Army – Navy Basketball (again). West Point, NY 11•Feb.•12

I’ve been quietly waiting a year to get back into Christl Arena at the United States Military Academy in West Point to work another Army – Navy basketball rivalry. Since I didn’t have to opportunity to cover what would’ve been my fifth Army – Navy football game in FedEx Field last December in Washington, DC, I knew this assignment yesterday was going to be big. For the past few days I’d been playing out different scenarios in my head, and my mind’s eye on how to go about covering another big basketball day with two games. Hauling in a full set of arena strobes was a given. (5) Five cameras bodies was also an easy item near the top of the checklist. (I work with four throughout the day.) Enough lenses ranging from a fish-eye to the ‘long’ 300mm f/2.8AF easily make the cut too. Besides, I’d worked last year’s matchup between these two service academies, so I felt a little more comfortable knowing I had a good reference point for logistics in the venue, complete gear selection, shooting positions, strobing the arena again, and of course utilizing at least one remote camera. You can see last year’s post on how I covered the games by clicking HERE. Arriving a little more than 3 hours before the start of the women’s game at noon, meant at least 4 trips to the top rows of the empty arena to securely install the strobes in each corner. Since both games were on national TV, I hesitated in attempting to install a remote camera behind the backboard glass without a helper, and since the TV guys were still using a large ladder to install their audio equipment on both baskets, I decided not to waste too much time waiting for them and even dismissed the idea of installing a low angle remote camera on the backboard stanchion as I’d done last year. It’d have to be a remote camera from the stands with a telephoto zoom on this day (at right). My “ah-hah” moment didn’t come until almost tip-off of the women’s game at noon when a fellow photographer took his position on the floor nearby and asked, “Hey Chet, Where’s your remote…?” I reminded myself that I’d already been in the building before 9AM… ~cg.

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