As we drove back in search of more photo opportunities, we realized that if we did not stop and shoot something, we would end up in Ruston tonight- and that was just too soon of an ending for our roadtrip. We stopped in a McDonalds in Vernon, TX and set up accounts on Model Mayhem… which we did not realize took some time to get approved. Our original thought was to add some models into the mix of this landscape heavy photographic journey. We found some profiles in the next “big” town on our route, Wichita Falls, TX. Although we killed about two and a half hours (killing our laptop batteries and listening to the drama of the employees) at that McDonalds, we still did not get approval from the site to set up a casting call. Bordering on being a little bit creeperish, we found the models on facebook and messaged them.
We arrived in Wichita Falls and killed some more time at Best Buy, where I should have bought a new external and a 77mm filter and Cody should have bought a new card reader, but after playing on every gadget in the store, we left without purchasing anything. We decided to give up on the models, because we were restless (even though we only gave them about two hours notice). So, we got back on the road to stop in Dallas and find SOMETHING to shoot there.
Thinking of things in Dallas made me remember shooting a concert there not to long ago at the House of Blues, right near the American Airlines Center. I remembered that someone told me that the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) played there. Not an avid sports follower, I wondered if the Mavs had a game on this random Tuesday night.
Randomly the Mavs were playing the Detroit Pistons, and I worked my cold calling magic. Although 24 hours notice is usually required, I managed to get us photo passes and our parking comped at 5PM gameday. Nervous and excited about shooting my first NBA game, we once again SLAMMED on the breaks and plugged up our camera batteries to charge on the hour drive left to the D.
So… needless to day, we walked in like we owned the place and ate one of the better meals on the trip in the media hospitality suite. We then proceeded to find our place on the court, sitting cross-legged and not allowed to move much. The game was so exciting that I had to force myself to shoot and not just watch.
On a technical note, one photog that I talked to said he liked to get 1/1000 shutter, for me I was pushing the old D300 @ 1250 ISO to pull 1/640 or 1/800 shutter. One of the most surprising things to me was watching one of the NBA photogs. He was shooting with an elusive (I cant seem to find it online) 38-300mm f/4 Canon Lens. Why f/4? Well, right below the area lights were strobes of the same size that fired on all sides remotely. I caught the flash from these in a couple of my shots and shooting at f/2.8 they were completely blown out. All I can say is wow.
In all though, great experience and I would do it again in a heart beat.