Creating the cover of this year’s Press of Atlantic City basketball preview started with the idea for the main story: who were the male and female high school players that our sports department considered two of the most talented players in our area? The photo concept came from the name of the preview section: Tipoff. It’ s sometimes said that the first idea during brainstorming should be dismissed. But we liked the idea of a tipoff. Next step was get the two players to a gym, arrange to have a tall ladder and start lighting. Michael Ein was the photographer who was shooting with a Nikon D700 digital camera, 28-70 mm f 2.8 zoom lens and two portable Nikon strobes mounted on stands at half power shooting into umbrellas. Mike shot at an ISO of 4500 to allow him to shoot at a shutter speed of 1/250 and an aperture of f11. He shot from the top of the ladder and had the athletes bounce the ball off the backboard. He was careful not to focus on the ball, which was closed to the camera, but focus just beyond the faces. This allowed depth of field to maintain sharpness from the ball almost to their sneakers. So many people shooting with auto-focus cameras forget depth of field and how it can work to your advantage. After 20 or so jumps we sere satisfied that we had several different images to choose. The result is shown here with some of the out takes.

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