Saturday, March 15, 2008

State Basketball

MADISON, Wis. –– Covering the state tournaments is one of the payoffs for covering the long, long, long, long, long regular season. St. Mary Central and Freedom were our two local high schools that made it this far. Neither was particularly expected to go far, but both won their games today and will play tomorrow in the finals.

The tricky part about the SMC game was that it started at 9:15am. I was awake and ready by 6am so getting there wasn't the issue. Our paper prints two editions daily. One is our morning edition that goes to newsstands, machines, and outlying areas – photo deadline approximately 10:30/11pm the previous evening. The second edition is our PM edition which is what most of our in-town readership gets by home-delivery. Photo deadline for that edition is give or take 10am the day-of.

Because this game was happening so early in the day, we saw it as a great opportunity to get the game news in our PM edition since most papers don't have that luxury – they'd have to wait until the following day's paper. Because of that 10am deadline, though, we needed a photo back at the office before the game was even over. So goes the life of the modern photojournalist...

The second game I decided to use a floor remote with a wide-angle lens on the baseline under the basket. When I shoot basketball I always have two cameras going. Camera 1 always has a 300mm or 400mm lens for mid-court and opposite basket. Camera 2 always has a 70-200 or an 85/1.8. Wirelessly triggered with a radio transmitter, the remote (my third camera) fires every time Camera 2 fires. From this, I get two perspectives or angles of the same play – one medium telephoto and one wide-angle.

Unless you're a master at this, you never bank on getting a good photo from a remote – too risky. I didn't get anything too good and it was a little more work and worry than I wanted to deal with. So one game was all for this technique.

St. Mary Central High School's Brittany Schaffer (31), center, and Reegan Cheslock (24), right, put the press on Sheboygan County Christian High School's Elizabeth Egerer (24) in the Division 4 semifinal championship game at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Friday morning, March 14, 2008.

St. Mary Central High School seniors David Spielbauer, left, and Michael Miner, right, cheer on their Zephyrs in the first half.

Freedom High School's Britny Conrad (3), center, and Grafton High School's Lindsay Wilde (45), left, and Hilary Wellnitz (15) battle for a loose ball in the first half of a Division 2 semifinal championship game at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., Friday afternoon, March 14, 2008.

Freedom High School's Jill Van Eperen (5) and Grafton High School's Mary Kalies (31) go for a rebound in the fourth period.

Freedom High School's Jill Van Eperen (5), left, and Stacie Van Handel (14), right, lead the Irish off the floor after defeating Grafton.
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