Blocked


Pacific’s Demetrece Young guards Cal’s Jerome Randle during a men’s basketball game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 70-200mm @ 150mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200 w/ Elinchrome strobes. ISO: 200).

A lunge for a steal, a swat for a block, reach for a rebound, in the game of basketball the flailing of hands and arms is a natural part of the game. It’s a matter of timing to make sure that no one’s face is blocked by an errant hand or elbow.


Pacific’s Stephon Lamar goes to the hoop against Cal’s Jamal Boykin, left, and Allen Huddleson during a men’s basketball game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 70-200mm @ 150mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/3.2. ISO: 200 w/ Elinchrome strobes. ISO: 200).

I’ve been shooting long enough that timing comes almost as second nature most of the time. But there are times where I have an off night. The University of the Pacific’s men’s basketball game against U.C. Berkeley at the Stockton Arena, was one of those nights (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 70-200mm @ 105mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200 w/ Elinchrome strobes. ISO: 200).


Pacific’s Michael Nunnally goes to the hoop against Cal’s Jamal Boykin, left, and Allen Huddleson during a men’s basketball game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 300mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200 w/ Elinchrome strobes. ISO: 200).

I had an inordinate number of shots that seemed to have a hand or arm, even the ball blocking someone’s face. Some shots where the subjects’ face are partially obscured can be acceptable if the eyes were showing, but in a lot of my shots the blocking appendage was right in front of the person’s peepers. Some pictures had the player’s opponents in the way, others had their own hands or arms between their faces and my camera.


Pacific’s Terrell Smith goes to the hoop against Cal’s D.J. Seeley during a men’s basketball game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: 300mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4.5. ISO: 200 w/ Elinchrome strobes. ISO: 200).

To overcome the bad timing I just took a lot of pictures, shotgunning it, as it were. I got some usable images in the end, but some what would have been my best photos were rendered unacceptable because of the blocked faces. As the saying goes: “sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.”

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