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Friday, September 17, 2010

Bucket Basketball

Kids can be so clever and imaginative that sometimes all you have to do is shoot exactly what you see them doing.

James Cullen, left, tries to can a jumper over his friend David Dion as they improvise a game of basketball using a bucket, rope, and a ball in Lowell, Ma. (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).

The Photo:
I accidentally came upon this photo while enroute to another event. These two boys created their own basketball equipment out of a bucket and a piece of rope, rather than walk all the way to a playground to find a real basketball hoop. They were very intense about their play, and only slowed down to retrieve the ball from the bucket when one of them made a shot. It was a creation very much like Dr. Naismith’s original peach basket. I stopped and used a long lens to shoot their play, so they barely noticed my presence as I photographed them from just across the street. They shot, jumped and rebounded aggressively, as if there was a lot at stake, and it made for a great picture when they treated this makeshift basket like a real one.

3 Tips:
1) Seek out photos of kids inventing new, creative ways to play.
2) Capture the physical intensity and body extension of kids when they are playing sports.
3) Watch for emotional facial expressions to make photos of physical feats even more powerful.

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