Sunday, October 26, 2008

Men's Basketball: Red vs Black Scrimmage

Seth and Jeff from the Turtle Sports Report assigned me to photograph the scrimmage at Comcast on Saturday. I gladly took the assignment since any opportunity to be inside Comcast Center is worth pursuing!

Saturday was a busy day for me with men's hoops at 12:15, Field Hockey at 1, and Football at 3:30. I didn't have a copy of my credentials for football so prior to heading to Comcast I stopped off at Tyser Tower at Byrd Stadium around 11:15. I wanted to give myself enough time to pick up my football credential, walk over to Comcast, and get settled in there for the practice.

Tyser was a ghost town. It's understandable though - who's going to show up 4 hours before game time. Even as I left the IT folks were just starting to show up. I headed over to Comcast without my football pass in hand but I was confident that I could resolve the issue later on in the day.

Walking across campus is always an enjoyable experience. Having grown up around campus, spending 5 years studying for my undergraduate degrees, and meeting my wife while an undergrad every building has some kind of memory associated with it. Most of it involves late-night rollerblading around campus, but some of it involves going to class.

Once I arrived at Comcast I headed to the media room to put down my gear and get prepared for the basketball scrimmage. That basically meant shedding 2 layers of rain-proof gear (sweatshirt, leggings, and a rainproof jacket). Mr Dull was in the media room and he connected me with the credential I would use for football.

After disconnecting my 400mm f/2.8 lens from my body I hooked up my 70-200mm f/2.8. Since there weren't any photographers in the media room I expected I would be one of the few media people to attend the scrimmage. I was correct - there were a few TV people as well as Doug from the Baltimore Sun and that was about it. Mark Clem from the Terrapin Times was on the sideline shooting as well.

I spoke with Seth before the game and asked him what photos he needed. He said that Scout is doing a feature on one of the assistant coaches and asked me to get some shots of him coaching. He also asked for shots of Braxton Dupree, Greivis Vasquez, and Adrian Bowie.

With so few photographers present I had my choice of spots along the baseline. I grabbed the position Greg normally takes - right on the 3 point line. Choosing which side of the basket to shoot from was nice and easy - normally photographers are contained on one side of the basket while cheerleaders are on the other side. With nobody present today you could sit wherever you want - it was great! I chose the left side of the basket when you shoot because most players are right handed and penetrate from that side. By shooting at them from the left I get their chests and faces as they drive to the basket.

I originally planned to head off to Field Hockey at 1pm but the scrimmage went a lot longer than I expected. It consisted of 2 20 minute halves that actually went pretty long due to timeouts for coaching. Since I was there on assignment for Scout and Yuchen was down at Field Hockey covering the event I thought it would be best to stick around for the entire event.

The shots from basketball came out pretty well. I moved around a lot and pulled out the 400mm for some isolation shots of players and coaches. Overall I continue to be pleasantly surprised by the performance of the D3. I shot at ISO 2500 for the entire day on auto WB and 1/500th of a second at f/2.8. The AF system tracked well and I had very few OOF shots.


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