This was the first time I ever shot a basketball game, ever. I have done football (in high school and college). I have done hockey a few times at Griffins games here in Grand Rapids, MI. I did some baseball with my kids this last year. The photos came out pretty good. The hockey was pretty fast paced, but nothing like basketball. I think that the biggest reason the basketball was so much of a challenge was I got to be right down courtside (the beauty of a press pass). So I was almost right in the middle of the action.
I was unsure what lens to use for this. It was all new to me. I did tell Justin that this was a new experience. He was so cool about it. They are just happy to have people volunteer to shoot (he did say afterwards that he was happy with the photos I sent him - yea). I was shooting with a Nikon D80. The D80 is not known for high ISO. As a matter of fact it tops out at 3200, and gets kind of noisy there. I only have one fast lens, my 50mm f/1.8 prime. So that is what I shot most of the night. It worked like a dream, and I was able to stay down at 1600 with that lens.
I was also happy with the lens when the Rockford Competitive Dance Team came out during the half (is that what it is called in basketball?). I was able to get some good shots. I almost wish I had the 35mm prime (one of the lenses on my shopping list). I lost a lot of shots simply because they were so close I missed the framing. I included some of those in the photo gallery below. I am looking forward to more games. I am also looking forward to getting better at sports photography. It is fun partly because I am understanding photography so much more now than I did 30 plus years ago in high school. Many things are just clicking well. So I am able to adapt so much faster now. That is something I tell my students. Get to know the camera and subjects like exposure until those become second nature. That way you don't have to think about them and you can focus on the subject at hand, getting a good photo of the subject. Good shooting.