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Basketball Hail Mary

January 18, 2006 by admin  
Filed under Behind the Photo, Lighting, Sports

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If you have ever had to cover a high school basketball game, you know the obstacles that come into play. On the list is the crowded gym, cheerleaders at both ends of the floor stretching from one sideline to the other, and having to deal with the refs moving in and out of your frame. Most troublesome for photographers is the poor lighting in high school gyms.
On this particular night, one of the officials had concrete for shoes. He stood in one place, and it seemed as if he was always in front of me. After about 3 or 4 minutes of not being able to make an exposure from where I was standing, I decided to move to the other side of the floor to get away from this official.
While action was at the other end of the floor, I weaved my way through the cheerleaders. As luck would have it, the home team stole the ball and was racing to the end of the floor where I was shooting. The player that had stolen the ball lost control and along with him, two players from the other team dove to the floor for the loose ball. Without thinking or looking, I turned the camera behind me and fired from the hip (also known as a Hail Mary among some photo circles).
Was I ever surprised to see the image. This frame ran as the centerpiece art on our sports front in our Saturday morning publication. It pays to be lucky. To capture his frame, I used a Nikon D2H digital camera with a 28mm to 70mm lens. My exposure was 250th at F2.8 with an ISO of 400. I lit one end of the floor with 2 Nikon flashes that I had put in the corners of the gym and fired them by remote control.

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One Response to “Basketball Hail Mary”
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