Tag Archives: basketball

Saturday morning Nashville

020715 Nasville morning loThis morning I went to a volunteer event in North Nashville. I wanted to go to it for a number of reasons:

  • I wanted to learn about the group sponsoring the event, Dogs Deserve Better, a national organization with a chapter in Nashville. I left Columbia vowing to get more life in my life, and this might be an organization I give some time to. They work to free dogs from a life being chained up in yards. Today’s event was a fence build, the group builds a fenced-in area in a residents yard so that their dog can roam freely, unchained, in a safe area.
  • I hired a freelancer to cover the event, a guy I’d hired before but had not yet met in person. This was a good time to meet him. And lastly,
  • I had not yet been to this area of the city and I couldn’t recall any stories we’d done out of that neighborhood.

I accomplished all of these goals with this picture as the cherry on top. As I turned the last corner on the way to the homes for the build I saw this. The light was wonderful in the way it silhouetted the kids who were playing both football and basketball in the street. The light also played off the power lines and reflected off the cars, which lined both sides of the streets. It struck me as a classic urban scene. Just a few hours later that beautiful light was gone. And so were the kids.

The GoPro is my new friend

As I mentioned in a previous post, we bought a GoPro camera (Hero3 black edition) to add to our department’s arsenal and I’ve been playing with it this summer.

The GoPro Hero3 (black edition) and the accessory remote.

The GoPro Hero3 (black edition) and the accessory remote.

I was talking with my friend, Reed Hoffmann, about it and he said something  that made a ton of sense to me. We were talking about teaching our students about equipment. One of his approaches is to be the one who actually reads the manual. Even though I’ve read more manuals in my five years of teaching than in my previous 25 years as a photojournalist, I never really thought about it and when I said that, it was like adding the last link to a chain. There’s a ton of good information in manuals and if you want to get the most functionality out of your device, read the manual. Or know someone who has.

My second time out with the camera, I mounted it on my head as I umpired some softball games. I worked both behind the plate and out on the bases and was surprised by what I learned. In the office, I thought standing behind the plate would be too static, but as it turned out, that was the best perspective. Watch the video for clips from my last two outings with the camera and what I learned. The notes below are listed by when they appear in the video.

  • Be sure to use the correct housing for the device. First time out, I was using the waterproof housing, which doesn’t all you to record good audio. In most cases you’ll probably use the skeleton backdoor. (:12) Continue reading

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: The correlation between coaching and parenting

My summer as a basketball coach

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

Lorenzo, center, in ball cap, is the real coach of the team. He wants to be a coach and he's going good experience in the league. Despite what you see here, the guys really don't listen to him, either. (Random people sometimes stray onto the court, like the woman on the left. Just part of the character of Moonlight Hoops.)

Lorenzo, center, in ball cap, is the real coach of the team. He wants to be a coach and he’s going good experience in the league. Despite what you see here, the guys really don’t listen to him, either. (Random people sometimes stray onto the court, like the woman on the left. Just part of the character of Moonlight Hoops.)

Coaching in name is mostly what I’m doing, and I’m becoming ok with that. I have an assistant coach, Lorenzo. I just appeared on the first night and told me he was my assistant. I don’t even know his last name. I know that he wants to coach but I don’t think he’s really realized that he’s not seeing the whole court. I probably spend more time coaching him, hoping what I tell him gets relayed to Continue reading

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: Selection of shots from the games

My summer as a basketball coach

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

Here are some images from the court that will tell you about some of the players, the game or just because I like them.

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: The Golden Hour of light

My summer as a basketball coach

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

The Golden Hour, with it's warms tones and harsh contrasts. I love the way it looks.

The Golden Hour, with it’s warms tones and harsh contrasts. I love the way it looks.

The quality of the light for the games is amazing — for the first game. But it ducks behind the trees by the end of the 7 p.m. game and by the 9 p.m. game we’re looking at 5000 ISO, 250 at f3.5. And remember, this league is 99 percent black kids. But while it’s there, that evening light is just beautiful. The warm Continue reading

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: It’s still Douglass Park after all

My summer as a basketball coach

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

I love the way D'Anglo, center, plays defense. He has good court sense and fills the hole under the basket, preventing backdoor plays. Here he scrambles for a loose ball.

I love the way D’Anglo, center, plays defense. He has good court sense and fills the hole under the basket, preventing backdoor plays. Here he scrambles for a loose ball.

