Back At Assembly Hall (The State Farm Center)
Three years ago I shot a game at Assembly Hall in Champaign for Purdue. The stadium was in the middle of the big overhaul at the time. Since that shoot the renovations have been completed, and they have had time to get the bugs out so to speak. I was impressed with the look of the stadium, and the light was amazing as well. You have to love a light that falls off dramatically just off of the court. You can get some very interesting pictures that way.
Oh Say I Just Saw…
Last night I made what is probably my favorite National Anthem picture of all time. Lately I have been a little leery of doing too much during the Anthem as it has been in the news a lot. I have been careful not to take a knee while photographing if possible for that reason. I am not representing myself at the game, but rather the team that I am shooting for. When it is Indiana State I even have their colors on so I think extra hard about what I am doing. I was just going to be happy and shoot this from slightly behind and at an angle. That is until I saw this light on the players. I knew that something good was happening so I slowly moved to right behind the team. For a photo like this a lot is going right. You have the coach right in the middle with his players. You have the great light coming down along with the awesome light on the roof. The flag is lit up as well. There was a lot of things right here for me. All I had to do was get over there to photograph it. This was one time where briefly taking a knee during the anthem is well worth it.
More Good Light
Illinois is the rare place that gives the opponent a cool intro as well. Normally the away team is introduced in boring light, and then when it is the home teams turn the light show begins. I kept waiting for the lights to turn on here, but they never did. Once again I had a lot going in my favor at the start of this game.
Going Wide Remotely
During the game I had my Canon 5D Mark IV next to me with my 17-40mm lens on it getting a wide shot as I was using my 70-200mm lens to get in tight. I had the remote a little ways away from me trying to make sure that I would not get blocked on both cameras by a ref. I like the wide angle as it lets you into the three point play a bit. Sitting out wide like I was that is really your only shot. It does add something different to the gallery as well as give you an overall scene setter.
I Am Stubborn…Until I Am Not
I really have resisted using Photo Mechanic in my workflow. I just want to stay in one program to do everything. The problem with that is the fact that Lightroom is so slow. In the past week I have really worked on ways to improve my speed on the sidelines after talking with the team at Purdue. They have a lightning fast method of getting images out. Once I realized that I just have to lock my photos instead of star them in camera to make things faster it was a no brainer. For this game I decided to try the new method out. I have tested it at home, but how would it work during a game? I switched all of my cameras over to use the rate button as a lock button. Any image that I wanted to see later I would then lock during the game. I imported only the locked photos into Photo Mechanic (Lightroom will not let you do this for some reason). From there I used the hot keys to send the files to Lightroom where I had my Sycamore preset applied to them. From there it was a quick cull and export. This was so fast that I am kicking myself that I have not tried this sooner. In a sport like basketball it saves a lot of time. In a sport like baseball where you can have ten plus pitch at bats it will be a life saver. I will probably have more on this after my doubleheader Saturday.
Man I Love This Job!
I had a lot of fun last night. Hopefully that comes through in my photos. I think that I am that annoying guy that has way too much fun photographing a game. I am not cheering on the sidelines, but I really am inside. I keep thinking how lucky I am to do this, and how much more I need to do it. I just love photography. I could shoot every day and not get tired of it. On this trip I stopped and made photos on both ends of the trip just on the way to the job. The curse never is lifted. Thankfully I have a great family that puts up with my craziness. If I am not shooting something then I am watching a photography video, or reading something photography related. I jokingly always call it the curse, but in a way it acts that way. I will tell you what though. This beats making soup cans for a living.