Adventures in College Basketball Photography


As you might have heard (a dozen or so times by now) I’m currently working as a photographer for the O’Colly, OSU’s newspaper. So far this semester I’ve gotten to shoot all kinds of fun and interesting stuff, but I think basketball has got to be my favorite so far. I get to use nice fancy equipment, sit on the floor up-close-and-personal, and I didn’t need to pay for basketball tickets this year! Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. And basketball is without-a-doubt my favorite sport to watch live. There’s just so much back-and-forth to basketball games, you’re not just sitting around waiting for someone to score like football or soccer. Plus the fans are get so involved when they’re in an enclosed arena, the volume and intensity is crazy. Though it is hard to keep track of exactly what’s happening in the game while you’re shooting it. You get so caught up in trying to shoot around the refs at the perfect second and half the time I wasn’t even aware of what the score was.

Below I’ve posted a more in-depth summary of my experience, as well as some of my favorite shots from the game. Enjoy!

I got to the arena at about 6:45, and the game was set to start at 7. I went in through the “media entrance,” which is basically a table right next to the regular entrance, where I signed in and got a wrist band that let me into the game and onto the floor. Unfortunately, I didn’t know exactly where I was supposed to be, other than kneeling in a little painted box on the floor somewhere under the basket. So I kind of wandered around trying to look like I knew what I was doing until I finally spotted another photographer and found where I was supposed to be.
By that time there were about 10 minutes left before the game began, so I used that time to take some test shots and fool around with the equipment I’d checked out for the game. The camera was a Nikon, and I typically shoot Canon, so figuring out where all the buttons had moved around to took some getting used to. Luckily I managed to locate the most important features pretty quickly, so I get everything adjusted how I liked it.
Then the game started and flew by. Half the time I didn’t even know what the score was, because I was so focused on trying to get shots around the stupid referees who seem to have a spider-sense of the exact second to step right in front of what would have been a perfect photo. Halftime gave me a chance to go through and delete the (literally) hundreds of out of focus images and keep the decent ones. Then the game started again and I got sucked right back in. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but once I got used to how quickly I needed to be able to shoot, things got much easier. Below are some of my favorite shots.

  1. Hey great pictures! That is pretty impressive and keep putting your pictures up I actually enjoy looking at them. I am impressed though, I’ll be sure and keep looking for your name in the O’colly. Good luck with everything.

  2. Wow. I must say you’re an amazing photographer.

    What kind of camera do you have by chance?

    • Thank you very much!

      The camera I personally own is a Canon Rebel XSi, but the one I use for basketball games is a Nikon I check out from the O’Colly. Not exactly sure of the model number, but it’s definitely out of my price range!

  3. Awesome pictures. I love basketball season, too! Your photos capture the feel of the games so well!

    • Thanks! Basketball season is the best. There’s so much energy going around, and the players just seem more accessible that the football players do.

  4. Krystyna said:

    YOU ROCK AT PHOTOGRAPHY! I love these photos and I know that all the guys will too. I love the one of Moses (he’s just so photogenic) and the one of Nick. I will continue to creep on all your photos until season is done!

    • Marshall is SO fun to take photos of. I have some more from the last couple games I need to post soon!

  5. llyon89 said:

    You are a great photographer! Great action shot.

  6. I love the pic where Moses is holding his junk. You see that a lot in basketball but never really long it happens so fast and you aren’t even focused on it. I am surprised you got that pic taken. Nice Job!

  7. Like others said, the pic of Marshall is great since I see him doing that all the time during the games. These photos are amazing! You are an excellent photographer. Keep up the great work!

  8. Amazing pictures, I wish I had your skill in photography, haha.

    I too, love basketball live. Though football’s crowds are loud and intense, there’s just something about a basketball crowd that is…electrifying. I don’t know how to explain it any other way. The games are fast and physical, and the crowd seems to respond right along with it without missing a step. It’s truly a great thing to see.

    Have you ever been to an OKC Thunder game? If you haven’t, I suggest you do. The crowd alone is well worth the arm and leg to get in and get some snacks at the game.

  9. bobbyc24 said:

    Really cool pictures. You did a good job putting this post together. Too bad we are going to be horrible this year.


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