This post has been a long time coming, but narrowing down over 20,000 photos into a top 10 list is quite daunting. If you like basketball or photography, or like them in combination with each other, then this article is for you. 

I judge my photos based on a few criteria. 

  1. Is the subject in focus? 
  2. Is it exposed correctly? 
  3. Does it have a strong composition?
  4. Does it tell a story?
  5. Is there a strong impact when viewed?

In my mind, all of these photos meet these criteria, and I’m happy to share these with you! 

Without any further ado, let’s get to the photos! 

#10: 76ers Fieldhouse opening night. 

These types of shots are some of my favorite to take. I love finding ways to use my fisheye lens. The fisheye lens can view 180 degrees from corner to corner. In comparison the human eye can only see about 120 degrees, so the fisheye gives us a view that we are unable to see naturally, and if captured well it really gives the viewer a total complete view of what is going on.

I took about six or seven frames while getting this shot. To lean out, hold the camera level, and shoot at the exact angle to get the whole court in the frame is no easy task, but it is well worth the time and effort to capture.  

The 76ers Fieldhouse is the perfect arena for the G-League to operate in, and I look forward to shooting there in the future. 

Canon 5DmkII  Canon EF 15mm Fisheye f/2.8  1/1600 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO1600

#9: Connor Johnson voicing his displeasure

Who doesn’t love when their coach gets fired up at the ref instead of at you? Coach Connor is generally a very kind and thoughtful individual. He knew my name after meeting me just once. However, if you wrong him, you will hear about it.

This photo was after an awful charge was called against Cam Oliver after he made a game-tying basket with less than five seconds left. Part of what I look for when I’m shooting sports is raw emotion. You can certainly feel the emotion by just looking at the coach here. 

Canon 1Dx MkII  Canon 70-200 f/2.8L ISII  140mm 1/1000 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2000

#8: Matt Farrell watches his shot

This photo is pretty self explanatory, but it was one of the first games after I got my Canon EF 400mm 2.8LII lens. This lens is normally reserved for soccer, football, or baseball: sports where the subjects are not very close to you. However, this lens allows me to get tight shots with incredible detail while achieving awesome bokeh (blurry background) at the same time. 

I got many strange looks while lugging this big lens around, but the results are totally worth it. 

Canon 1Dx MkII  Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS II  1/800 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#7: Norvel Block

Norvel Pelle had tons of awesome blocks this year. In fact, he finished the year tied for second in the league with 3.0 blocks per game. 

A few times this year, I went and sat up in the stands even with the basket to get a perspective that you normally don’t get to see. The attempt was to get a player’s face right at the rim while dunking. That sadly did not work, but I did happen to get this sweet shot of Norvel’s blocks. I love the detail in his outstretched arm and the total focus on getting the block. 

Canon 1Dx MkII  Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS II  1/800 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#6: Matt Farrell channels his inner Dr. Strange

Matt Farrell loves Marvel superheroes. If you’ve seen Dr. Strange or any Avengers movies with him in them, you know that he has the ability to float. About once or twice per game, Matt would drive across the baseline and leap into the air while finding someone to pass to. This was my favorite one that I captured. 

Canon 1Dx MkII  Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8L IS II  24mm at 1/800 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#5: Norvel’s nightly introductions

One of the most enjoyable parts about photographing the Blue Coats this year was the genuine fun they had with each other. Nothing could get a smile on everyone’s face faster than when Norvel was introduced. He would think of some little dance move, charge full steam ahead, or a combination of the two, and he always had the whole team smiling.

This photo personifies what Norvel introductions are all about. 

Canon 1Dx MkII  Canon 24-70 mm f/2.8L IS II  24mm at 1/800 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#4: Cam Oliver dunk

I have about 40 very good shots of Cam dunking. It was really hard to narrow it down to just one for this list. I chose this one because it’s the only dunk where Cam was standing on another grown man’s back, and it brought the Blue Coats to within one with 24 seconds to go in the game. I love the fans’ reactions in the bottom left of the frame as well. 

Canon 5DSR  Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II  105mm at 1/1000 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2000

#3: Amir comes down to Delaware

If you are a Sixers fan, you probably heard about Amir Johnson coming down to Delaware so he could stay fresh in case the Sixers needed him. I love everything about this photo. Amir’s determination perfectly framed inside the shot: no fingers, heads, elbows cut out of the frame. 

Canon 5DSR  Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II  70mm at 1/640 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#2 Cam Oliver and Coach Connor

Cam Oliver suffered a horrific ankle injury in a game this year. It happened about 15 feet away from me. As hard as it was to watch, there was an encouraging moment between coach and player. Connor was the last one to leave Cam before they took him to the hospital. They talked for a little bit and then shared this fist bump. Happy to report that Cam is well on his way in his recovery.

Canon 5DSR  Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS II  75mm at 1/800 of a sec at f/2.8, ISO 2500

#1: Haywood Highsmith

This may look like a studio shot, but it’s not! I captured this one right at the beginning of the year when the Blue Coats were still playing their games at the University of Delaware. Their court is set up with two strips of lights along the top of each sideline and they have a huge black curtain up on one end of the court. I saw how the light was falling on the players during warm ups, and I got this shot of Haywood. And some shots just need to be in black and white for a more dramatic effect. I love his expression, the way the light falls on his hair and right under his eye. This is in my top 25 that I’ve ever captured. 

Canon 5DSR  Canon 200 mm f/2.0L IS  200mm at 1/1000 of a sec at f/2.0, ISO 2500

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 photos from this past season. If you’d like to see more, follow me on Instagram here and Twitter here