Monday, July 14, 2008

Wow it's been a long time since I posted!

I've taken a few weeks off from sports shooting to pursue some infrastructure improvements for the DC Sports Box. We're growing and facing a bunch of new challenges from that growth and I'm the only one on the team capable of making these kinds of improvements, so I kind of self-drafted myself.

But yesterday I got to get out and shoot the Freedom. While there I bumped into Shane Canefield but I didn't get much of an opportunity to speak with him. I also recognized most of the players, the coach, and a few of the staffers. I really felt different walking down onto the pitch at the Soccer Plex - last summer I had only a handful of games under my belt and this summer I'm quite a bit more experienced.

I enjoyed shooting the Freedom and really enjoyed my comfort level with the team compared to last year. For awhile there has been an uneasiness on my part surrounding shooting female athletes due to my being a male. Winter, Spring, and Summer 2007 were filled with conflicted thoughts about appropriateness in my shot selection. I was also uncomfortable with my camera equipment, so awkwardness was overwhelming.

The best part about covering this Freedom game was my comfort level on the field. Having shot so many sporting events at Maryland last year I didn't think twice about snagging some candid shots of the players while they interacted with each other and the coach on the sidelines. I felt really relieved about overcoming that awkwardness that was so prevalent last year.

I shot 90% of the game using my D3 and a 400mm f/2.8 lens. I recently sold my D200 and D2H to partially fund my purchase of a D3. Currently I'm down to 1 body so I have to switch lenses at different points. I opted for my 70-200 f/2.8 before the game for my sideline shots and then switched to the long lens when the game began.

I got some decent golden-hour shots of the team before the sun got too low in the sky. I also got a handful of decent shots at night. The D3 really is a wonderful camera and it makes such a difference in low light scenarios. I shot at ISO 2000 without thinking twice about the noise levels and my photos are fabulous (at least from a grain standpoint!). I didn't even have to use Noise Ninja or any unsharpening masks.

There are a couple of additional Freedom games this weekend and this week and I'm going to attend them. In the meantime go take a look at my Freedom Gallery on Flickr and read my article on Freedom's 3-0 win over Jersey Sky Blue on DC Sports Box.


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