Friday, May 16, 2008

Men's Lacrosse: Maryland Terrapins vs Denver

Earlier in the week we received the nod to come to Byrd Stadium for the opening round of the 2008 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Terps were scheduled to play Denver in Byrd Stadium, and I asked to be assigned to the event. I only covered 1 other men's lacrosse event this Spring and I didn't have the confidence that anyone else on the team would ask to cover this event.

Yuchen's been pretty cold on convering Terrapin sports and has focused mostly on Navy and Georgetown this Spring. I can understand his perspective - I think he's bored with shooting Maryland events after working at the Diamondback for a couple of years.

When I arrived at Byrd I wasn't quite sure where to go due to the construction. I parked in Lot 1 near the tennis courts and headed down to the south gate. A Maryland tent with some official looking people was set up and I was able to check in with the media people. Fortunately I was on the writers list so they let me down onto the field to work. Most of the other writers work up in Tyser Tower but I was really there as a photographer and accordingly I wanted to be on the field.

It was pretty difficult to carry all of my gear down onto the field. Byrd stadium is a large stadium and the media people forced me to walk around to the North gate in order to enter the venue. Normally the media can enter near Gossett Team House and take the steps down onto the field. But today that section was closed and I was forced to walk down the shallow steps of the lower section of Byrd. It really made a difference! I'd rather walk 20 steep steps rather than 50 that are shallow.

I again saw Greg and that was nice. It's fun when you know someone on the sideline and can chat with them. We didn't talk too much during the game but we casually interacted.

I also met a photographer from Inside Lacrosse. I didn't catch his name but he was really friendly. He and I were the only photographers on our knees when taking photos and he actually commented on it. He said that he likes seeing photographers standing up. When I asked why he responded: "because then I know I'll get a better shot than them." I thought that was pretty funny. I feel the same way though - if you shoot from down low it really makes a difference.

When he asked why I shoot from down low I told him it's because you get a better composed shot and you also tend to capture more of the players faces. In sports where the ball is mostly on the ground or can be dropped down onto the ground the players tend to look down to follow it. If you're down on your knees you can get their eyes as they track the ball. If you stand upright you migth lose their eyes under the helmets.

The game was fun to shoot. I originally thought I'd use a 400/2.8 along with 70-200/2.8 on a DX sensor. I never used the 70-200/2.8 and put it away at half time. The 400/2.8 on an FX sensor performs so well.

I tried shooting at f/22 with a shutter time of 1/25th of a second. Patrick Smith (from Towson) gave me the idea from a few photos on his blog. The shots were fun but the narrow aperture really shows the dirt on your sensor. It really shows how badly I need to get a cleaning kit.


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