The Rush

  • Aperture: f/5
  • Focal Length: 60mm
  • Shutter: 1/250 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

I am posting these photos that I shot for the paper tonight, not because I think they are good but because they made me happy. Of course I know that they should have more ambient light, that the players should not look like they are playing in a tunnel. But that is beside the point. I will never be a great sports photographer. I couldn’t begin to tell you the first thing about basketball, because quite honestly, I don’t really like it. Not to watch anyway. But I love shooting it. In fact, I love everything about my job. I guess that’s why I keep doing it.

I love that hour or so before the game when the adrenaline starts running through your veins — a slow undercurrent at first, then faster and faster. I love the last minute equipment run-through, the loading of the gear in the car, the obligatory fast food run, scarfing down something from the drive-through (fish from Captain D’s tonight since it was Friday), racing through the darkness to get there on time. I love slinging my bag over my shoulder, flashing my press pass to the policemen at the door, nodding hello to people I know as I make my way through the throngs of people. I love the confidence that I only feel when holding a camera in my hand, the don’t-mess-with-me attitude that comes with it. I love pacing the court, love that zoned out feeling where I don’t see anything, hear anything, feel anything but the action. I love the way it feels when everything goes just right and the camera becomes an extension of myself. I love knowing that all across the country, my colleagues are doing exactly the same thing. Football in the fall, basketball in the winter, baseball and softball in the spring and summer.

There are only three things I don’t like about shooting basketball, and I solved two of them tonight. I don’t like the hot, sweaty odor that permeates everything, and the yelling and squeaking of shoes unglues me. There is nothing I can do about the odor, but I was able to solve the sound issue by simply drowning it out with my iPod. Unlike football, I don’t need to listen to the plays, and there are not usually as many photographers around to talk to as there are on the sidelines of football games. So I simply made a fast-paced basketball music mix (see below). It worked pretty well except for when I almost didn’t stand up for the national anthem because I didn’t know it was playing. Oh, and when I ignored that referee that was talking to me. Turns out he was just asking me if I was having fun.

All in all, it was a good night. I have that nice bone-tired feeling that means I will probably sleep well tonight. As soon as I finish typing this, I will go stand in the shower and revel in the heat, the steam, the sound of the water drumming against the wall. A nice end to a productive day that could just as easily have been completely different. I’m a happy girl tonight, and that’s a very very good thing.

Music of the day: Lose Yourself (Eminem), A Girl Like You (Edwyn Collins), Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz), I Fought the Law (Green Day), Come Out and Play (Offspring), Twilight Zone (Golden Earring), Machinehead (Bush), Harder to Breathe (Maroon Five), Sweet Child O’ Mine (Guns n’ Roses), Feeling This (Green Day), Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand), Going Back to Cali (LL Cool J), Hey Ya! (OutKast), Pepper (The Butthole Surfers), Fly Me Courageous (Drivin’ n’ Cryin’), Numb (Linkin Park), Everything Zen (Bush), Natural One (Folk Implosion), Kryptonite (3 Doors Down), Basket Case (Green Day), Little Things (Bush).

Posted on tagged , , ,

Leave a Reply