Friday, January 18, 2008

Loyola light

"Loyola guard Gerald Brown (no.1) looks for an open teammate during the first half against Marist at Reitz Arena, Thursday, Jan.17, 2008. Brown scored 24 points in the, 83-71, victory over Marist."

On Thursday I ended my night shooting college basketball in Baltimore. Located at Loyola College, yesterday I said it would probably be canceled, but by the time I left, the snow had turned to rain and the roads were easy to travel.

However, it took me twice as long to get there, as drivers in Maryland like to pilot their SUVs 25 mph under the posted speed limit when it rains, nonetheless, when rains immediately after it snows.

I arrived earlier than normal, only because I had alloted enough time for the traffic and weather. I've never shot inside this arena before, only outside for numerous soccer and lacrosse matches. So I sat on the floor, as there were no open seats on press row. It appeared as I would be filing my images very quickly without power for my laptop.

Before the tip, I thought I'd check my e-mail and see if the server was working. Sometimes there will be free wireless Internet in college venues, but I cannot always connect to a publications FTP server if they don't have it completely open. It's always nice to file images for the warmth (or cold A/C in summer) from a arena, rather than my mobile office, other wise known as my car.

Figures it wasn't working, so I quickly powered down and made my way to the court.

After bumping into an old friend from high school, who was sitting court side, I noticed something very odd. I held up my hand and noticed a hard side light to my right. I gazed up and saw a row of bright lights. Not spot lights, more like studio lights or lights you would see in a theater to illuminate actors.

This was a great. Not only would this mean I would be shooting at a lower ISO than originally planned, it would also 'pop' players from the dark background, if shooting from one angle, and give them a more three-dimensional look when the light hit them from the other side.

The above image is an outtake, it obviously doesn't tell the reader anything about the game, but I like the light on his face and his determination look.

Fellow Baltimore shooter and Baltimore Sun staffer, Gene Sweeney Jr. was shooting from the bleachers behind the lights with a 300mm. I would later find out, late in the second half, that from his angle, one could achieve even better lighting. Not only do you clean up the background, but you also get nice evenly lit images with the light reflecting from the floor.

I needed to file my best image at half and was planning on leaving afterwards. But after Loyola took a comfortable lead and let it slip away, they was down by one point at half.

As the second half started, I had downloaded, edited, captioned and moved five images. As always, transmitting at half time means you have no idea who will win. So I moved three action images and two dejection shots of Loyola.

With nothing scheduled tomorrow and not being able to sleep due to my recent Japan trip, I figured I'd stick it out for the rest of the close game.

I ended up making some different images from the bleachers, playing around with some different settings, as the game see-sawed back and forth. Then as I made my way back court side with about five minutes left Loyola would go on a run to put them up, eventually winning the game.

I was hoping for some jube shots, as Marist was first in their conference, but as always, the players just walked right off the court. Oh, well.

Going to watch some Dave Chappelle show before calling it a night. I forgot how funny it was before he went crazy.


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