Monday, March 24, 2014
A Different Perspective
The End. Gerry shot his last basketball game of the 2013-14 season last night. Whoop! Here we are out on the court before the start of the tournament yesterday, with his photo editor and all around super nice guy, Mike Stewart and fellow bureau photographer and also nice guy, Chuck Burton.
You know, I don't think you can truly appreciate what someone does for a living until you spend some time with them where they work. Gerry has shot 20 ball games in the past 12 days, and let me tell you, that is no easy feat! The arenas are freezing cold, the food is mediocre at best and given to you at odd times, the media room is dark and crowded, the noise from the bands and the crowds, deafening. The hours are long and and stressful, you lose all concept of time and space in these large arenas. There are security guards with over zealous authority that you have to argue with, there are elevators to wait for, there are rules that make no sense, and as I have now experienced there are the GWC's (guys with cameras) that want to hunt with the big dogs. Somehow these GWCs get credentials to be there and then annoy and interfere in all ways possible with the professionals that are there to do their job. I got to experience one of these GWCs last night and now I understand why I hear so much complaining about this.
Working with pros like Gerry and Mike and Chuck was a privilege and an honor and I had a really great time watching them do their thing. Only a few amazingly great photographers get a job with the Associated Press and I am really glad to live with one of them and see the world through his eyes from time to time!
At every halftime and at the end of every game, I walked this catwalk in the rafters to retrieve discs from the cameras mounted over the basket.
Cameras for AP, USA Today, Getty, Sports Illustrated and the News and Observer in Raleigh were mounted up here. The burlap is down to keep small objects from falling to the floor and propelling like a bullet to the court below. It is nerve wracking making sure you don't drop anything while puling cards.
Then I walked down this very long hallway all the way around the 5th floor of the PNC center, back to the elevator and down to arena level to the media room. This hallway is for broadcast and there are booths for the sports reporters overlooking the court, it's quite nice up here for the reporters. The photographers get a dark basement......
Mostly, this was my view of the games from the media room. The dark freezing cold dungeon they put the photo/TV media in. There is a monitor behind me with a court side feed, not the regular TV feed, so no commercials and no broadcasters, just court sound and view, a really good way to watch a game! Mike sat to my left with his computer set up to ingest cards and edit the photos, send them out of the world to see. We had three runners that would go out on the court at every halftime and bring the camera discs in. I fetched food, coffee, water, popcorn, whatever they needed. It is a crazy world these guys live in!
My concept of time has been bizarre this weekend. For instance, Sunday, Gerry and I slept late, got breakfast around noon, got to the arena at 3pm, and then saw no outside views until after midnight. We ate supper around 3pm, then the first game at 6pm, last game 9pm, out of the arena after midnight, in bed after 2am. This is how Gerry has spent the last six months. I honestly do not know how he does it!
When you see your sports page online or in the newspaper, do you really understand how that image came to be? It's not that easy.
This is also the arena where Gerry shoots hockey and he has a game back here on Tuesday night. That will also be over soon and our lives will go into a different rhythm.
Ahhhh.... life with a photojournalist! This is why I don't have a traditional career of my own. How would we ever see each other?!