Tag Archives: PocketWizard

Covering the 2015 Eastern Maine basketball tournament

To say I shot a lot of basketball last week would be an understatement. In a week and a half span, I shot around 17 games and averaged about 600 images a game.

That’s a lot of basketball. That’s a lot of repetition.

In situations like this it becomes very important to keep pushing yourself to find interesting moments and to keep trying to cover the event in a different way.

Like I said in the The Frame post on the Hermon basketball coach, sometimes the best images don’t come from game action but rather what’s happening off the court.

While game action is important, I don’t necessarily think it is the most important thing at a game. Crowds, coaches, players on the benches usually tell the story better than the person going up for the layup.

High school sports, especially tournament play, are full of emotions. This could be someone’s last game that they ever play. Dejection is just as important as jubilation.

Watching for and knowing where those especially emotional people are is helpful when something big happens.

When I cover basketball I shoot with three bodies, one with a 24-70mm, one with a 70-200mm and the third with a 300mm.  This allows me to see the game in a multitude of ways and allows me to almost be in two places at once.

Though I do move around a good deal while shooting too. From court side, to to top of the arena and everywhere in between. I’m always searching for an interesting angle. It not only keeps me interested but it keeps the photos interesting too.

For the finals on Saturday I mounted a remote camera over one of the nets, similar to the one I did for state cheerleading,  to give a different perspective to viewers after a week of seeing similar images. They turned out better than expected and gave a totally different view on the typical shooting shot that I had seen thousands of times that week.

Large tournaments like this are not only physically but mentally daunting, as is doing anything over and over again in a short period of time. I’m glad the bulk of the tournament is over. I walked away with some interesting photos that I’m pretty proud of.

Sports photography from different angles

This past Saturday I was assigned to shoot three classes of the high school cheerleading competition at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.

I’ve never shot any sort of cheerleading before, but knew that after a few routines it would become a little visually boring.

So, I wanted to do something different.

Cheerleading is all about being in formation and all about being synchronized, so I wanted to capture that in a unique way.

Cue the overhead camera.

After getting approval from the Maine Principals Association and the Cross Insurance Center, I overcame my fear of heights and headed up to the catwalk to mount my camera.

I used a 5D Mark III with a 70-200 at 70mm attached to a Manfrotto magic arm and a Manfrotto super clamp. I pre-focused the camera and set my exposure. Everything was safety cabled to the arm rail just incase the clamps failed.  My camera was triggered by PocketWizard Plus II’s.

The scary thing about remote cameras, besides the risk of things falling and breaking, is that you could set everything up and still not get a single usable photo. Sometimes your remote trigger won’t fire, or you didn’t focus the camera correctly. But when it does work, it’s worth it.

I walked away with some cool images and a really interesting perspective that you couldn’t see from the floor. It allowed our viewers an even more unique way to view the event.

I hope to be able to do more remote cameras in the future.