One of my main responsibilities at the Journal-World is covering Kansas University football and basketball games. It's quite a production given the number of pictures we run in the newspaper and online, as well as all the equipment necessary to transmit photos from game sites.
Things get even more interesting when the game is a Big Monday or rivalry game. Because we're in the middle of basketball season, I'll use that as my example.
We tend to publish seven to 10 pictures per game in the newspaper and up to 20 in a Web gallery at kusports.com. Without digital photography, it would be impossible to shoot an entire game by myself, on deadline, and get as many pictures as we use.
Using digital cameras, I'm able to save time that I would normally spend developing, drying and scanning negatives. Now I just transfer my pictures directly from the camera using high-capacity compact flashcards and copying them onto my laptop hard drive.
After all the pictures are on my laptop, I begin editing them by scanning through the frames with image-browsing software that shows me a small version of each shot. I select as many as I need and write captions for each picture, saving the edited picture again before transmitting via phone lines, ethernet or a cell phone back to the paper.
During most games, I will start this process during the 10-minute halftime, getting in as many pictures as early as I can for both the paper and the Web. During really late games, I will even edit and transmit from the floor while still shooting the game by using a cell phone and my laptop during timeouts and dead-ball situations.
Accomplishing all this requires some pretty advanced equipment. I will typically bring the following to a KU basketball game:
- At least two digital cameras and five camera batteries (more if I'm placing remote cameras).
- Four lenses ranging from 17mm to 300mm.
- Three to five remote triggers and receivers to trip the strobes in the ceiling of Allen Fieldhouse.
- Laptop computer (fast enough to run four programs at once, while connected to the newspaper).
- Four to six compact flashcards.
- Cell phone for transmitting.
- Supports for any remote cameras.
- All necessary cables and power cords.