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Weekend Happenings

04.21.2008 @ 12:30 PM in Buffalo
I made my debut as a media professional this weekend with my first ever photo credential at a Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse game. Andy Kulyk, a good friend and fellow WNYM blogger has been doing the sports reporting for a while. Thanks to his connections with AV and overall journalistic experience, he's credentialed all over and routinely enjoys seasonal press access to Sabres, Bandits, and Bison games. I'm not really a sports guy, but Andy keeps trying to get me to go to a game or two, whether hockey or baseball, and to take advantage of my press abilities (I'm credentialable? who knew?). I agreed to a Buffalo Bandits (National Lacrosse League) game, and sent off the request for a day photo pass for the 4-19 game against the Chicago Shamrox. I'm no photographer, and I certainly dont own a fancy DSLR (let alone use one), but I can snap a few commanding shots when needed. One thing I have never done is shot sports photography, let me tell you, its hard. I have to give a lot of credit to the pros for being able to watch the whole field for perfect moments through a little viewfinder while manhandling a giant telephoto lense. So here I go, all shy and completely green about all of this, as Andy gives me a rundown and tells me I'll have nearly unfettered acccess to the HSBC arena, minus the catwalk (damn!). I borrowed Angels Sony Cybershot DSC-H2 for the occasion, determined not to look like a silly blogger peeking his point-and-shoot through a tiny hole in the lexan. in addition to being a first for press credentials, this was a first for a watching lacrosse game. Andy gave me some details as I sat in the press box with him; I took note of the body favoring attire of lacross players. I decided I like this game, somewhat like soccer with a bit of hockey brutality. After watching a bit of the game from the box, I made my way down to the boards, and started to do my thing. Two things I learned immediately:
  • Don't use the boards for support. Bandits fans are crazy, and enjoy pounding on the lexan boards, resulting in a rattled photog who isn't paying attention to the crowd behind him,
  • A press pass does make you look cool. Might not get you laid, but let an energetic fan spot you with a camera and a press pass and you are immediately subjected to a display that can only be matched by a wild pheasant's mating rituals.
The most incredible thing to me was walking out onto the field, seconds after the game, to shoot a clip of the players making a victory lap (13-9 bandits BTW). The view from the field was amazing, seeing the view as a player would, peering out at the raving crowd, decked in the team colors of orange and black, totally awesome. The locker room was the final stop. I watched Andy and the other media guys shove recorders in players faces and hang on every word, I relaxed and took it all in. Leaving the stadium, Andy said I did everything right; I didn't tell him I almost got lost trying to find the press elevator. I suppose I'll do the press pass more often, its the best way to watch any game. Check out the photoset on flickr. There are also a few video clips of the Bandettes performing in between periods.