John and I have been looking for a way to build our portfolio and enhance our capabilities so we decided to enroll in Sports Photography School. I dug out my old satchel from the bottom of the wardrobe and insisted that John find my pencil case as I was very keen to make a good impression. But it turns out that photography school isn’t based in a classroom, but is actually an event shooting experience that takes you to all sorts of interesting settings. Like the Copper Box Arena (a multi-sport venue in the Olympic Park in London used for the 2012 Summer Olympics) which was the location for a championship British Basketball League game between the London Lions and the Bristol Flyers last Friday.
Apparently the Flyers are a force to be reckoned with and unbeaten in their last few games. However the Lions triumphed that night due to their mastery of offensive and defensive techniques. Oh yes, I learned more than just how to improve my photography. I discovered that basketball players pass and shoot, but more worrying they also foul, block and dribble. Most of these guys were over 6 feet tall with huge strides and an extraordinary ability to navigate through the crowded areas of the court. As you can see from the pictures, they were also adept at leaping vertically into the air, an essential skill required to perform a classic slam-dunk.
It was a great opportunity for John and I to develop our camera skills and I learnt loads about the importance of backgrounds and the challenges of timing key moments. Some of the fun moments of the evening involved these pretty ladies collectively known as the Lioness’s as they danced their support for the team, always smiling and so cheery. But there is also a role for the more sporty ladies out there and the game is played professionally by women in England. The Women’s English Basketball League is a professional competition that has thirty national league sides and includes teams such as the Rhondda Rebels and the Sheffield Hatters. I just love the names of basketball teams, like the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Denver Nuggets. I discovered that there appears to be great reverence directed towards the feline species demonstrated through the names of teams such as the Charlotte Bobcats, the Detroit Tigers, the San Jose Sabercats, the Florida Panthers and closer to home, the Nottingham Wildcats. I approve!