Archive for the basketball Category

Kickin’ it with Smooth

Posted in basketball, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on April 2, 2008 by lenscapremoved

It was one of those assignments that you see and instantly call dibs.

Beat writer Travis Waldron told me he would be hanging out with UK basketball star Ramel Bradley while he polished off his single before releasing it and I knew this was an assignment I wanted. I spent all of my days in high school recording music and I still love music studios. The whole process is very similar to writing a story in that you take time fixing all the little details until it’s as far as you can take it.

I ‘m also a Ramel fan. He plays with a lot of heart and I admire that about him. Also, if you have ever seen his news conferences then you know how well he handles himself. So the chance to combine music, Ramel and photography was an obvious choice.


The challenging part of assignments like this one is to find a shot that is different from what everyone else is going to have. Everyone you see in the photo above besides Ramel is with the media. I shot this frame only to show the setting. Former Kernel photo adviser Dave LaBelle always told me not to just get caught up in the subject, but to take a step back and look at the media madness your subject draws. I think that’s good advice.


The only problem with some of the photos you pull from one of these shoots is that they’re basically completely staged for the media. I doubt Ramel would have been in this situation if it weren’t for the half a dozen media outlets who were covering this one song recording. But that’s part of what our audience wants to see with this story, Ramel off the court. I just try to keep in mind what my goals are. To show the audience a true representation of a scenario they can’t get to themselves.

Please check out the mixed media piece to get the full experience.

While the opinions on this blog are the best, they do not represent that of the Kentucky Kernel. All photos are property of the Kentucky Kernel. If you’re interested in purchasing photos comment and let me know.


Cats survive last minute scare

Posted in basketball, photography, photojournalism on February 28, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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Last night I shot the Ole Miss game. I did much, much better than I did at the last game, Arkansas.

I think I’m coming a long as a shooter from working with mixed media so much. I think differently simply because you have to. I’m finally starting to realize how much of this art is just within your brain.

I was telling Emily and Kristin that I used to shoot really old school, like Dave, because he was all I had been exposed to. The guy sees features, you know, the moments, better than any one I have ever shot with. He truly is one of the best in the country at finding a picture. I was all about that when I first started shooting and didn’t put all of my efforts into the rest. But that’s not a good plan.

Then, I think I became a little consumed with building a picture. “Oh, I can layer. Ooh boy look at all of that repetition. Wait, if I expose for the highlights I can make it look like that cool shot by whoever.” For a long time I was doing what Jim calls trying to be like your favorite photographer. You’re copying that person’s style so hard that it gets in the way of your own.


In Evarts, during the workshop, Britney told me that all the pictures I shot were like what she thinks my portfolio should look like, but it doesn’t. I think I’m finally starting to match my pictures to where my heart is. I am starting to find my place. I can see it just in my multimedia photos. They’re pushing my boundaries.

I’m trying to out think the guy next to me, because that’s when I will get him. Not when I can have a D3 that is capable of 25000 ISO or when I can pull frame grabs or when I can snatch up 10 fps.

All of that is great, but I don’t need that anymore. I hope you’re seeing what I’m finally feeling. I notice it in some of your pictures. Some of my friends who have started to develop their style are Ed, Britney and Elliott.

I’m not worried about “keeping up” with them or anybody anymore. I just want to do what feels right.

Uk vs. Arkansas

Posted in basketball, photojournalism on February 23, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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I don’t care to look lame

Posted in basketball, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, University of Kentucky on February 19, 2008 by lenscapremoved

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Tonight was the first night that I actually used my G9 for my job.

We covered the UK vs. Georgia mens basketball game. Long before tip off (as in weeks before) I knew I wanted to use this camera. I snapped it on a monopod to steady my video.


Warning: If you purchase a camera go ahead and prepare for the ridicule you’re going to get from not only your friends but every other photographer at any event you’re covering. I had 6 photographers make comments and about half of those were negative.


Dear old timers, times are a changin’. While video is a bit shaky because I’m still new at this, it will get better. Just because I’m using something that fits in my palm and didn’t cost $7,000 doesn’t mean it sucks. Technology is always growing. So keep snickering. I will eventually out pace your fancy camera-mixed media pieces. Partly because this camera has a lot of quality in a little body, but mostly because I am determined to.


