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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

A unofficial poll: backboard camera's
Matt Brown, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 4:40 PM on 11.21.11
->> I would like to know how many of you have in the last two years have placed a backboard camera up at Division 1 men or women college basketball. And did you use black rap (gobo) to stop the reflection.

I was talking to an NCAA Employee about back board camera's and they think very few (less then 10) people across the country do it. I think the number is higher.
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 5:01 PM on 11.21.11
->> Don't do D-1 sports, but I would keep this little nugget in mind. The NCAA likes to remind photographers they only control what goes on at their tournaments. I'd suspect an employee doesn't have much contact with what goes on out in the provinces.
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Shane Bevel, Photographer
Tulsa | OK | USA | Posted: 5:44 PM on 11.21.11
->> I hang some type of remote at every D1 game I shoot. At least two as a matter of fact. Backboard remotes can be a pain, but I hang them at least twice a season. The rest are a combo of low/high post, overhead, floor and shot clock remotes.

However, I think that NCAA tourney rules forbid anything on the backboard/post during the post season. I could be wrong.

And yes, I use a gobo made of gaffers tape (front and back) to block reflections. You really have to or the images are not usable (at least in my venues)

I will say that the number of people who hang remotes (especially newspaper shooters) is falling, as well as the number of people that hang lights. But that's fine by me... keeps me looking good.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 6:25 PM on 11.21.11
->> x2 on Dave's comment on NCAA oversight.

I do backboard remotes a few times a year. I don't gobo it, because I've seen several times over the years that when other photographers at ND do use gobos, there is almost always some sort of issue. Usually arena staff or SID, but most recently, it was an official who raised a stink and if I recall correctly the photog had to get a on a ladder in the final minutes of warmups and take down the gobo. For whatever reason, the camera, magic arm(s) and whatnot don't draw attention to themselves, but cinefoil or fabric or whatever is the killer. I use a rubber lens hood and I'm careful about how I aim the camera and I've had pretty good luck with avoiding reflection issues. (Then again it's probably more often the case that I didn't get anything worth keeping from the backboard camera.)

Naturally, though, when TV wants to put up a camera THAT MOVES, that's never a problem. Eh, they're payin' for it.
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Shane Bevel, Photographer
Tulsa | OK | USA | Posted: 6:34 PM on 11.21.11
->> What kind of gobos are you using and how do you attach them?
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Al Goldis, Photographer
East Lansing | MI | USA | Posted: 12:06 AM on 11.22.11
->> Dave has a good point. With the exception of their own NCAA Photos photographers, since the NCAA doesn't allow ANY remotes attached anywhere on the basket for tournament games, I can see how an NCAA employee might think they are rare.

But "less than 10" across the country?! Yikes, there are half that many different photographers doing glass remotes over the course of a season at just ONE arena where I do most of my shooting. We used to use gobos until they put the kibosh on them (because of fans complaining).

Polarizers help a little, but you still get a lot of reflections without cinefoil.
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Robert Beck, Photographer
Carlsbad | CA | USA | Posted: 12:24 AM on 11.22.11
->> Who cares how many there are? I've had some schools say they have NEVER seen a glass remote. I've had some schools (CSU being the last) tell me the NCAA does not allow them. By rule they are not allowed during the tournament the exception being the ones SI puts up for Clarkson/NCAA. The rest of the time it is up to the schools. UCLA allows them but no black-wrap. Some schools need a little gentle persuasion. Some schools ask the coaches for permission. Some schools leave it up to the refs. But....I'm thinking more than ten.
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 12:33 AM on 11.22.11
->> I hang a remote for almost every UNLV game, usually on the backboard but sometimes in the catwalk at the Thomas & Mack. If I get to go on the road with them I try to hang one as well. A few years ago the head of facilities at T&M said no gobos - I think because someone used one that was big, sloppy and ugly. I slowly started using small cinefoil gobos a couple seasons ago and haven't had anyone question it yet.
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Chris Parent, Student/Intern, Photographer
Baton Rouge | LA | United States | Posted: 1:02 AM on 11.22.11
->> We put up remotes for prob 10 to 15 games a year between Men and Women's basketball at LSU and always use cinefoil with them. We've never had anyone complain about it so far.
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Shawn Cullen, Assistant
San Diego | CA | | Posted: 3:13 AM on 11.22.11
->> Matt,
In the last 2 years we have set up a glass remote at San Diego St., USC, University of Arizona, Arizona St., UC Berkeley, UNLV, and Duke. We even did one for the Carrier Classic. I think we set one up at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, pretty sure that was 2 years ago.

