Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A night at the center

"Towson University guard Alis Freeman drives past UMBC guard Michele Brokans during the second half at the Towson Center, Wednesday, Dec.19, 2007. Towson defeated UMBC 69-61."

Go figure. A week after finishing my last exam of the semester in Van Bokkelen Hall at Towson University, I found myself back on campus shooting back-to-back basketball games tonight.

From 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m I was glued to the hardwood floors of the Towson Center documenting the women's defeat over local rival UMBC and the men's overtime loss against Lafayette. My bottom is still sore.

Not all was bad. At least my assignments were close to home, something I've shot many times before, I didn't have to fight traffic driving from assignment to assignment and I was in familiar territory.

I know my way around Towson with my eyes closed and have my favorite spots on the court to shoot from, knowing what makes the cleanest background. I knew lighting would also be nice, especially with my month old D300's higher ISO. What I didn't know was friend and Towson athletics shooter, Scott Thornton, would not be there using the strobes.

In past seasons, I would irritate him continually asking if he would be at each home game, waiting for the one week he wouldn't be there. Since he has first dibs when Kanji is not there, I rarely got a chance to use them.

While they aren't perfect, they are nice when trying to cut down high ISO images. However, that is a thing of the past.

I now find myself using mainly the ambient light. The D300 is so nice at high ISO and keeping eight frames per second is an added touch. The big lights slow down my shooting, in which I am challenged to release the shutter at the decisive moment.

This is something David Hobby talked about when him and I squared up in a friendly battle of college basketball strobing this past February. If you interested in lighting a little high school gym or a big college gym, his article can be found here.

My deadline is not until morning, since these will be used for future special basketball sections in the paper. The above is an outtake from my favorite spot on the court and one of the few I shot with the strobes. Got to love empty bleachers at Towson.

I am planning on posting a nice Baltimore holiday update before the weekend. Stay tuned.


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