"It's ESPN. They get what they want." This is one of many lessons I learned during the MU vs. OSU game on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. For those of you who have been reading my blog, you know that I am new to shooting sports, especially MU sports, so Saturday's game was my first men's basketball game at Mizzou Arena.
Because of this, I was ignorant to the way photographers are organized during basketball games. In the Media Room, there is a sign-up sheet on the wall. On this sheet, photographers are either assigned a place on the court, or can fill in their names under the slots that are open. After consulting my photo editor from last year, Jeff Lautenberger, I signed up under spot number one. I felt would be a good spot to be in, given my equipment (a 5D with a 70-200 f/2.8 and a 1D Mark II N with a 24-70 f/2.8), as it was the closest spot to the basket and it was OSU's goal the first half. I expected Missouri to win, and I thought it would be a good basket to be under if Missouri got cocky in the second half with dunks and showy lay-ups.
I prepared my gear and went out to the court with about 20 minutes left until the game started to set my exposure and track down my spot. As I ran down the numbers on the side of the court I had signed up on, however, I found there was an ESPN camera man and his crew in "my" spot. Confused, I went up to the videographer and asked him where he would be standing for the entirety of the game. Of course, his response was 'right here.'
I checked with Jeff to make sure I had the right spot and wasn't mistaken about where I was supposed to be. No, I was right. And I learned an important lesson for the day, thanks to Jeff. "It's ESPN. They get what they want." So, I moved a couple spots down to a place where I knew no one had been assigned.
The Tigers played an exciting game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Of course, it may not have been exciting for the Cowboys in the end, but it was a good game. The Tigers started out with a fair 10-point lead for at least the first 10 minutes in the first half. However, the Cowboys came back with a fervor, scoring 12 unanswered points and closing the point margin to 25-22, Tigers still in the lead. Missouri was not about to become discouraged however, and ended the first half 42-34.
Although OSU was not about to give up easily, they could not come out on top against Missouri in the second half. Much of that could be contributed to the amount of three-point shooting that was done, with the Tigers shooting 54.8% for three-pointers during the game. The game ended with a Tiger victory over the Cowboys, 95-80.
I feel a bit more comfortable shooting basketball than I do football. This could be because I played basketball in fourth grade, but also may be attributed to my sister, who is the captain of her high school basketball team. I feel like I'm more familiar with the rules of basketball, and therefore know more of the lingo for caption writing and know more of what to expect. The lighting and color are definitely more difficult, it being an indoor sport, but I find that I can figure out technical things just a bit better than I can learn a game.
I tried to mess with white balance a bit for this game, but it was a huge fail. For some reason, my pictures were coming out blue. I think this may have been to offset the exorbitant amount of yellow present in Mizzou Arena, but I also know that I did something wrong. As far as exposure goes, however, I felt better this game and paid more attention to my historgrams and didn't just shoot on one exposure for the entire game.
I did have some issues with equipment, however. I borrowed the 1D Mark II N from the equipment locker that I have access to in the Journalism School since I am in a photojournalism course this semester. I am not permitted to use this equipment to take pictures for The Maneater (it's considered financial aid since I am paid by The Maneater), who I was on assignment for, but I promised myself that I would not use any pictures from the camera in print and would only use it to help me practice and pad my portfolio. However, I could not even consider using this equipment, as the camera, who I was warned had an old battery, died two minutes into the game. And the second battery? Died after 4. So, I shot the entire game on a 70-200 that The Maneater owns, giving me some difficulty just under the net, as I could only shoot vertically.
My sports shooting is still a work in progress. I'm hoping to shoot some gymnastics this month, as well as more basketball, of course! I am also excited for spring sports, such as baseball and softball. I'll keep you updated, of course.