Pink hoops at West Point

Army women's hoops
Army junior Nalini Hawkins reacts to a call on Feb. 14, 2010. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Being it was Valentine’s Day (ugh) and I needed to get my mind off of that fact, I packed up my gear in the Escape and drove up the Palisades to West Point yesterday for my first Army women’s basketball game. Army and I started off taking things slow during football season, but now we’re hooking up on Valentine’s Day…

Anyway I’d only shot at West Point’s Christl Arena once before, with R.J. when Army hosted Lehigh last month in a men’s game. The lighting here is really pretty bad; it’s “bright” in certain spots, but the fluorescent lights cycle a lot and it creates some funky color variants in images… not good especially in one corner where the lights have dimmed and are literally pink in color (which I suppose was appropriate for this game).

Light cycling can actually be seen right now during the Olympics when they show replays with their high-speed cameras, you can see the blinking lights.

Army's Nalini Hawkins takes on Lehigh. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Every time I shoot basketball, I reaffirm my thinking that it’s a sport that needs to be strobed with off-camera lights. I don’t shoot basketball very often and my high school hoops photo sales when I did weren’t impressive, so I haven’t assembled a collection of pocket wizards, but I probably will get a few at some point.

I didn’t get anything thrilling from this game at all… it’s making me look forward to baseball even more. You can see the light cycle thing in these first two photos in her skin tone.

The game: Army struggled much of the afternoon, lots of turnovers, out-rebounded, couldn’t build a comeback. It wasn’t a real exciting game but I tried a bunch of lenses… 400mm, 300mm, 85mm f/1.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 15mm f/2.8… it amounted to blah.

Black Knights head coach Dave Magarity makes a point to his bench during Army's loss to Lehigh at West Point's Christl Arena. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Army’s coach was nuts; a cadet asked me during the game if he was always so emotional. I don’t know, but I have my opinions on coaches who insist on screaming. First of all, these women are at West Point — they’ve had people screaming in their face for the last few years on a daily basis. Secondly, why do some coaches assume screaming equals improved performance? At least he made for interesting photos.

army fisheye
A fisheye shot of Army and Lehigh at West Point. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Army wore special pink-trimmed jerseys for breast cancer awareness… both teams wore pink shoe laces, and most everyone there had something pink on (including me!) They even had pink rock salt outside to melt the ice.

Army wore pink digital-camo jerseys for Valentine's Day. (Danny Wild/USMA)

Maybe next winter I’ll get some pocket wizards and put up a couple lights to shoot here. Next Saturday is Army-Navy so hopefully I get some better results.

I walked past Michie Stadium on my way out and had to snap a shot… only seven months until Army football begins:

michie stadium
Michie Stadium will host lacrosse this weekend. (Danny Wild/USMA)

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