Miami Hurricanes Men’s Basketball

And So It Begins…Year 17!

Today was the start of my 17th season as the Hurricanes’ Team Photographer, and my 21st overall including my student years. Things have changed over that period of time, going from processing and printing film in my closet to digital processing and Photoshop work on a Mac. Photos that were distributed to primary clients via FedEx back then are done so via FTP today. Outside sales to editorial clients have been nearly entirely eliminated by agencies suck as Getty Images, who have largely commodified the market for stock photography, resulting in use fees at a fraction of what was realized in the past. In its place some photographers have moved to promoting themselves via websites and social media sites including Twitter and Facebook.

“Caneshooter” has become my identity and my brand online and in social media after just being a nickname hurled at me by another photographer back in the late 1990’s. I spend more time promoting my brand than I do shooting photographs. I have over 91,000 photos online, of just Hurricanes Athletics. I have this blog, a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account. I hope I post interesting stuff, and that you’ll look at my website, my blog, fan my page on Facebook or follow me on Twitter. And I really hope you’ll buy a print or a download!

ABOVE: Kenny Kadji poses earlier today during our basketball freshmen/transfer studio shoot at the School of Communication.


Here’s Looking at You, Reggie

Often we photographers will go to extremes to get a unique image. After recently acquiring a Canon G12 “point-and-shoot” consumer camera, I noticed it had a remote control port.

The bells went off in my head. Could I actually use a small consumer camera as a remote?

So for last night’s men’s basketball game vs. Maryland, I mounted the Canon G12 on the catwalk above the scoreboard at the BankUnited Center.

The Canon G12 is a 10mp consumer point and shoot camera with some pro features. Relevent to the image above, it has a 28-140mm f2.8-f4.5 lens, a hot shoe and the ability to manually expose and focus. But it’s main unpublicized feature is its ability to sync at a higher shutter speed than usual when using external flash due to its CCD sensor. With the right strobe and shutter speed, a photographer can overpower the sun on an outdoor shoot. That’s actually the reason I purchased one.

While mounting an overhead camera is nothing new, it’s the first time I’ve done it at the BUC. In the old Miami Arena, the catwalks were perfectly positioned above the rim on each end of the court. I often mounted a remote above one of the hoops there, as you can see from this shot of Darius Rice. In the BUC, the catwalks are farther out along the perimeter of the floor, with one climbing to a platform above the scoreboard. The view is at a slight angle, and through a hanging speaker assembly.

The next challenge was actually firing the camera. Using Pocket Wizard brand radios to trigger the shutter was easy, but the “shutter lag,” the time it takes for the camera to respond and fire the shutter, was my concern. Sure enough, it took an average of a second and a half between my pressing the button on my radio and the camera actually firing. While that may not seem like a long time to some, to me that’s the time between the ball leaving a shooter’s hands and it getting to the rim.

While I came up with six usable images, the “shutter lag” issue took some of my attention away from using my main camera. I just could not go from using my handheld setup to firing the radio in time to catch a rebound. So while this setup isn’t practical for every game use, it is workable for an occasional different look.

Image details: Canon G12, 140mm, 1/500 sec, f5.6 @ 200 ASA. Used with Speedotron 2401SX strobes, triggered via Pocket Wizard radios.


Major Wallpaper Update at Hurricanesports.com

Publications Coordinator Etta Schaller of the Hurricanes Media Relations department has created dozens of computer wallpaper graphics for your downloading pleasure over at Hurricanesports.com. Images include our work from the Coach Golden press conference and men’s & women’s basketball photo day and game action through this season. You may access the wallpaper section of Hurricanesports.com directly by clicking here.


‘Canes Hoops Open Season Friday

Both the men’s and women’s basketball season openers take place tomorrow at the BankUnited Center. The women tip off at noon and the men at 7:30pm. The women are led by juniors Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams (below) and the men by sixth year senior Adrian Thomas (above).


Miami Arena? Yeah, I Miss It

Miami Arena? Yeah, I miss it.

With its small capacity and lack of suites a beancounter’s nightmare, they did get one thing right.

The catwalks. Rafters. Whatever you want to call them. Most of you never looked up there, let alone walked on them. But with their placement, they were perfect for us photographers. For basketball, they crossed right above the rim on both ends. Another pair even lined up perfectly over goal for the Florida Panthers’ first five seasons.

I often mounted a remote over the basket in those days, as evidenced by the shot of James Jones against Providence College in 2000. This image is one of 290 images from the 2000 season I recently uploaded to the Caneshooter Archive. The ‘Canes won the Big East regular season championship that year and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the tournament.

When the ‘Canes moved to the BankUnited Center on campus, our perfect overhead remotes were history. The new building’s catwalks span the outside perimeter of the floor, and only one crosses the court, right above the scoreboard. There is one location for an off-center view of the hoop, and I may try it out this upcoming season.

So despite the inch thick layer of dust, chalk marks of how many bolts were loose and occasional rat, I kind of liked the “old” place. I’m likely the only one.


Reggie Johnson Makes SI’s Breakout List


Sophomore center Reggie Johnson has been named as one of five breakout sophomores to watch by Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn.

Winn has tested out a statistical method of identifying breakout sophomores based on a Basketball Prospectus study of players’ possession usage over their first three seasons.

Nebraska forward Christian Standhardinger, Texas forward Jordan Hamilton, Villanova guard Maalik Wayns and UCLA forward Reeves Nelson also made Winn’s list.

Read more at Sports Illustrated’s web site.


Durand Scott Named to ACC All-Tournament Team

Hurricanes freshman guard Durand Scott was named to the first team ACC All-Tournament for his performance in leading UM to the semi-final round in Greensboro this past week.

Scott is the first Miami player to earn first team ACC All-Tournament honors. Scott averaged a team high 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in three games.