Wall Street Journal - Basketball Cover

Monday, February 20, 2006 Concept/Objective:

Assignment ConstructThis assignment was for the Wall Street Journal, and the GW Colonials basketball team were doing better than expected,  It was decided that the Final Four special section for March Madness was to feature the team on the cover, and I was asked to produce the image they needed for that.


Assignment ConstructAssignment ConstructThe challenge at hand was how to dramatically depict eight people, in a group – vertically. I scouted the assignment before hand, locating power outlets, and determined the best way to not only light – evenly – eight people in a staggered manner, but with enough depth of field that they would all be in focus, as well as enough watt-seconds of power to light the entire gym. Working with the Sports Information Director, we determined two days prior, what the best locations were, and I shot scouting shots (these two here) and sent them to the Art Director. Having four assistants on hand made this shoot go smoothly. We determined we’d shoot two images, in two locations in the gym.


Assignment ConstructThe day of the assignment we arrived and began setting up of-court, as the players were still practicing. We had a lengthy load-in process, and began pulling all of the equipment out and pre-staging it based upon if it was for shoot location 1, or shoot location 2. Once the players were off the court, we began setting lights, and assistants would stand in as we tested light levels.

Assignment ConstructOnce the players were showered and re-suited-up, they came back out and stood in our pre-set positions. After several images, we were done with position 1, and moved to position 2. The only on-court changes that needed to be made were the moving of a few lights out of the background fo position 2.

Assignment ConstructAssignment ConstructAs we moved to the second position, the unjured player that had not suited up, turned up, and the coach decided he wanted to include him after all, and so we waited while he suited up, since he was expected to play later in the season. The second image had the injured player - a key one - and the first one did not. Thus, in the end, they went with the second image, for that reason. Both images were done in under 30 minutes combined.


Assignment ConstructThe processing of the files to an online gallery, followed by delivery of final files was what was called for on this assignment.

Final Analysis:

The AD knew approximately what she would be getting, but of course, the fidelity of the final files enhanced her happiness with the shoot. I was pleased we were able to seamlessly execute two shoots. Assignments like this are always a challenge, and meeting – and exceeding – client needs is especially rewarding.

Posted by John Harrington on 02/20

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