The Winston-Salem Open came to the Old North State featuring a warm-up for several before the US Open. If one thinks four days of golf makes for a long week shooting, well, five days of tennis might just top that.
The primer for sports season that leads to football, then basketball, is the final PGA tournament of the year, the Wyndham Championship. Here are a few from the tournament that saw Brandt Snedeker not only lead from start to finish, but shoot the second best round ever in a PGA event.
I started this career just under three years ago. Since that time I have been to more places and attended more special events than I ever thought I would. If you follow me on social media, particularly Facebook, you will likely know I have mentioned how #blessed I am on numerous occasions.
Friday marked another one of those moments. Not only did I get to attend part of the March Madness with the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte, I was able to do so from the baseline with a camera in hand.
Although my team, NC State, lost in Wichita, Kansas the night before (and I didn't travel with them), I was hired by the Kansas State Wildcats to shoot for them for the weekend. In the process I was able to cover the other three games of the day as well. Those included Texas A&M vs Providence, North Carolina Tarheels (#NotOurRival) vs Lipscomb, and Virginia vs UMBC.
Think of this for a moment. I was able to shoot the defending champions (UNC) and the #1 team in the country (UVA) in the same weekend. And...I got to both witness and capture a bit of history with UVa becoming the first #1 seed to ever fall to the #16 seed.
Here are a few shots from the day.
After taking a three goal lead, the Carolina Hurricanes were downgraded to a small March breeze in the third period, giving up 5 goals in a 6-4 loss to Boston. This was my second NHL game and the first in which I was assigned a 'hole'. What this means is I had the opportunity to shoot through a hole in the glass rather than shooting through the glass.
Here are a few photos from the night, however you can check out the entire gallery at InsideHockey.com.
When I was in school, I always dreamed of attending the ACC tourney. At the time, we often watched the first round (on Friday) games in class, and if our class didn't have a television, we had a single ear bud run through the sleeve of our shirt from a transistor radio and would lean on the hand where the ear bud was located so we could hear the games.
Later, in college, I dreamt of one day covering the tourney, but as a writer.
Starting today, this bucket list item is being checked off, and I am seeing the action straight from the baseline as I cover the games throughout the week. Here are some shots from day 1's action.
Game 1 - ACC women's tournament. #1 seed Louisville defeated #5 seed NC State 64-59 in a tightly contested matchup in the semi-finals.
Game 2 - Then, I headed from Greensboro to Raleigh to catch the men's teams in the final regular season game. NC State defeated Louisville 76-69 on senior night to finish tied for 3rd place in the conference after being picked 12th in the preseason.
Not going to lie. After shooting four games back to back with limited time between each, my body starts to feel it at the end. But, in just a few weeks, I won't remember or feel the wear, but I will remember covering the tourney. Here are a few from the quarterfinal round:
Day 1, even though the teams are the bottom of the league, proved to be a great time for those that did attend. UNC defeated Boston College, Georgia Tech defeated Clemson, and Wake defeated Pitt.
Many of the players I remember from last season's tournament, and there were several photographers that I have shot with multiple times in attendance as well.
Don't ever discount women's basketball. Especially if it is the ACC tournament. It is an incredible experience for sports fans, basketball fans, and yes, even photographers.
Last season I covered the ACC Women's tournament for the first time. Lots of basketball, a multitude of personalities, and some of the best basketball in the nation, regardless of gender. And yes, gender had a lot to do with that tournament as it was moved to South Carolina from North Carolina due to the now infamous 'bathroom law'.
This season, I once again will be on the baseline with camera in hand, and likely a remote camera placed in various locations as well. Unlike last season, I will not be able to cover every game due to other work I have scheduled, but I do have the following games tentatively scheduled:
February 28: UNC/Boston College 1pm, Georgia Tech/Clemson 330pm, Wake Forest/Pittsburgh 630pm.
March 1: Matchup featuring Virginia 6pm, matchup featuring Miami 8pm
March 2: Matchup featuring Duke 11am, matchup featuring Louisville 2pm, matchup featuring Notre Dame 6pm, matchup featuring Florida State 8pm.
March 3: 12pm semifinal game.
March 4: 2pm Championship game.
Attached below are a few from last season's tournament.
One of my proudest moments in my photography career was when I was asked to shoot the men's basketball program for North Carolina State University, which so happens to also be my alma mater.
The second-to-last home game of the season saw the #25 ranked Florida State Seminoles come to Raleigh in a battle for positioning in the ACC standings. NC State saw their win streak advance to 4, and defeated their 5th ranked opponent on the season on their way to a tie for 4th in the conference with 2 games to go.
The Wolfpack defeated the 'Noles 92-72.