Last four days were spent inside the new Worcester Arena - for GB Wheelchair Basketball !!
Four day tournament in Worcester, here's what it was all about - in my own random words.
I was covering the Continental Clash 2013 for GB Wheelchair Basketball, producing them 'Game Highlight videos and Post-game interviews' - as well as replenishing my stock images of GB players. It was a two game per day routine for the video highlights, so video game 1 (usually 9.30am or 11.30am tip-off) - then conduct post game interviews on video with two players and coach. As the Arena emptied of players and fans, it allowed me some quiet time to sit and first extract the footage to my hard drive and then edit it and upload it. With the client being Team GB, naturally the footage was also aimed towards the action of the British team.
With Worcester suffering from slow internet (or my Wifi did, as well as Arena Wifi) - by the time the first game footage was getting published on YouTube - the second GB game of the day was usually about to start. And if not, that gave me the chance to shoot some ball with Worcester Wolves players Stanley Ocitti and Carlos Fernandez - and in any case, when will I next get a chance to shoot hoops at the Worcester Arena??
As well as videoing the game - it was great to be able to talk to the GB players after the games, who I have to say were all rather natural in front of the camera.
During the games I usually took one quarter of the game to shoot some still images, so that I could get pictures of the new players in GB squad for my archives. But this is sort of where the 'breaking of rules' happened, not sure what your preferences in shooting sports are - but personally I like to always get as low down as possible to capture the action from the low-angle. Having covered Wheelchair basketball before, biggest event was the 2010 World Championships in Birmingham (I think it was 2010.. or 2011??). This is one sport where to be able to capture a good number of images, you do tend to want to shoot from a slightly higher point of view, I would go as far as saying that you should stand up - but somewhere between the 'Yoga Position' and standing up. This week though I was in the lucky position to use the low angle to do my shooting all the time, as there was no pressure to capture a certain amount of images per game, I could go more for the point of view that I personally preferred in the images. Guess you can make up your own mind in whether the angle works or not, by looking through the 50 or so images in the Slide Show underneath.
This was also my first event covered at the Worcester Arena, where I hopefully will spend few evenings during the 2013-14 BBL season - all apart from the last game were played with full lighting across all courts, where as the last one - I guess was played under TV-lighting. And from having a chat to the couple of other photographers and doing my own little test prior to the game.. I would say that the TV spot-lights in the ceiling could do with bit of adjustment. The court was in six different lighting sections, under the basket was a dark as anything as the spot light didn't quite shine that low, then you had the brightness in the 'paint', between three point line and half way, you had shade, centre circle well light... and then repeat the sequence to the other basket. Will be interesting to see the lighting they will use at the venue for Wolves games... but then again, maybe all this fuzz about the lights in down to my own inability to deal with the challenging conditions.. so up and onwards with the learning.
Next up - Team GB Women U20's game in Wales this coming weekend...