Photographer's View Of Illinois Basketball

Each story posted on Inside Illini is accompanied by a photograph. The person doing most of our photos is Holly Smith. In this photolog, Holly allows viewers to get a close-up glimpse of an Illini pregame from a photographer's perspective.

As a sports photographer, I get to see something completely different from what most fans get to see. This article is probably more interesting to those Illinois fans who don't normally get to see the Illini inside the Assembly Hall, but you season ticket holders will hopefully find it interesting as well.

Photo by: Holly Smith
My cramped seating space for games.

This is what I see from my seat on the baseline (mine is the brown cushion). Photographers and videographers are supposed to stay behind the dotted line at all times. It's often cramped quarters, and I get to know the other photographers very well. Timeouts are very welcome as it gives us a chance to stretch our legs out into the orange.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Teams warming up before the game.

I took this shot from the top of the family section of bleachers about where the Meachams sit every game. This shot really shows how uneven the light is on the court. Assembly Hall is a very dark arena and so is difficult place to shoot sports.

Photo by: Holly Smith
TV broadcasters prepare for the game.

Depending on the game start time, there is usually a tv sportscaster or two doing a live shot from the side of the court during warmups. I'll often see the guys recording a game wrap-up immediately after the game is over as well. Again, this depends on game time.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Demetri McCamey dunking in pregame warmups.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Calvin Brock putting one down.

These 2 shots are just a couple of Calvin & Demetri goofing around during warmups.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Orange Krush members line up for best seats.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Krush members finally ready to get in out of the cold.

I try to get to the game at least 1 hour before the game starts. Doors don't open for fans or Krush until that time. This particular game I was there early enough to catch Krush still battling the cold outside. The wind was coming in strong and cold from the west and AH doesn't offer much protection on the outside. Man, I remember those days...

Photo by: Holly Smith
Orange Krush, the calm before the storm.

Krush takes a breather before the game. These students behind the basket will not sit down the entire game.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Public address announcer Mike Cation.

Here is your friend Voice of the Illini, Mike Cation. I've been friends with Mike for several years now, and I'm so happy for him that he's getting to do this.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Illinois basketball floor up close.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Edge of Assembly Hall basketball floor.

These shots show you what the court looks like up close. The court obviously comes apart as AH has many uses other than basketball. Electrical cords go all around the outside perimeter of the court. I took this shot from the bottom row of bleachers in the family section.

Photo by: Photographer's Name
Richard Semrau and teammates enter arena.

This is what I see if I stand at my seat on the floor when the team runs out on the floor for the last time prior to tipoff. And lastly, these are just a couple shots that I thought might be neat to see up close.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Official ball.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Illini basketball shorts.

Photo by: Holly Smith
Spotlight of Block "I" on Assembly Hall ceiling.

And here's a repost of the Introductions video I posted a couple games ago:

Thanks for looking, Scout members! And if you'd like to see any of my other work, please visit www.hollybirchphotography.com.


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