Xavier Men’s Basketball Gives the Fans a Show
Friday night I was in Cincinnati covering Musketeer Madness for Xavier. Yesterday I talked about the women’s side of the night, and today I will talk about the men’s side. Musketeer Madness is a great way to get an early jump on recruiting if you ask me. They put on a great show with a lot of fan support that has to impress the recruits. From the first look that I had of the team in the arena as Elias Harden took the stage I knew that I was in for a good night.
Finding Moments At Fan Fest
Once I saw these aviator glasses I had an idea for a photo. I tried to sit on it a couple of times, but the nature of fan fest means little gaps in people in line. When I saw a gap I tried to make this photo. I needed a young fan because of their height standing at just the right spot handing their loot to the player to autograph. If it all worked out then I had the fan in the glasses of the player. One bonus here was the tilt of the head brought the sun flare into the shot as well.
A Fun Three Point Contest That Ends In Overtime
I thought that the women’s three point contest had some drama and emotion, but the men easily beat that. A late bucket to force a tie and overtime made for a fun environment. I think the dramatic lighting in a slam dunk contest would have been much better than this, but player safety is the #1 concern. If this was the consolation prize it was a great substitute.
This is that weird time of the year when baseball is just ending, and football is starting to get very interesting. It is always hard for me to then quickly transition to basketball. Basketball is a sport where you are stuck in one place with very little room to move and be creative. That is hard for me at times. This year I am starting much earlier than I ever have before. A game this Saturday already seems crazy to me. The way things work though it will be March Madness before you know it.
The Week In Photos
Last week was a fun week with a lot of action to photograph. You can view my favorite photos from the week here. When you have cool light like in the photo above the photos just seem to come a little easier. This week has some great potential as well if the weather holds off.
One Last Photo Before I Go
When I saw the setup for the introductions I knew that I wanted to cover it from a couple of angles. I had remote cameras and I was constantly changing my position. One shot that I knew that I wanted going into it though was the shot above. With Trevon Bluiett making his last run with the Musketeers I wanted to give him the full hero treatment. I saw this possibility hours before the event when they were playing with the lighting. The smoke that was added to the photo just makes it for me. This was one of those pre-visualized shots that really came out like I was hoping that it would.
Heading To Cincy For Musketeer Madness
When I got the email asking me if I would shoot Musketeer Madness I will admit that I was a bit skeptical. I am not really into shooting practice. I like a game situation as it is usually easier to guess where the action will be, and you get some emotion as well. Then I googled Musketeer Madness and realized that this was a bigger deal than I am used to. I live in a town where they don’t do anything special for the beginning of the season. The big shows are not something that the local team is about. That is okay as it is kind of what they are about as a whole. It was interesting to see just what I have been missing though at Xavier. It was a special deal including cool lights that would be a dream to have in the background for a season. Watching some videos before I left I knew that I was in for a treat. I was not wrong.
Waiting For The Moment
Sometimes you can sit and wait forever on something and it does not materialize. Other times you happen into the middle of something really cool. I was getting some shots of the Xavier teams signing autographs during their fan fest when I saw two women slowing sneaking up on a player. The were having fun and filming it so I knew that nothing bad would happen so I turned my camera towards the player. It was a tearful reunion full of emotion, and proof that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.
The Cintas Center
One real highlight of the day was walking around the Cintas Center with Greg the SID for women’s basketball. That really is an amazing facility for college basketball. There are many highlights as you walk around, and a couple of things that maybe aren’t too well known yet. If you are a donor though you have so much there waiting for you it is unbelievable. I can only imagine this intimate venue packed and loud. Hopefully after this year I won’t have to imagine that. The bar on the upper level is pretty cool as well. It is the actual bar from a popular local bar that was torn down reconstructed down to the floor. I could only imagine walking into Mackey Arena and sitting at the TA Toms bar again. I am pretty sure that any and all health codes would not allow the filth of Toms into Mackey though so it would not be too accurate.
The Team Introductions
The team came out to start the night with a really cool intro with lights and smoke all around. I tried to move around a bit to show it from all angles. If I ever shoot this again I would like to set up a few extra remotes to cover it from a few angles now that I know what to expect. That way no player is left out as I move from position to position. Continue reading “Xavier Women’s Basketball At Musketeer Madness”
The Boilers and Wildcats Need Extra Time
Last night I was back in Mackey Arena to photograph the Purdue women’s team against Northwestern. Purdue had a big lead early, but without April Wilson in the second half they could not hold onto it. Both teams had a chance to win the game in regulation, but the shots would not fall. In the overtime period Northwestern pulled away to win 73-65. This was the fifth overtime this season for the Boilers who already have a short bench. The extra time cannot help this fatigued team.
Trying A New Remote Camera
From my first game on the floor in Mackey I was using a remote camera. I used a floor remote during my first few games because I did not know how many games I had to photograph the team. As this season winds down I am having some similar thoughts. I need to try some things while I still can. I have always thought that a post cam would be perfect for women’s basketball. They look up at the basket as they shoot it from underneath. When you are shooting from the floor you cannot see their faces. The photo at the top of this page is from my floor camera, but it is similar to the view that I have. I used my magic arm to mount a camera on the post last night to see what it would look like. Earlier in the week I saw a Facebook post by Andrew Hancock about using remotes. I never worked with Andrew as our time did not overlap, but he is a photographer that I look up to. The video really made me want to go through with some of the ideas that I have had this season. You can view the video and see some of the photos here. For my first post remote it seemed to work just fine. I have a couple of ideas in mind when I try this again.
Three Views of the Same Play
Part of the fun of having three cameras firing at once is seeing how different the three cameras see a play. I did not have my Pocket Wizard corded to my camera so there is a slight lag from when I press my shutter until the other cameras fire. I still liked how this set of images came out. As the game was winding down, and the score was tied I had a vision of capturing the game winner in this fashion. That was not meant to be though. The top picture was made with my 17-35mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark III set on the floor. I used a Joby GorillaPod to stabilize it. The middle image was made with my handheld camera that I used for everything but the overtime period. I had my 70-200mm lens mounted on my Canon 7D Mark II. I would not normally use this combo under the basket, but the wide angles from the other two cameras gave me the confidence to go for the super tight shots. The post camera is a familiar combination. I put my 10-20mm lens on my Canon 60D on the Magic Arm. I used Pocket Wizards Plus III’s to fire the cameras.
Continue reading “Purdue and Northwestern Battle Into Overtime”