Capturing the Competition – WNBL Surabaya Edition 2015

A fellow photographer called, asking whether I’m available at 22 & 24 January 2015. He said that he’s supposed to come to Surabaya with a female basketball team from Jakarta to take pictures of their competition at DBL arena. Due to circumstances, he couldn’t make it and offered me to replace him as official photographer for the team.  Well, why not? It’s gonna be fun anyway, hehehe…so, i took the offer 😀

It turned out that the team i supposed to take pictures was “Merah Putih Predators”.  And later at the hotel when i met them, there’s a little surprise.  The team Manager, Mr. Fadly, told me that one of the team member is the former Putri Indonesia 2011, Maria Selena.  Hey buddy, why didn’t you tell me about this? 😀

So, for two days i took pictures of the team’s activities, from preparation, warming up sessions and the competition itself. The team was interesting (hey, it’s a female team you know 😛 ).  I really admire their talent and determination when watching them compete. They played the game passionately, no wonder they’re selected for national level competition. On the other hand, they’re literally young woman, with all those girlish talk that i had a hard time to dechiper & follow 😀

Beside the “formal” competition shots, we did so many candid and silly behind-the scene shots, my shutter count rapidly increase because of that, hahaha…but it’s okay, part of the job anyway. There was one moment when Maria Selena was asked to visit DBL store for some kind of endorsement, i just followed and took pictures of her there…hooo boy, she’s indeed beautiful 😀

This assignment was also a perfect scenario to test the true capabilities of my new baby, Nikon D750.  Indoor sports photography is always challenging from any photographic standpoint.  The settings i used on the camera was pretty extreme (ISO 6400, 1/500 sec, f/4, auto WB), yet the camera performed admirably! I was trully impressed and satisfied with it!! 😀

The camera was very responsive and joy to use. The resulting image was pretty clean, noise was well controlled, colour and sharpness were retained (these are pretty common result nowadays though).  What impressed me most was the continuous 3D-tracking autofocus. It was almost magical!!! It tracks erratic movements from the players really well, with around 80% hit rate  (the rest 20% failure was due to inexperienced operator…need to practice more 😛 ). Got a lot of keepers, it was difficult for me to select the best pictures after the game. 😀

Overall, it was a fun and challenging task. I learned so many things about basketball game in just two days, and even got some useful tips at photographing basketball games from Mr. Boy Slamet, a photographer from Jawa Pos who was also there to cover the games. Thanks for the share 🙂

Looking forward into assignments like this in the near future 🙂

 

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