Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wrestling: Maryland Terrapins vs Virginia

After an awe-inspiring win by the men's basketball team over the No. 3 ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina on Saturday night I headed back to Comcast on Sunday for a wrestling dual between the Terps and the Cavaliers of Virginia. It was senior day for the Terps and I snapped a few shots of the lone graduate of the class.

I shot the dual through a combination of a 300mm lens on one body and a 70-200mm lens on the other. In the past I've only used the 70-200mm lens for wrestling but having the reach of the 300mm was really beneficial this afternoon. I could get in really tight on the wrestlers faces and get some great shots of the competitors.

Unfortunately I was short on memory cards. The past few days were really busy for me and I loaned out a pair of cards to Andrew to use for women's lacrosse. I also neglected to re-pack my Think Tank CF card carrier and as a result when I flipped it open today all I saw were 3 2GB cards. Those get chewed up really quickly when shooting 9FPS on 2 bodies where each photo is roughly 6MB!

When heading out to the mat I only loaded a single 2GB card into both bodies. I planned on being very judicious with my shots but wrestling is a fast sport at times and the down-time between duals is tiny. I kept my eye on the "remaining" count on my first body (with the 70-200mm) while I continued to rely heavily on the 300mm lens. When I reached 20 shots remaining at the end of a dual I raced over to my bag to grab the last 2GB card in my stash. I popped it in and readied myself for the next dual.

It was a good thing I grabbed the card because the next contest was quite memorable. The Terrapin wrestler trailed through the entire match but gained ground in the 3rd period by challenging the Virginia wrestler. As time elapsed Maryland closed to a single point and as time ran off the clock Maryland scored a 2 point take-down. The referee signaled Maryland as the victor but the UVA coach challenged. He had a great spot to observe the time and the referee whereas the referee had his back to the clock as he watched the two competitors.

The UVA Head Coach ran around the mat, raced over to the scorer's table, and even approached the Maryland bench as all the fans in attendance came to their feet to support either team. The other 2 photographer sitting at the mat started ripping frames (as did I) while the coach exploded in emotion. Had I not grabbed my card I would've been out of space and forced to go to the 300mm lens. A 300mm would've been too tight for that type of display and would've failed to capture the moment.

Being short on memory cards today reinforced the need to be prepared. I've been sharing my equipment lately and the need for additional CF media has become more apparent. I plan on ordering some in the next week or so.

Julie wrote up an excellent article and I posted my photos on Maryland's win over Virginia at the DC Sports Box.


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