Count em. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Eight is great. Eight is enough. I eight the whole thing.
On Friday Feb. 5, fellow photographer Crista Jeremiason and I were assigned to document Cloverdale’s Robby Rowland and his quest to surpass the Redwood Empire boys basketball all-time scoring record. Simple you say? Show up with cameras, crunch some nachos, devour a hot dog and photograph the action of the court.
Not so fast.
We’re in a relatively new age. Video on the ‘net is the all the rage and PD photographers have adjusted accordingly, learning a new skill set in weeks, as opposed to years in journalism school for still photography. The learning curve has been tremendous, but fun.
That being said, I arrived early at the gym in Cloverdale to set up the video equipment. I used four different video cameras. One in each corner of the gym located near the goal that Rowland would break his record (he only needed two points) and one parallel to the goal to pick up a cleaner shot of the record. I used two tripods duct taped to whatever I could find to harness them safely. The third video camera was secured by clamps to a guy wire that ran from a wall of the building. To gather before and after interviews and ‘B’ roll, I hand held the fourth video camera.
Each mounted video camera had to be manually started, so that meant climbing through the crowd just before the start of the game to switch them on. Fresh batteries and new tapes were used. I figured that Rowland would eclipse the record fairly early in the first quarter, which he did.
Then came the still cameras. Jeremiason and I both had two. I was in the stands for the overhead position of the record breaker and Jeremiason was on the floor for the ground level view. In all, we used eight cameras to document Rowland scoring his 2,340th point of his four year high school career to break Rich Wallers’ Rincon Valley Christian record, (1994-97)of 2,389.
Using laptops with aircards, we moved the record breaking still pictures to page 1 editor Judy Conrad within minutes of the basket.
On Saturday, it took me a little under three hours to cut the video.
The best part about the game? Robby Rowland’s upbeat can do attitude. An hour after the game with very few people left in the gym, Rowland came up to me and shook my hand. “Thank you for being here.” His smile was infectious. I said, “Your welcome”. I can count on one hand how many athletes from high school and above, have thanked me for doing my job.
Those four others? Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young and Bill Walsh.