Tuesday, December 23, 2008

After a pretty long stint away from Comcast while the student athletes took their final exams the men's basketball schedule resumed and I found myself courtside for a rematch between Maryland the the American Eagles. Last year American defeated the Terps after Maryland had a 9-day break, thus setting up the rematch that unfolded at Comcast this evening.

There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this particular game as it was an opportunity to smudge away part of the blemish that was put on Maryland's record last year.

I opened up the game by shooting from up in the students section for the first 5 minutes. I was hoping for some quick drives to the hoop by Maryland to establish an inside game but that didn't happen. Dave Neal shot from the outside in the beginning and my spot up in the stands didn't really help me much for that photo. However, I did catch a decent shot of Landon Milbourne dishing off a pass after driving up the lane.

Before the game I adjusted my white balance using a neutral card. My preset was still adjusted to the lights at Verizon Center and I wanted to get them back to proper Comcast settings. I've written in the past about how I don't like to use auto-anything on my camera because it can produce unknown results. 2 photos shot one-after-the-other with auto white balance can have drastically different colors. Fixing each individual shot in post processing is time consuming. Setting the white balance to a fixed value (even if that value is slightly off), allows me to come back around in post-processing and adjust ALL the white balance settings the same way. If I'm off by 150 degrees K I can turn down the temperature 150 degrees on ALL the of the photos. With auto white balance my photos may be off 100, 75, 150, 125, and 100 degrees and I have to adjust each one.

I tried my best to get some shots of assistant coach Keith Booth for a feature we're running on him in the next magazine. He's a tough man to shoot because his complexion is very dark and he's very tall. I shoot from down on the floor and when I take a picture of him his head is so high up that the background is dark behind him. Accordingly there isn't a lot of separation between Booth and the background, and that's not good.

Towards the end of the game I floated back up into the stands and positioned myself on the left side of the court just parallel to the backboard. Any player that drove to the right (which is the power side for a lot of right-handed players) and shot the layup would be a perfect capture. I just happened to luck out and be at the right place at the right time for a steal and a layup by Greivis Vasquez. I probably have dozens of these photos from the baseline but the photo I took of him this evening stands out. You can see his face and his eyes as he puts it in.

You can view view DCSB photos and read Julie Gilden's summary of Maryland vs American over on the DC Sports Box.


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