They control more than your TV

Posted in basketball, Kernel, Photo lesson, photography, photojournalism, sports on February 3, 2008 by lenscapremoved

I finally gave in and bought my own.

After three years of borrowing Keith’s p-wizards and tabletop tripod and Ed’s p-wizards, I finally gave in and bought my own. I should be getting two transceivers in the mail this week.

I didn’t have those this weekend though, and thanks to Ed, I used his and Elliott’s gear to set up the rig below.

All of this is because I didn’t have a tabletop tripod. That’s a magic arm mounted to a huge, bulky tripod. It looks ridiculous because it is. I wanted to do this to show perspective. Wheelchairs are closer to the ground and that in itself is different, but these hardcore players are constantly knocking each other over. So I kind of wanted to have a picture that would give you that angle. I never got it though.


The picture above is about as good as it got. I wanted all this action right in my face. I need someone falling onto my camera or this same moment above. If you’re quick you saw that No. 22’s wheels are up. It’s intense action. But this is basically the same shot you go for at other basketball game floor remotes.


Unfortunately, this is my best shot. Basically all you get is the ugliest lights you have ever seen and little action. Under the goal shots are the same here. Armpits.

But the remotes did not fail. During the second half I tried a whole new remote. The pole-camera. Stick a camera on a monopod, hook it up to a remote or trigger cable and bam, you  just added about 6-8 feet to your own height. It’s amazing.

The shot below is a subtle example. It’s only a bit higher than my own vantage point. But it’s a pretty solid storytelling moment.


But here is where I was most satisfied. I was trying to figure out the shot. All of these wheelchairs on a basketball court. That is just an amazing picture, if you can find it. I am very pleased with this shot. While it’s not a great action shot, or amazing face, it’s storytelling. You know what you’re looking at.


I can’t wait to get remotes so I can start trying out all of these crazy ideas that are going on in my head.

Potentially has potential

Posted in basketball, quick and easy, sports on February 1, 2008 by lenscapremoved

These photos aren’t really good, but tomorrow is when I’ll be putting all my effort into shooting this. I covered Hill on wheels, from Louisville, at this tourney a few years ago. Now I’m going to do a mixed media piece on it for K[mm]. You can kind of see that I started looking for different angles, but this is all with my wide 16-35. Tomorrow I’ll be equipped with P-wizards, two cameras, three or four lenses and of course, audio equipment.


This player needs a ball.


I need to be higher and have this dude’s face.


Very typical wheelchair basketball photo.


Boring photo.


Kind of interesting. I can’t wait to reshoot this.

UK vs. UT – Pearl hunting

Posted in basketball, photography, photojournalism, Photos for sale, sports, University of Kentucky on January 26, 2008 by lenscapremoved

Despite how much I hate Tennessee, I actually like their coach.

Bruce Pearl is perfect for college basketball. Anyone who will go to a women’s basketball game with their body painted is a fun guy.

He’s also full of great faces. I captured a lot of emotions out of him, which is important when you don’t know how the game is going to end. You want to have the right moment for the story. I think that moment is in this top photo where he realized his No. 3 Vols were falling to what was supposed to have been a bad basketball team.

Agony of defeat – Rupp is erupptinghere and he is just taking it in.

Anticipation – wishfully looking on to see if the ball drops.

Confusion – arguing a call

Bustin’ a rhyme – Yo, my name is! Er, no. Just coaching his players. 

Respect – Pearl is very cool about his coaching. Not screaming his head off. He listens to his players. 

Yelling – but he does still let a few shouts loose. 

Eff – this looks like it’s a big curse word. 

All pictures on Beyond the map stars are the property of the Kentuckian and Brad Luttrell. They are available for purchase upon request. Taking photos from this site is stealing. Also, and this is important, all commentary on BTMS is the opinion of Brad Luttrell. While his opinions are likely the best, they do not represent the Kentuckian, Kernel or anyone else who has the misfortune of being associated with Luttrell.