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Monday, December 30, 2019

Foul Play

Photographing basketball games from courtside under the basket captures great close-up action coming directly at you.

Colby College basketball’s Keagan Dunbar (21) is fouled while driving to the hoop by Thomas College’s Shala Davis (24) and Anna Piirainen (13).

The Photo
Basketball is one of the best sports to photograph because you clearly see the players’ faces while sitting  courtside, adjacent to the action. One ideal shooting position is sitting on the floor directly under the basket, slightly to the right, which ensures nearly all the action comes toward you, since players tend to drive more from the left, likely because many are right-handed.  From here you can capture powerful photos of layups, rebounds, dunks, collisions, fouls, and player reactions to made baskets, missed shots, and referee calls. However, you need to stay alert to avoid airborne players or balls colliding with you.

In this women’s basketball game between Colby College and cross-town rival Thomas College, Colby jumped out early to a big lead, so Thomas players were determined to block the lane and prevent additional easy Colby layups. On this play, Colby guard Keagan Dunbar (in white) saw a clear path to the basket and quickly drove into the lane, but two Thomas defenders stuck out their arms to block the way, preferring to be called for the foul than allowing an easy bucket.  My telephoto lens blurred out the background, which more clearly highlighted the bodies colliding, the ball knocked loose, and the fouled player’s facial expression.

3 Tips
1.     Sitting courtside under the basket is a terrific vantage point to capture all types of close-up basketball action coming directly at you.
2.     Watch for players driving the lane, rebounding, colliding with one another, or reacting to shots or calls.
3.     Stay alert to avoid any players or loose balls that might collide with you.