Denver Nuggets at Houston Rockets :: Houston Sports Photographer

Tonight was my first NBA game of the year. I was rear-ended on Oct 1, and had to skip the entire pre-season due to back pain. My doctor said crouching on the ground holding a couple cameras isn’t that good for healing whip-lash. What does he know?

Anyway, I love shooting the NBA. It is the closest you can get to the action as a photographer. So much fun, lots of great action and no hats or helmets to block the view of their faces. So many of the players – Shane Battier and Al Harrington tonight – are super expressive. Makes for great pictures.

Pregame, I shot everything with the Canon 300mm 2.8L IS on the Canon 7D and the Canon 70-200mm 2.8L IS on the Canon 1D Mark III. Once the game started, I put the Canon 300mm 2.8L IS on the Canon 1D Mark III and the Canon 24-70mm 2.8L on the Canon 7D.

I change the cameras and lenses around because of the crop factors of each one. The Canon 1D Mark III has a crop factor of 1.3x and the 7D has a crop factor of 1.6x. I feel like the 300mm 2.8 lens on the 1.6X is a little too much reach for down court, and the 24-70mm 2.8 on a 1.3x is not quite enough reach for near court. But all that is due to shooting style. I shot the entire game horizontally, despite basketball being a very vertical sport. 7’6 Yao Ming is about as vertical as you can get.

Gear:

Chris “Birdman” Andersen has a new set of tattoos. I was chatting with Anthony Carter before the game, and he said that Andersen goes to a tattoo artist just about every day.

Here is Anthony Carter. Very nice guy. He said he won’t be getting any tattoos like Birdman anytime soon.

This is Yao waiting in line for the layup drill in pre-game warm ups. I love the flare and how he is holding his head down. Pretty appropriate for this season so far.

Because I sell a lot (maybe the majority of my photos) overseas, Luis Scola, Yao Ming and Nene were the guys to really watch out for. This is Scola making his grand entrance to the game. They had a special ceremony since it was the first game of the season.

This is Yao bending over to talk to three year old Noah Byars. I love how low Yao had to get.

I’m a big Chauncey Billups fan. He adds a ton to the team that doesn’t necessarily show up on the stat sheet.

Love Shane Battier, for a lot of the same reasons as Chauncey Billups. Also, he is about the most expressive player with his face. He is always acting up any contact like pretty much no one else in the league.

This is a Horizontal I cropped vertically. Al Harrington was super expressive. Yao is Yao.

George Karl is a beautiful man.

I’m a big fan of how fast break pictures turn out.

Yao is so incredibly tall.

That is old timer Dick Bavetta in the background. He is 68 or 69 years old and still reffing NBA games. Also he stepped on me at least 10 times.

Battier wasn’t set, but he threw himself down and got the charging call on Melo.

NENE!

Love the expressions.

The requisite cheerleader shot.

Any time you can get a superstar smiling or hamming it up, you gotta take it.

He was noticeably less happy after getting stuffed by Yao and Shane.

Yao is huge.

Brad Miller tackling Al Harrington for no apparent reason and getting a Tech.

Love the facing up shots.

Al Harrington hit a three that pretty much sealed the game.

Hard to tell, but he jumped up in the air here and collided with Nene to celebrate. Little white specs are sweat that went off them when they hit.

If Yao jumps and the other guy doesn’t, always crop it to make Yao look even bigger.I really wanted a lot of Scola, but didn’t get much. This pretty much saved my night.

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