Court side

Munich residents have always had the opportunity to enjoy top level football. On the contrary, Munich hasn’t traditionally been the basketball capital of Germany. This year however, things have changed. Bayern decided to invest in basketball and within two years has managed to build a strong team, which is able to compete in the Euroleague against the best teams in Europe. This week, with Bayern hosting Olympiakos Piraeus we had the opportunity to watch the fastest improving team in Europe play against the reigning Euroleague champions and in many peoples’ eyes, the best team in Europe at the moment.

Bayern Munich Basketball Euroleague
Good news for basketball fans in Munich. Bayern in the Euroleague.

Although I thoroughly enjoy sports, I am not into sports photography. This week however I thought I would make an exception, take my camera with me and share the experience on this blog.

Audi Dome roof
The venue shows its years (built for the 1972 Olympics). Word is that a new venue is going to be built soon.

As always this post is about photography and not about basketball. My objective was to get interesting shots and interesting corners, rather than document the game. During post processing ended up using a lot of B&W to make the photos more interesting.

Basketball fans - Audi dome - Bayern
The stadium was packed
Bayern fans
The most devoted Bayern supporters at their usual place on the side of the court with flags waving

Of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity of a couple of play photos.

Spanoulis basketball Olympiakos
Spanoulis, the best player in Europe at the moment shooting the ball with impeccable style

For most of my shots I had set the ISO to 3200, aperture to f/4 so as to get the maximum shutter speed (usually around 1/300 to 1/500). This way the shots weren’t blurry even with the quick action on the court.

Petway - Basketball Olympiakos
These guys can jump

During half time, I had the opportunity to explore other photo opportunities within the stadium. Unfortunately the Audi Dome doesn’t offer that many interesting corners (or it was just me not having the eye to find them).

The other half of the stadium. Full B&W this time.
The other half of the stadium. Full B&W this time.

I really like panning shots of any kind; cars, animals, people whatever. But, they are not particularly easy to achieve. Yesterday I had many opportunities to try and get one, since the players spend most of the time running up and down the court. Without a tripod however, it is very hard to move the camera only horizontally, without any vertical movement. These were my best attempts:

Panning shot basketball Sloukas Olympiakos
Sudden accelerations and changes of direction …
Panning shot Bayern basketball
… made it all the more difficult …
Panning shot fast break
… to follow a player with the camera and keep him in focus.

The game was particularly enjoyable. None of the teams focused on defence and we had the opportunity to watch an unusually high scoring game (for Euroleague standards). In the end it came down to the final shot:

Bayern - Olympiakos Euroleague 2013 final shot
Final shot of the game.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable experience with würzige Riesebratwurst, a great game, good company and the opportunity to get some interesting photos. What more can one ask?

Audi dome entrance
The game was held in the Audi Dome.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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