Remember that stolen T-shirt? Funny thing. I took my camera out to shoot photos Tuesday night. I had set my Canon 7D with 70-200mm lens on the ground by the bench. Someone asked me how much it cost, so I told him.

“DAMN!!” he said.

Then D’Anglo (pronounced DeAngelo) turned to me and said, “I wouldn’t be setting that down. This is Douglass.” His meaning: Douglass Park is in Columbia’s ‘hood. It’s all relative, of course, but for Columbia, this is a crime hub. I was trying to ignore the reputation of the park, but after he said that, I carried the camera on my shoulder for the rest of the game.

The player who warned me about leaving it on the ground is the same kid whose T-shirt was stolen the next night. I guess he was right.

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: Trying to get rid of the violence

My summer as a basketball coach

Moonlight Hoops basketball league, Columbia, Mo.

The Moonlight Hoops basketball league is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the past several days I’ve been posting about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

LeShone dribbles the ball up the court, playing his heart out as usual.

LeShone dribbles the ball up the court, playing his heart out as usual.

Tuesday night LeShone showed up, the first one there, as always. He told me that he really wanted to — no, needed to — play tonight, he needed that game. Last week he played hard but his shots just wouldn’t fall, so I reassured him that

LeShone decorated a shirt in tribute to his aunt. He only told me that she had died, not the way in which she had died.

LeShone decorated a shirt in tribute to his aunt. He only told me that she had died, not the way in which she had died.

he was still one of our starters. He mumbled something else then told me that his aunt had passed the night before. That’s all he told me, but the shirt he was wearing told me more. He had turned a plain, gray T-shirt into a memorial for his aunt, Georgina Randall. That’s all I knew. So of course I went in search of more information. It took several days, as expected, but today I found the information. His aunt was gunned down by her boyfriend, in front of her young children. She was one of three people shot to death in Chicago that day. Ironically, she had moved back to her Chicago for a fresh start and pursue a career in criminal justice.

MOONLIGHT ILLUMINATIONS: My summer as a basketball coach

Moonlight Hoops basketball league, Columbia, Mo.

Moonlight Hoops is a true Learning As I Go situation. Over the next several days I’ll post about my experiences, with some relevant photos, some are of my team, some are of other teams.

This is Demetrie. Don't ask me what he's doing, but look at what he did to his jersey. Granted, most of them were too big, but nearly every player has cut off the sleeves. D took it to the extreme.

This is Demetrie. Don’t ask me what he’s doing here, but look at what he did to his jersey. Granted, most of them were too big, but nearly every player has cut off the sleeves. D took it to the extreme.

This week I learned the hard way why they tell the coaches to take the jerseys home after the game. When Tracy and Scottie handed out the jerseys on the first day, one of them told me to collect them after the game. I heard them, but I didn’t hear them. After that first game, on a steamy, 90 degree night, the last thing I wanted to do was gather up a dozen smelly, sweaty T-shirts, wash ‘em and get them back for the next night’s game. So I told the guys to hold onto them to wear the next night. And I told them no jersey, no playing time.

The next night I came prepared to take the jerseys home — I brought a sack to Continue reading

The Waiting Game: Waiting for all the elements to gel

As a photographer, I spend a lot of time waiting. And I’m not talking about waiting for games to start or press conferences to happen.

The kind of waiting I’m talking about is the waiting we do, hoping for all the right elements to come together to make a good picture. Photographers see slices of life all around us, just waiting for the right elements to come together: the right light, a person to be in the frame at just the right spot.

I’ve been waiting for this picture since last season.

After making a free throw, Alex Oriakhi, right, is congratulated by a teammate. Oriakhi was made 5 of 6 free throw attempts.

After making a free throw, Alex Oriakhi, right, is congratulated by a teammate. I saw this moment last season but wasn’t able to make the picture work.

Shooting game after game after game — any kind of game — becomes an effort of finding the different shot, an exercise in continuing to “see.”One thing I keep looking for is detail shots, isolated moments.

So tell me: does it work? In my mind it always did, but seeing it now, I’m not sure if there’s enough context.

It took many games to finally get it. I was often blocked by other players or they didn’t do the high five or I didn’t have the right lens or my focus was off. You get the idea.

Talk to any photojournalist and they could tell you of a number of pictures they’re just waiting to make.

When all the elements come together.