Thursday, November 20, 2008

I was pretty late to this evenings game and arrived in the media room with 2 minutes before tipoff. I had barely enough time to take my laptop out and get it powered before I had to race out to the court to find my spot on the hardwood.

There were quite a few more photographers and TV people on the baseline this evening than there were last week. The early-season games seem to be hit and miss with space on the sideline: Maryland leaves open a bunch of spots for the TV folks and sometimes they show and sometimes they don't. Tonight a bunch of TV folks showed up and that crunched space a lot.

I took a spot on the close end of the court for the first half because I arrived late and didn't scope out a space on the shooting end the Terps use in the first half. By the time I made it out there all the spots were taken. It was ok though - I had plenty of shooting opportunities from the far side. I simply pulled out my 400mm lens and shot long for the majority of the first half.

Just as halftime commenced I marked my spot on the shooting end of the court for the Terps for the second half. I grabbed a spot towards the 3 point line. Fortunately nobody moved my gear and by the time I made it back out to the court after halftime everything was in it's place.

I like basketball games a lot because I have time at various points to review pictures and delete the bad ones. By the time I make it towards the end of the game I usually have gone through the first batch of my photos and am working on a refined data set. In other events I'm reviewing 600+ photos afterwards, but in basketball by the time I get home I usually have it down to around 100 photos, of which 40 are publishable.

It's kinda funny to think about how a couple of years ago when I shot my first games I brought my little Nikon bag and placed it on the back of the basketball rim while shooting. I didn't even know where the media room, much less how everything worked. It's good knowing where to go, where to put your stuff, and when you can review your photos.

I started uploading my photos to the Inside the Shell website. We're using a piece of Joomla software named Phoca. Phoca is a gallery viewer and it is quite awful. My wife Julie teases me and says that I never think that any software is good. She's right - I have really high standards before I say a certain software package is good. But seriously - Phoca is ... well ... not good. To post a gallery I have to go through about 10 steps that involve repeating the fact that this gallery should be called "2008-11-18: Youngstown State". Doing anything in software should involve the minimal amount of steps possible to ensure that it is done right. Offering the user lots of choices and forcing them to repeat themselves about things like gallery names (e.g. "2008-11-18: Youngstown State") inevitably leads to mistakes because humans are imperfect.

I don't plan on trying to improve the gallery situation because it's not my problem. I have plenty of work on my plate and trying to take on revamping the gallery infrastructure for Inside the Shell is pretty low on my priority list at the moment. None-the-less, it's been a valuable experience to learn how to post images up to Phoca. Even knowing what NOT to do is a good lesson and helps you avoid making the same mistakes.


Post a Comment