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Almost, but not quite.

After staging a miracle comeback in the State Semi-finals, the table was set for a re-occurrence in the State Finals.  Again, Fulton had open the game by jumping out to a double digit lead, only to lose that lead by halftime to a tenacious Wyoming Tri-unity Christian team.  The teams played neck and neck through the third, but in the fourth it started to slip away.  The Pirates, just as they had done in the Semi’s, went cold from the field and had trouble sinking the free-throws they earned.  Halfway through the fourth, they found themselves the owner of a double digit deficit.  Their fans, nor the team gave up, fighting till the last minute.  This was the third playoff game of Fulton’s that I had shot.  I had become attached to this effort by the school, slowing learning the personalities involved in this pursuit.  So, yes, I too was disappointed with the outcome.  But, this is a young team and has the nucleus to make another run next year.  The loss was devastating. They don’t look very happy with their state runner up trophy in their team photo, but they have accomplished quite a bit.  Hopefully, time to reflect will bring this to the top for them!

You can view photos from the game over on MidMichigan Sports Scene.

On a technical note, for this game I decided to change my technique.  That is, I usually shoot basketball with my 70-200mm/F2.8 lens.  I look for a spot near the corner of the floor and shoot into the lane.  This also gives me the ability to shoot about 2/3rds of the way around the key.  For this game, I gave my second body (with the 70-200mm) to another shooter I work with and used my D3s with my 24-70mm/F2.8.  I sat as close I could get to being under the basket.  Between the support stand and the TV cameraman, this usually results in being on the edge of the paint.  I planned to shoot wide angle, instead of tight and vertical. My biggest problem was that I tried to change too many things for this shoot.  I also, at the last moment, decided to shoot in the auto ISO mode.  The problem here is that I hadn’t practice setting this up on my camera ahead of time and made a mistake with it.  The way I set it up allowed the shutter speed to drift too low.  This resulted in blurry action in some of shots of the first half.  At half time, as I was going through and editing my shots, I noticed this.  I decided to go back to shooting everything on manual and to play with auto ISO another day, on my own time!  Another lesson learned by making a mistake!

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