Pomona’s Boys Varsity Hoops Opener

So, after the Buff’s double overtime victory Tuesday night, I was hoping for an uneventful night over at Pomona High School in Arvada.  After shooting around 1100 photos in Boulder, I was looking forward to less photos to edit.  I would be strobing the Panthers gym with two Alien Bee 800 strobes.  I was strobing because most high school gyms are very very dark, and in order to get high quality photos at lower ISO’s, you really need to use an alternative light source.

A Pomona player attempts a shoot as a Lincoln player tries to block it.

Last year, shooting in Alaska for Eagle River High School, I would strobe the entire gym.  The gym up there was huge compared to the gym at Pomona.  I had gone by the school on Monday to look at the gym and potential mountings for my strobes.  I found that I was going to have to bring my battery pack for one strobe, and it appeared that I would be able to mount one strobe to conduit on the wall and one strobe on the end of the opposite bleachers.

A Pomona player goes baseline and finger rolls a shot up.

What I did not realize is how far away the bleachers were from the actual basketball court.  I took my standard strobe reflectors, but discovered quickly that I should have used brought my sports reflectors.  My strobes were just too far away from the ceiling for a good bounce, and they were too low to direct strobe.  Anyway, I got them placed, and discovered I left two trigger cables at home.  So, I had to run home quickly, grab the cables and get back to test my lighting before the game.

A Pomona player tries to flip a shot up against Lincoln

I got back in plenty of time to hook my triggers up, and get a couple test shots off.  The standard reflectors were too wide and while I was pointed in the correct direction, the fall off was horrible as I was lighting the entire gym and not just half the court.  I know that the next time to bring my sports reflectors and maybe one of my 13 foot light stands.

A Lincoln High School player watches the ball being brought up the court by Pomona

I really like to have my ISO set to 200 when I strobe.  I was hoping with the size of the gym and the white walls I would have enough light to do this with my two strobes.  ISO 200 would normally give me nice dark backgrounds down court and in the crowd, and nice exposure on the court.  But, I was struggling here with my strobe placement and to top it off, this gym was a real cave.  I was having issues locking my focus because of how low the light was.

A Lincoln High School player brings the ball up the court

It usually takes me a game or two to get in the flow strobing.  Unlike shooting ambient on Tuesday night where I was getting burst shots at 8fps for 3 to 5 shots, with the strobes, I have to shoot single frame advance.  What is nice is, instead of 1100 photos to go through, I had about 180 shots to go through at the end.  The drawback is you have to anticipate.  And a lot of times you will miss.  Get a ball covering the players face, arm across face during a shot, etc.

A Lincoln player is fouled as he goes to the hoop against Pomona

The game was lopsided.  Pomona was still reeling from their 2 point loss in overtime to Ralston Valley in the 5A football playoffs, and the team had only had a couple practices under their belts as a whole team.  Lincoln, however, came in ready to play.

A Lincoln player elevates for a shot against Pomona

Lincoln jumped to an early lead and never looked back.  However, Pomona impressed me with the amount of students that came to the game.  They had a decent turnout for the first game on a Wednesday night.

A Pomona player and Lincoln player both go for a rebound

Pomona would end of falling to Lincoln 61-32 to start off the season.  It was a rough start, but one thing I observed was it really looked like Pomona was lacking in a strong offense.  There was a lot of perimeter passing, but very few, if any, picks, screens or cuts to the hoop.  With a little more offense, the game would have been a bit closer.

A Lincoln player looks for a pass in the game against Pomona High School

Photos from the game should be up on MaxPreps soon.  Check the team pages for Pomona and Lincoln for the photos.

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