I recently decided to stretch myself and try photographing some basketball at Friday Harbor High School. Basketball is considered one of the more extreme challenges of both a photographer and his gear, and I can now attest to that personally. But I enjoy a challenge, so I'm having fun and learning a lot. (Plus, I managed to get a number of photos from the first weekend into the San Juan Islands Journal and the San Juan Island Update.)
The photos below are favorites of mine from the few games I've shot so far. They include Boys and Girls Varsity, and all are home games, starting with the Third Annual Tip Off Classic Basketball Tournament on December 2 and 3. The competing high schools you'll see are Seattle Lutheran, Meridian, Coupeville, Shoreline Christian, and Nooksack Valley.
Truthfully, it was hard to whittle down the selection, as the Friday Harbor boys and girls are so photogenic on the court. But if you want to see lots more, you can head over to my new store at islanderimages.smugmug.com
As in all my photography, I'm aiming to capture emotion, interaction, and the telling moment. Also, to me, part of the joy of this photography is that basketball is a kind of dance, with all the physical grace that implies. I don't understand basketball photographers who mostly zoom in to the upper bodies in landscape mode, because, just as in dance, an essential part of the story is in the feet! (I just wish someone would hire me to shoot some actual dance -- hint, hint.)
For photography buffs, I'll mention that most of these photos were shot with various combinations of Nikon cameras D500 and D750 and Nikon lenses 24-70mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4. Shutter speed was mostly a steady 1/1000. I'm now setting my auto ISO to a maximum of 51,200 for safety, but with my f/4 lenses and no exposure compensation, it has stayed between 6400 and 12,800 anyway. Just a few years ago, photos at such high ISO settings would have been too noisy to publish!