Monday, December 29, 2008

After Mississippi State and Marshall finished up their match the Terps took to the court and prepared for their contest against the UNC Asheville Bulldogs. I worked hard to prepare some interview questions for Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper and between the two matches I kept an eye out for the two alums. They were expected to be in attendance for the Terrapin Classic and I arranged an interview with the two players. I wanted to make sure I didn't miss them during the game.

I took my spot on the visiting team baseline for the start of the first half and readied my 400mm and 70-200mm combo. It worked pretty well during the previous game so I figured I'd give it a shot for the Terps. f/3.5, 1/400th, and ISO 2500 on a pre-set white balance as usual.

There was plenty of space and I had room to keep my 400mm lens next to me while I used my 70-200mm lens on the close side of the court. After about 10 minutes of play I swapped the 400mm for a 300mm and headed up into the stands. I wanted to get my stands-shooting out of the way early in the game and I thought the closing 10 minutes of the first half would be a great opportunity. Up until that point the Terps were leading but UNC Asheville clawed their way back into it and took a 1 point lead with just over 6 minutes to play. When that happened I shifted from my spot parallel to the rim to a location that would allow me to catch the players coming up the court.

The upswing to shooting from the stands behind the baseline is that you can capture some great dribble penetrations up the lane. The downside is that baseline drives from the opposite side are out of the question. The backing of the basketball hoop completely occludes the player from view when they drive.

I also discovered a new shot from this elevated baseline position - the in-the-paint inbound pass. Just before the end of the first half the Terps inbounded the ball and Marah Strickland jumped up in the air, caught it, and put up a shot. It happened extremely quickly and I couldn't focus quickly enough on the shot. However, if the shot was in focus it would've been superb and I probably would've led with it. I'm going to keep this shot in my back pocket and practice it some more tomorrow during the Terrapin Classic games.

I spent the second half on the home baseline and continued my 400mm / 70-200mm combo. It never disappoints. I got some great shots of Lynetta Kizer on the far side of the court, as well as some great shots of Marah Strickland in the front court going up for the jumper. After the game I ended up with over 120 publishable photos from the event, and 35 I flagged as "to publish." I chipped that down to 24 and ended up running them with a story I wrote. You can read about Maryland's win over UNC Asheville and view a photo gallery at the DC Sports Box website.


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