Saturday, January 10, 2009

This afternoon Maryland kicked off their in-conference schedule with a game against the visiting Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech.

I headed up into the stands for the opening tip and found my usual spot. The Terps always line up for the tip facing the visiting team's basket. Maryland's Landon Milbourne usually takes the tip and he goes up with his left hand. That opens him up looking away from the Maryland bench. Accordingly, I position myself so that I'm half-way between midcourt and the basket and am facing the Maryland bench. From that spot I'm almost guaranteed to get a decent tip off shot.

Another photographer was up in the stands and he opted to go straight on for the tip. I might try that for the next game just to see how it looks.

I shot the opening 5 minutes from my tip off spot before heading over to the corner behind the visiting team bench. I'm a big fan of that spot in the first half because the Terps drive up the right hand side and often rely on a quick reverse under the basket. You can get some nice finger-roll shots if you hang out in the corner well.

James Lang configured a remote on a Manfrotto 2929 bracket. He had it attached to the backboard. I've been thinking about getting one and triggering it using Pocket Wizards. I bet you can get some good shots of players going for the rebound or attacking the basket. I asked James to send me some old photos so I could take a look at how they come out.

I also asked him for advice on purchasing the 2929. He said to make sure you get the one that has a rotating tightening mechanism. The clip based on can become dislodged if a basketball strikes it at a particular angle. I'm glad he suggested that - the thought never would've occurred to me.

During the first half I was very surprised about the tightness of the baseline. In a previous post I expressed my appreciation for assigned seats on the baseline. I should've qualified the post by saying that assigned seating works well when the photographers and videographers sit in their assigned locations. This afternoon I headed down to the baseline after 13 minutes of shooting from above to find extremely little room for me at my assigned location. Other photographers and videographers had slid over to the visiting baseline (where my spot is) making it nearly impossible for me to sit. For about 5 minutes I sat with my knees up while shooting before I finally packed it in and headed for the home baseline.

I opted out of going back to the media room at half time so that I could preserve my spot in the second half. I spent halftime reviewing my photos on camera and deleting the bad ones. After 15 minutes I had it down to around 100 or so photos between the two bodies.

After the game I rushed back to the media room to offload all of my photos. It was a big offload since I didn't offload at halftime. As a result I was late to the post-game press conference by Coach Gary Williams. I ended up standing in the back of the Pavilion while resting my laptop on a garbage can in order to post process. I like hearing Gary's post-game comments while I work through my photos.

Events this week will be pretty quiet as both the men and women head on the road to face opponents. I plan to use the time to catch up on some much needed software development. I also need to close out the books from 2008 and send them off to the tax accountant for return generation.


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