Tuesday, August 18, 2009

15 August 2009 at Fort Huachuca With the Wildcats

I had the pleasure of covering the Arizona Wildcats football team luncheon at Fort Huachuca, AZ and scrimmage at Buena High School in Sierra Vista Saturday 15 August.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

The issue of media access came up. The Arizona sports information director refused wildaboutazcats and me media access. He claims if he gives it to a website, then everybody will want media access. My response? Hey, it’s coverage for your program and team! Secondly, the new media is here to stay. Why should ease of entry dictate who is a legitimate news operation? Sure, anybody can start a webpage, but SO WHAT? Newspapers like the Tucson Citizen are failing all over the country. Third, legitimate former newspaper reporters like Javier Morales (who used to cover the Wildcats for the Arizona Daily Star) and Anthony Gimino (who covered the Cats for the Citizen) run wildaboutazcats. Hey, I’m as old school as it gets... I studied journalism at the University of Arizona when we used newsprint and manual typewriters and newsrooms were smoke filled. I’m old school AND I GET IT! It’s time sports information directors understand the new media. I’m more than willing to run a workshop on the new media for any sports information directors or p.r. types who are interested.
Next, what about the challenges of taking photos of a sports event? This was both inside (the luncheon) and outside (the scrimmage).

Inside challenges include choosing either available light without flash by raising the ISO level to around 800. The trade off is with that ISO, you usually have more graininess or noise in the photo. Using flash indoors may wash out some of your subjects. I tended to try both during the luncheon and then picked and choose what worked well afterwards in Adobe Lightroom.
At the scrimmage, I experimented with a small aperture size (f/22) and slower shutter speed and larger aperture size (f/5.6 or so) and faster speed. The faster speed froze action much better obviously. The slower speed gave more blur or the look of speed and motion. I also experimented with f/11 and f/16 aperture sizes. Of course, f/5.6 or lower will give you more background blur, putting more attention on what you are focusing on. As you can see, I used a variety of settings during the day. I also used a nice Manfrotto monopod to steady my Canon XSi and used a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle, a Tamron 70-300mm telephoto, and sometimes a Tamron 1.4x extender. Since I was not granted media access, I had to shoot from the crowd, which meant some of the shots were with the extender.