Like Falling off a Bike

Thunder Spurs BasketballIt’s been more than six months since I’ve shot a Spurs basketball game. Actually, since I left the paper in March, I’ve only really shot one sporting event, which, as it turned out, was a pretty horrible experience.

So, I was really looking forward to Saturday’s game, San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder. I was curious to see just how rusty I was, and if shooting sports was like riding a bike. During my time at the newspaper, I always had the latest, greatest cameras with super-fast autofocus and 8 frames per second shooting. Those features made shooting sports easier, but I always knew there was much more to it than the gear. There’s a lot going on during a game and a good sports photographer should anticipate where the action will take place and be ready to make those memorable photos. I call it the CRAP Factor (Concentrate, React, Anticipate, Produce). Now, my cameras are a bit slower. The autofocus doesn’t track as well and they shoot “only” five frames per second. I was really gonna have to rely on my “mad skillz” (do the kids still call it that?) rather than the camera gear.

I left the game feeling satisfied with the job I did. I’m not winning any awards with the photos I shot at the game, but I didn’t fall on my face, either. I think I did a good job telling the story of the game without flubbing my captions or creating any other sort of problems for the picture editors, which is exactly what the AP wants.