about feeling unfulfilled and miserable. It's a joy to put all the negativity of my day-job behind and work with people (even for a few minutes) who, at least on the outside, appear to love their job.

I'm looking forward to the weekend and the events it brings. There are 4 games at Maryland on Saturday and the weather looks to be fabulous. I'm crossing my fingers on some good light and will have all my lithium ion packs charged and my CF cards formatted come Friday night!


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