Wednesday, July 04, 2012

2012 NBA Draft

Well with the 2012 Olympics coming up, I thought that this would be no better time than ever to revive this blog.  After all, I had started this several years ago with the intention of documenting my first Olympics... the 2008 games in Beijing and had continued it a bit as I went about my day-to-day shoots.

So I have always been a Canon user.  At the time I started learning to shoot, it seemed to be the superior system, so I invested my money and my gear in them.  Of course if you look over the course of Canon vs Nikon history, one never really stays ahead of the other for very long.  In recent years, Nikon overtook Canon with the introduction of their D3 series, and now with their D4 camera.  Although the D4 is a really scarce item in the open market right now, in an effort to convert us non-believers in my company, Nikon offered to me and a handful of others going to the Olympics pretty much whatever we wanted.  So I only asked for "a little bit" of stuff.... 2x D4's, a 70-200 f/2.8, 400 f/2.8, 14-24 f/2.8, and a 1.4x converter.  Not much :-)

So my first official event where I got to use this new gear was the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  Now since my last post, I've sort of become our company's go-to draft person.  It's really quite silly, because you think any ol' photographer/photo editor can handle a draft.  On the surface, it looks like a glorified press conference.  Which it is..... the key shots is to get people standing on stage posing with the commissioner, like Anthony Davis after being selected as the overall number one pick to the New Orleans Hornets.

Now unlike the NFL draft where our only photo opportunities are these posed stage photos, the "green room" for NBA is right next to the main photographer positions.  So we were able to get some neat stuff of the athletes interacting with their families after hearing their names picked.

Also unlike the NBA draft, they only invite 14 people (+/- a few every year) and with only 5 minutes between rounds, I expected it to go quick.  WRONG.  Apparently some draft picks fly in on their own dime and sit in the crowd.  Then when their name is called, they head to the stage, like French basketball player Evan Fournier did after being selected number twenty to the Denver Nuggetes.  Leave it to the French....

Oh yeah, so why am I always on the drafts?  Simple: speed.  Today's digital age of photography means our clients and their websites want stuff FAST.  With five minutes between picks, it is a lot for photographers to expect to shoot the photos, and then quickly transmit a few frames before the next pick.  I hate to sound like a cocky asshole, but very few people can pull that off reliably but there you go.... I guess I'm not most people.  I will admit, the NFL was a bit easier since it was 10 minutes between picks, but I was able to get off a posed photo and a candid photo between each pick.  And so, that was my experience at the 2012 NBA Draft!


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