And yes, we used a gobo every time.
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Justin Edmonds, Student/Intern, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 3:50 AM on 11.22.11
->> I've done one in Denver and yes I've used a gobo. It seems to depend on the school/SID/coach/refs and the relationship that you have with them. I've done them plenty of times but run into issues at times as well. Every situation is different until you get to the tournament.
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Donald Page, Photographer, Photo Editor
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:04 AM on 01.07.13
->> Section 17. Logos/Names/Equipment
Art. 1. Logos, names or equipment of any kind (including school and conference
logos or names, cameras and microphones) shall not be permitted on the
backboards, rings, padding around the backboards, or on the shot clocks. Cameras
and microphones are permitted on the shot clocks when they are recessed such
that they do not extend beyond the plane of the back edge of the backboard.
A lavalier-type microphone properly positioned in the crease of the backboard
padding or between the padding and the backboard is permitted when it does not
interfere with a live ball or create a safety hazard.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 11:20 AM on 01.07.13
->> I've totally never understood the "love" of shooting behind the glass. I've used tons of remotes from just about everywhere in an arena.....but after setting up a "glasscam" remote many years ago I never did it again. why? The fact of the matter is it's basically a one trick pony. IF you even make a decent photo (okay this really only applies to staffers at mags or newspapers) the publication you work for is not going to use more than one shot from that angle. I just never saw the "cost and effect" sense in doing it. Also as a personal preference I just don't like the look of those shots, they really all look the same. But the NCAA "employee" must be living in a cave....I see glasscams quite frequently at ACC venues
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 11:57 AM on 01.07.13
->> Chuck, my friend, that wasn't the question Matt asked.

Oh, and Matt, don't remember last time I hung one; maybe a couple years ago. Prefer to stick with other angles (like high or low post) at Mavs.

Hope that helps,

- gerry -
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Tim Cowie, Photographer, Photo Editor
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 12:04 PM on 01.07.13
->> I agree with Chuck, but ironically the last game that I saw Chuck at (Davidson/Duke this past week), the officials had an issue with another photographers glass camera. The actual issue was with the black gobo more than it was with the camera.

The official said they were not allowed. They brought out the NCAA Championship handbook.

I do shoot a backboard camera on occasion. Too big of a pain in the ass to do for every game and I usually go with Chuck's line of thinking that there are plenty of other spots for remotes, of which, I am more likely to get a bigger bang for the buck.

All that being said, some of the comments earlier (looks like from a previous years) are in line. The rules govern the NCAA Championships. Generally speaking, 99% of what happens in the NCAA Championships, conferences adopt for their season. At the end of the day however, the conferences can make changes or adapt their own protocol for their conference games (from length of tv timeouts, etc.). Most conferences either don't address the glass camera rule or are ignorant of what goes on from game to game or school to school.

Some conferences have a specific rule about this subject. I believe the ACC and SEC has rules about remotes (I don't have the specific language to quote it). However, even here, I think the conference office writes the rules and has interpreted the rule incorrectly. I believe the ACC rule is written so that if you interpret it verbatim, it makes it sound as though any basket support system can have a remote above the height of the stansion pad. I think it was intended to mean that a camera can not extend out past the padding of any basket stansion. I also think that the ACC does not allow glass remotes.

Other conferences don't have specific rules about it or if they do, they allow it (SoCon and Big South allow it).

The problem lies in the fact that no one in the SID/athletic departments understand the rules in the regard to remotes and the bigger problem is the officials. They are officiating in 5 different conferences a week. They may understand what the ACC allows and doesn't allow, but then think that their rules applies to the other conferences they officiate in as well. Officials one night may say it's okay and the next night another set of officials say it's not okay. The official during the Duke/Davidson game who was saying that it needed to come down, has officiated a number of games prior where glass cams were set up and he never noticed.

