Another season of the WNBA season began on Saturday. The Silver Stars came into town, a strong contender after making it into the finals last year (only to be defeated by the Shock). So to kick it off, I tried to get a little bit of everything. I won’t necessarily start backwards, but if you look at the starting image, I’m pretty sure you can tell who won and who lost given Becky Hammon’s expression. Most people like jube shots, I prefer dejection.
So, what else do I try to get when a new season starts? Read on to find out.To start, I try to get a few of the new players on the team, hoping to get them in action, and hoping that they offer some emotion. Temeka Johnson, is the new veteran point guard, coming over from LA. She’s pretty gritty, and I liked the way she played, like she had a chip on her shoulder because she was the shortest player on the court (even for the WNBA, 5’3″ is short). I also tried to get shots of Dewanna Bonner, the Mercury’s drafted rookie.
I like to get good shots of the new players, because this is the first game, and you will only have anything you get from that nights game. With some of the other players (Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, etc) you can always use a stock photo if necessary. Because of that, it’s important to try to get shots on both offense and defense, though you would lean more towards whatever they tend to do best (blocking shots, rebounding, shooting or slashing).
This year though, the Mercury struck up a deal with Lifelock, to feature their logo on the Mercury jerseys. How European. This means all those stock photos suddenly get dated. So you sorta have to get photos of each new player. But beyond that, it’s always good to look around and see what else has changed.
Sometimes it’s something related to the players or the teams, like the new players or the jerseys, a new team intro, etc. And sometimes it can be something that affects how you shoot, like the lighting being changed (usually for the worse), or something you did to change things, like a new lens or camera. That was the case with me.
This was my first WNBA game shooting Nikon. While I’ve been using Nikon for about 7 months now, I haven’t shot any WNBA games with it. And it was certainly different. A full frame camera really worked well up close during the NBA season, but even with a 70-200, I felt like I needed to shoot at the longer end to get the smaller WNBA players tight in the frame. And for farcourt, the 300 2.8 was pretty good for NBA games, but for the WNBA players, it would be like shooting with a 70-200 on my old Canon gear. So I went with a 200-400, stuck it at 400 most of the way, and felt it tightened up shots much better. And with the D3 being so good at high ISO, I had no problems shooting at ISO 4,000.
With my equipment figured out, an idea of the shots I wanted to get, and generally having checked and double checked everything I needed to, I could relax, and just have fun with the games and get my shots.
Like Diana Taurasi clotheslining someone. Maybe that’s a Phoenix thing (I totally miss Raja Bell. Always had a chip on his shoulder, and willing to chop, knock, or whack someone). I’m still missing some of her other moves. She has this spin move, where instead of using her elbow against your body and spinning off, she goes high and catches people in the neck area. Stuns them while she spins. It’s great.
Oh and and before I forget: I try to get a few shots of each coach. In both teams cases, the coaches were incumbents, but you still want to get a few shots. Shots of Corey weren’t too exciting, but Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes came through for me. Towards the end of the game, he really felt his players weren’t getting too many calls. Ranting, raving, and then a nice showdown with one of the refs.
All in all, it was a good game. Even had a few shots of a halftime event where they had dog racing. I gotta admit, shooting dogs at full speed up close: damn near impossible. Which means I need to go find me some dog agility events and get my practice in.
More pictures in the gallery, available at:
As always, if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to write in or email me.
BTW, it’s good to be back. I’ll try to start blogging regularly again.