A Dunking Return with the Albany Patroons

I have to say this.  If it weren’t for the Albany Patroons ten years ago, I wouldn’t have gone full-bore into photography.

I shall explain.

Twelve years ago, when the Patroons returned to the area for their second iteration (Micheal Ray Richardson as head coach), I had a little Nikon CoolPix 800 camera that I used from time to time.  Nothing major, it was a bulky point-and-shoot that used big CompactFlash cards and a tonload of AA batteries.

I took the camera to a practice game.  Figured I’d get some action shots with it.

Yeah.  The shots I got … were painful.

A few days later, I bought my first digital SLR camera – a Nikon D70.

And we went from there.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I had made arrangements with Derrick Rowland, the Patroons’ current head coach, to photograph the team as they performed some post-practice dunking shots.  For me, I might want to use one or more of these shots in competition, and this would be my opportunity.

The players agreed.  And we got some really decent dunk shots.

Heck, I even lent the players my retro Albany Patroons game-worn jerseys so they could style and profile with them.

I turned some of the pictures into stitching shots.  Others, I fiddled around with various PhotoShop filters and disciplines and whatnot.

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Xavier Moon. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

That’s Xavier Moon flying through the air.  6’2″ guard from Morehead State.  A solid candidate for Rookie of the Year.

Let’s get some more.

Jerel Scott. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

You might remember Jerel Scott from his days at Bishop Maginn High School.

Sajie Pryor. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Sajie Pryor has been getting more minutes lately.  I think my kid may have gone to school with him back in Troy High…

Nick Evans. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

Nick Evans is one of the Patroons’ new signees, a 6’11” center from Central Illinois who played for several years in Canada.  Figured I’d give him a “selective shade” treatment here.

Steven Cunningham. Nikon Df camera, Irix 15mm f/2.4 lens. Photo (c) Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

And here’s Steven Cunningham, a 6’4″ swingman who starred at Troy University.  he’s also earned quality minutes throughout the season.

Right now the Patroons are 17-6 and are clamping down on the North American Premier Basketball League’s division title – and, if all goes well, the #1 overall seed in the playoffs.  Albany faces the Rochester Razorsharks at the Washington Avenue Armory this Saturday at 7:00 p.m.  Good seats are still available.

Much thanks to the Albany Patroons players and staff who helped put this all together.  It’s a long journey from my old Nikon CoolPix 800 to top-of-the-line gear.  But it’s a fruitful journey nonetheless.

You know what?  Sometimes it just feels good to have your camera and some great subjects to shoot.

It just feels good.

Yes it does.