Images originally published in the SF Station photo gallery: http://photos.sfstation.com/gallery/15475757_HL3sT#1158730877_ZY8dT
Last week I had the unique privilege of photographing the world famous Harlem Globetrotters on their 4 Times the Fun World Tour stop at HP Pavilion in San Jose.
Their management was kind enough to offer a Game Pass to shoot the first half from the baseline underneath the basket, an experience (and photographic challenge) I was more than excited and willing to accept. Though I’m out a few times a week on average making images at concerts, events, windy streets of the city, and other random places, I have to say, that photographing a high-paced basketball game was one of the most challenging (and fun!) jobs I’ve come across in my days of camerawork.
Seeing the Globetrotters in action really makes you feel like a kid again. It’s such a great show, and even better than I remember it as a kid. I was reminded of when my parents took me to see them, probably 20+ years ago, in NYC. We brought home one of those classic red, white and blue basketballs, and I’m sure that our experience at the game is what lead us to asking M&D to install that basketball hoop in the driveway of our house. This is probably one of the cheesiest lines on my entire website, but it really warmed my heart and soul to see all the happy families and children at the game that night. I was really just moved with the scene of it all. It was one big arena of happy families and everyone was there to have a good time.
Next time they come through your area, I highly recommend making the trip. Whether you have a 5 year old you’re bringing out, or if you’re a thirty-something like me looking for some sports comedy to help you laugh your ass off, the Globetrotters are for EVERYONE! It’s good wholesome fun, and even while trying to make my shots, I couldn’t help but chuckle constantly at the ever-classic slapstick sports comedy the Globetrotters have branded into a true legacy 85 years strong.
Photographer’s notes: Fast cameras and fast lenses are integral pieces of equipment in sports photography. The D700 at 5fps and my 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 served me well. I came equipped with my D80 and 50mm f/1.4 (~75/80mm on cropped sensor), but didn’t find it up to the challenge of fast action capture whatsoever. I think I got only a few keeper shots out of that rig. Fast fast fast is king. Relatively fast shutter speeds and fast apertures help isolate the action. I was expecting the arena to have less ambient light than it did, but even at 1/250th to 1/500th of a second shutter speed at f2/8-f/8 I was able to keep ISO at or under 800 90% of the time, and maybe hit ISO 1600 for a few shots at the smaller aperture settings. Looking forward to another opportunity like this someday!
If you’re interested in reading up on the subject of sports photography, there’s a great read on Jerry Lodrigruss’ website here: http://www.astropix.com/SPORTSPIX/NSC/NOTES.HTM
See the full image gallery here.