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Normcar Mar 21, 2004 11:53 PM

Major Basketball Tournament a Photographic Success
Well, our province wide high school basketball tournament was a major success. 12 teams battled it out for 3 days and I had 3 students pressing the shutter on a G5 and an FZ10 while I played with my Rebel. I'm pleased to report that we had only one major setback (Sigma flash went haywire but I ended up getting better photos with the onboard flash and a prime 100/F2 lens) but we sold a whole pile of photographs printed out on the Canon i9100 (what a gem that little machine is). I sat in a booth on the last day and created collages and threw together a great tournament border template that seemed to be quite popular. I put together a network viewing room where parents and players could sit back, have a coffee, and check out the game photos.

I think those 3 students who shared the G5 (with 1.7 add-on...1.7? well, close) and FZ10 (with external flash) have learned a whole pile about sports photography and how difficult and rewarding it can be. I know that I learned alot about doing 50 things at one time (taking photos, organizing orders, processing shots, trying to be nice to demanding mothers,,,and the list goes on).

Oh, and here's a note: a few people who can't take constructive criticism in this forum think I'm a bit of a twit and that I'm bloated with pride. They seem to have a propensity to be able to completely misinterpret my absolute excitement at this craft of photography. I learned alot this week and I also taught some students alot about this wild and crazy photography world, and I feel real proud and bloated about it (and don't give a hoot if it bothers a few of you who know who you are). And if some of you out there don't like it that I'm excited about photography and perhaps sometimes offend others who stand at the periphery of my excitement, analysing it like pseudo-psychiatrists, even going to my profile and analysing every word I say (good grief), then go away and leave me to my insanity. It's easy, just don't think that you are God and all will be well.

I'll tell ya folks, 3 days of total shooting and selling and action and no eating or sleeping because there's no time for trivial's one excellent high and I'd recommend it to anyone.

I'll post the url when all game photographs are posted. We had so many requests by parents and players to post thumbnails online so the buying could continue that we really had no option, it has to be done. However, it will probably take a few weeks to do it right, since I want the students to process every shot so that even the bad ones almost look good,

Have fun sports photographers! Ain't it fun!

k1par Mar 22, 2004 5:22 PM


When I read your message I just had to sit back and chuckle. I picked up my first 35mm SLR in 1975 (showing my age) in high school and to this day am still amazed at what comes out.

Congrats on getting young people involved, without people like you this would be a fading hobby (if you want to call it that). Any youngster who picks up a camera and enjoys it should be encouraged.

Glad you had a good time and I know the feeling very well. Our state wide tourney takes approximately a week not counting prelimary games. Don't lose your excitement it appears to be infectious :lol:

cowboy43 Mar 22, 2004 6:47 PM

Well Norm it sounds like you got a good start to a good little business there. And I am sure you have found out the legistics of this adventure is the hard part, Who is Who, What kid goes with who, Addreses, Proofs, Am glad it worked out for you... Now my Question.. I have the same printer as you (actually two) Did you print on location or are you sending out proofs... I have allways sent out proofs, But have contimplated printing on location. Now remember I do mostly Equine events, And it is not the cleanest areas to be printing... How did you dry the prints? I know they dry preaty fast but was wondering your work around on this. I generally work solo so in order to print on location I would have to have an assistant to man the printing Not a big deal to do this... Are there Any other little things you came across? Again Congrats on your adventure...And Good Luck on future endevors...

srvsd Mar 22, 2004 8:41 PM


There is nothing wrong with pride in your work or hobbies. I have a lot of sports photos that I think turned out very well and would love to post them all. Do I think I am anything more than an interested amateur? Nope. I think anytime you post something you do take a "risk" of being criticized. Life's too short to worry about everyone thinks...

Normcar Mar 22, 2004 10:25 PM


You know, at first I was a bit worried about turning those kids loose on the court because I knew they would probably take some pretty bad shots. Well, they did for the most part but they also learned a heck of a lot about how to get better. And, get this, the first photograph sold was taken by one of those students, not myself, and it is one heck of a great shot (I don't have it here at home, otherwise I'd post it. I'll post it later this week).

Those kids were out there in the field every second, rushing about recharging batteries, uploading files, creating slideshows that could be shown immediately after a game ended, getting told off by me for being in my line of fire on the opposite side of the court and making me feel guilty because they took it so well and just went on with the shooting. It was as you say, infectious! I didn't eat for 24 hours but drank a whole pile of the juice that comes from my Avitar.

Thanks for sharing that you understand. It helps me even further to focus on the really important thing, infecting others with the virus called photography!

Normcar Mar 22, 2004 10:39 PM


As you say, the logistics of the experience was the major learning area. I'd taken some basketball photos before and felt reasonably confident in that area, but the logistics of everything working together to the final objective...sell photos...almost blew me away. I'm really thankful that one of my students was a computer whiz and had no problem creating files, uploading, turning slides, fixing redeye, and ensuring that the slideshow went on immediately following every game. We were positioned right outside the gym door and could not be missed. At first we were elsewhere but quickly figured out that we needed to be in the most public and effective place. That was perhaps my first lesson.

My second lesson was to make sure that the public could "view" the photos as quickly and comfortably as possible. Since we have a computer room at the school I just uploaded all photos to the network and opened up a pod of computers for the public to sit down, have a coffee, and pick the photos they wanted. I had order forms and they had to be explicit about what they wanted. If they wanted me to blur out the background, or create a collage with 3 or 4 photos, using masks and cloning, then they needed to tell me that. And I found that the most effective thing was to sit at the computer and actually "show" them what can be done. Both players and parents were flabberghasted at what could be done on the computer. I got alot of orders simply by being there at the computer, offering to show them what could be done and suggesting some different ways of collagiing and organizing.

I also created a border template that worked wonderfully. It was simple, with name, number, and team, as well as our logo on the border. All was jpg to make things go fast, and that printer prints out 11x17 jpgs just fine for the public. They were extremely happy and actually "amazed" at the quality and clarity. They are not as picky as us guyz on that stuff. They "did" look very good, though.

Cowboy, I'm going to use the internet to milk this cow for all it can give. I enlisted about 30 students to create web samples and thumbnails and over the next 3 weeks they will be processing as many of these photos as possible so that parents who attended (and requested that the internet be used for future purchases) are able to continue to buy. It's alot of work putting up all of those photos but it must be done for me to find out if it's worthwhile. The kids helping makes the task less troubling, not to mention that they are learning how to load files, crop, rotate, fix redeye, use neatimage, and other.

This is getting long so I'd better end. But thanks for your input, Cowboy, and if you have any suggestions you know that I respect your work.

Normcar Mar 22, 2004 10:42 PM


Thanks for the words, and I agree fully with your philosophy on that matter. I've also seen a few of your shots and appreciate your talent.

Normcar Mar 23, 2004 1:46 AM

Here is my next purchase. The 70-200 L USM IS, then I can rest in peace

Gandalf065 Mar 23, 2004 10:29 AM

I have never thought you were blown up, or mean. You have always given good advice, and honest opinions. I am really happy to hear how well your photo shoot went. Gives us all hope!

Normcar Mar 23, 2004 5:54 PM


Thanks, your "wizardry" has always been a fresh and playful blast of magic in a sometimes parched and barren place.

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