Since the Creighton men’s basketball team is having such a fine year, our editors are starting to plan for the postseason. My boss told me to mark my calendar – I will be covering the Bluejays in the postseason.
Great! Consider it done. One problem- I hadn’t shot a Bluejays game since Feb. 5, 2011. I hadn’t even shot a high school game since last spring. So the first order of business was getting used to the game again.
With two games under my belt, I can’t say I’m happy with any of my action, but I have tried to focus on just keeping my camera up after the plays and looking for some different moments. We cover a lot of basketball games, and it gets hard to get images in the paper that aren’t “player dribbles ball” or “players go for rebound.”
A couple of my cameras are getting repaired (football season is hard on our equipment) and I’m not shooting with three cameras like I have in the past. So I have cut out the wide-angle from my bag for now. For the first game last week, I used a 400mm lens, which is quite long for basketball. I missed a lot of shots, but the lens helps isolate moments. A fair trade, I thought.
Also, keen viewers may notice the photos don’t have that “hard edge” to them. We have large flashes mounted in the catwalks at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, but I haven’t used them yet. Since the flashes need time to recycle, you can only take one frame every couple seconds. Basketball action happens very quickly, so it takes practice to anticipate the right moment. I’m just trying to adjust to the game again, so for now I’m using the motor drive on my camera and shooting with available light. I prefer the lights with wider lenses, thought. Notice how the lights help make the players stand out?
During Wednesday’s game, a lot of Illinois State players were very physical with Creighton standout Doug McDermott. They gave me many chances to get photos of him being held and hit. We published one in the paper, but the one that sticks with me is an “almost.” Sure would be a nice picture from a different, angle, eh?