A few weeks back I had the privelege of assisting the very talented photographer Rob Hammer during the first day of the iHoops First Team Summer Conference. This was a 3 day invitation-only event in which High School basketball stars are given a full program of lectures and break-out sessions intended to not only help them make the right decisions in getting into an NCAA basketball program, but also build important life skills. Rob shot the critical photos, but he had me shoot the fun stuff: some of America’s best high school basketball players relaxing on arrival day in “The Locker Room.” LR = a large conference room outfitted with, oh I don’t know, 20 or so Xbox stations on large, flat screen TV’s. Did I forget to mention 2 ping pong tables, 2 pool tables, 2 air hockey games, some sofa’s with another flat screen for normal TV viewing, 4 large flat screens with Wii, and some old-school stand-up video games (I would be remiss to not mention they had “Defender”).
I was very impressed with the whole iHoops staff; they couldn’t have been a nicer and smarter group of people. The short exposure I had to them and what they’re doing to help out these kids was truly inspirational. You can read more about it at their site……
So my job this day was to shoot some pictures of them as they arrived at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. The primary areas I’d find them was at registration (flooded with San Diego sunlight), and the Locker Room (beautiful conference room lighting). I started out trying to shoot with my lightsphere on my sb800, but it just wasn’t working the way I wanted, so I switched over to primarily shooting my Nikon 35mm 1.8 on my d300s at ISO 1600 (in the LR that is). Some of my shutter speeds were a little too slow for these fast moving targets, but I had a great time hanging around these kids. Not a bad attitude in the bunch, and I’d say it was about 50/50 full of characters. The remaining 50% were just really nice, solid kids. Oh, and they can play basketball like no one’s business.