At the end of the day, you are better off either being creative in other ways or checking before you go through all of the trouble.
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TJ Root, Photographer, Student/Intern
Towson | MD | United States | Posted: 1:27 PM on 01.07.13
->> I see this is a bit of a dug up thread so the initial question is a bit lost. Having said that, as of last year at Maryland, we(the team photographers) have started putting them up. It had previously not been allowed under Gary, but Turgeon does not care. For us, it produces a lot of usable images. Having said that, beyond a team application like ours, I agree with Chuck in that the output just is not high enough or special enough to be really worth the effort. We like having something different of people that we already have too many frames of but in terms of coverage its not massive.
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Jon Gardiner, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:36 PM on 01.07.13
->> Are they including Television cameras in that statistic?... There was an ESPN GoPro (SILVER in color, mind you) with a hard plate gobo behind one basket at Duke this past weekend.

-J
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Richard Orr, Photographer
Longmeadow | MA | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 01.07.13
->> I shoot DII and DIII. The Sids are usually excited that some photographer will do it. The refs don't care. And the biggest problem I've had is that the home court doesn't usually have a ladder tall enough.

There are SOME benefits being the little guy.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 1:52 PM on 01.07.13
->> I'm with Chuck on this too. With the ever-shrinking news hole, including the ridiculous narrow widths of most newspapers now, there is little room to do any kind of expansive view on the newsprint side.

I was told several years ago when we were considering doing a glass cam that we would have to produce liability coverage in the event of an accident. The publisher quashed that in two seconds.

And Chuck is right, the view from behind the glass looks the same regardless of who is playing. In fact, it looks the same from above too. Since we only have a D3 team locally, high school ball is king of the hill and readers want to see clear images of the players engaged in solid action, no gimmicks necessary.
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Tim Cowie, Photographer, Photo Editor
Davidson | NC | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 01.07.13
->> Jon, you can probably speak better to this than I can, but from my experience, any rule that is out there never seems to apply when TV or SI is covering a game :)
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Darren Carroll, Photographer
Cedar Creek (Austin) | TX | USA | Posted: 2:41 PM on 01.07.13
->> A slight bit off-topic, but you will notice that NCAA rule 17.1 posted above by Mr. Page makes absolutely no mention of mounting or clamping a camera to the support structure (i.e. the posts, ribs, beams, etc.) to which the "backboards, rings, [or] padding around the backboards" is attached.

A distinction initially pointed out to me by my favorite Sports Information Director (name withheld to protect the guilty) as he argued (successfully, I might add) in support of such a camera for me after I was asked to take it down by a Big 12 conference official.

A hair's-breadth distinction, to be sure, but one that might be helpful to have in your proverbial back pocket.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Atlanta | Ga | USA | Posted: 3:03 PM on 01.07.13
->> Tim, well put.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:27 PM on 01.07.13
->> I've done it once in the last two years - but like others have said, I prefer high post (which I do almost every game) or other remote locations. SID and I met with the coach to get his OK before I did it. Didn't use a gobo, reflection wasn't bad but I'd probably use a gobo if I did it again.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 3:38 PM on 01.07.13
->> See, this is why I love the World Wide Web. Dude asks a really straightforward question -- one that's essentially about quantity, numbers -- and folks decide to not answer it, and instead opine their opinions.

Internet = Opinions > Facts

I love this game.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 3:40 PM on 01.07.13
->> And of course I'm really just as guilty.

Matt -- for a DI game I would have to go back more than two years. But yes I did have to use gobo.

Not sure if that helps.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:45 PM on 01.07.13
->> McCarthy - That's what the Off-Topic button is for. And yes, this post is also off-topic. :-)
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Shawn Cullen, Assistant
San Diego | CA | | Posted: 7:49 PM on 01.07.13
->> Matt,
You can add UC Santa Barbara to the list of schools we have use a glass remote with a gobo.

Tim Cowie,
SI does not always get a glass remote. There have been at least 5 times over the years that I have been told to take down the glass remote after setting it up on an SI assignment. Stanford University being the most recent, but that was years ago. ASU said yes, but only because it was a non conference game. I believe Duke said the same thing. I don't cover many college games until the NCAA Tournament starts though. Maybe 5-7.

TV will get what they want, whether it's a GoPro, or a Robo camera like ESPN uses for some NBA games.
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Thread Title: A unofficial poll: backboard camera's
Thread Started By: Matt Brown
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