The Brave New World of Winter Sports

‘Tis the season for winter sports!

‘Tis also the season for a serious learning curve; I haven’t shot basketball since college, and have never shot hockey. I’m working with a 70-200mm f/4.0 (maybe Santa will bring me an f/2.8!), which makes things interesting. The best part (well, okay, ONE of the best parts) of shooting high school sports, though, is that nobody cares if you use your flash during games, so I can work around the poorly lit gym. Somewhat.

Hockey is proving to be the easier of the two to shoot, mostly because there’s a press booth at the rink, which saves me from having to shoot through the glass (ugh). It’s also easier for me to follow the game through my lens; in most sports cases, I don’t notice having just one eye, but I definitely think it would help to be able to see peripheral action during basketball games, so I could compose things faster. Oh well. Just something to learn to deal with.

On Saturday, all four of the varsity teams had home games (and all four of the teams won, which was pretty great. Go Vineyard!), so I was very busy running back and forth between the high school gym and the hockey rink.




The Island Cup: Getting There

Each year, the final game of the MVRHS high school football season is a matchup between Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket–the “Islands” part of The Cape and Islands part of Massachusetts. The rivalry unofficially dates to the late forties, and officially became the Island Cup 33 years ago. The game site alternates between MVY and ACK (Nantucket has an odd airport code); this year, it was on Nantucket.

So on Saturday, I caught the fan boat–a Steamship Authority ferry boat chartered by the booster club specifically for this trip; I think there were about 400 passengers–over to Nantucket. I was pulling double-duty, reporting and photographing all three games (jr. high, JV, and varsity (although the latter is The Game), and was also working on a reporter’s notebook story about the fan boat itself.

It was a very long day (thirteen hours, if you include the time spent writing a web update after I got back on-Island).

But it was also a very awesome day, the kind of day that makes you love journalism even more than you already do because there are just so many stories all around.

The Last Friday Night Lights

…sure, there’s still one more game left—and it’s a biggie; it’s the Island Cup, when the Vineyard plays Nantucket—but tonight was the last home game of the season. Senior recognition, announcing of Homecoming king and queen nominees, all that good stuff.

I am not a fan of shooting night games; my gear isn’t equipped for the light conditions. I tried using a tripod for stability. I tried using my flash, of all things. I drew the line at pushing the ISO past 2500, though. Oh well. Some day I’ll have that 70-200 f/2.8!

In more exciting news, the Vineyard stomped all over Medford in this game, winning 21-0. They haven’t blanked their opponents all season, so that’s a good way to get ready to take on 8-1 Nantucket.

A Tale of Two Graduations: MVRHS (lots o’ photos)

Last year, I photographed the small nine-person graduation at the MV Charter School. This year I was instead assigned to the regional high school ceremony, which is about twenty times the size of the MVPCS one.

As always, a huge thank-you is owed to my cousin Texe, who helped me with names afterwards.

The principal broke out his guitar halfway through his speech and sang “Forever Young” to the graduates. Love it!

I got to go up in the sound booth at the end of the ceremony! This didn’t come out exactly how I wanted it to, but then again, I didn’t have a tripod up there.

Hooray for names being spelled right!

Prom-tastic (lots o’ photos)

Went to the MVRHS junior prom on Saturday (probably could have gone incognito and worn my old prom dress, but I opted for standard photographer black instead). It was the first time since…I don’t even know when…that I’d actually used my flash for an assignment, and I was a little nervous about how things would turn out.

I lucked out, though, and arrived to find that the venue itself (the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha) had low white ceilings—perfect for bounce flash. As an extra bonus, it was overcast (shocker!) that day, so I didn’t have to worry about shadows in the outdoor photos.

I stayed for the entire thing, from the pre-entry Breathalyzers to the announcing of king and queen, and am glad I did. The last photo was taken as Eva the prom queen was boarding the party trolley (party trolley! there were disco lights and fog on board!), and I very much like how it turned out. Hooray!