Friday, March 26, 2010

Home Grown Hoops Legends

OK -- so, back in 2006, one of my Flickr groups was having a themed contest and the theme was "Your Hometown our Country." Instead of my "Hometown" or my "Country," I interpreted the theme and set out to represent my Home State, Indiana. I was on the lookout for a barn with a basketball hoop mounted on the side of it.

Now, besides the well-known nostalgia of rural Indiana farming combined (no pun intended) with a long-time love of the game of basketball, Indiana basketball has some significance in our family. My Granddaddy and my Dad and his Brother were important parts of successful basketball teams at the High School level and have many fond memories of those days.

Me? I never had any success as a basketball player on an organized team, but I often ended up using spare time to ride down to the town park where there was usually a pick up basketball game going on. Similar to many other Hoosiers, I grew up with a basketball goal mounted to the apex of our barn, um...shed at home.

More notably, I remember my Granddaddy coming out of the fields, or finishing up tending to the livestock, headed for the farmhouse, but stopping long enough to receive a basketball pass from whichever grandchild had the ball and then, from well beyond what we would now consider "three point range," "tossing" it (the only word I can think of to describe his own unique way of shooting a basketball) at a rusty hoop on the side of his own barn and then casually walking away as the ball sailed from his weathered hands and through the humid Indiana atmosphere before falling -- "chink" -- through the goal and its chain net, always to the astonishment and wonder of all of his grandchildren.

At the time I was looking for such a barn, though, Granddaddy's farm was too far away, so I began keeping an eye out for other barns here in Madison County with basketball hoop on or near them. I found several, none of which I was entirely happy. Finally, taking a back route from Muncie to Alexandria one day I found this location:

Indiana Basketball

Not perfect, but it would suffice for the theme contest.

Fast forward almost 4 years.

So, a few weeks ago, I got a call from NCAA photos. They had found my photo "Indiana Basketball" (above) on Flickr and wanted to know if I would allow the image to be used for a poster for the NCAA Final Four which is happening in Indianapolis next weekend. They told me what they would be able to pay for the use and I told them that I thought it sounded fair and that I would allow the use.

Then -- they asked for the full size jpeg. GULP! I knew right away that photo had been taken using my old Canon point and shoot. I further discovered that the image I posted on Flickr had been additionally cropped for aesthetic reasons. It would be fine for a 4"x6" print. Even an 8"x10" would probably be fine, but if they were wanting poster size, well, I didn't think it would work.

Then it occurred to me that the barn in the photo was just a tick down the road from where I work in Alexandria and that I could possibly go by that evening and snap a few shots that might work and which would be taken at a larger file size.

I picked my favorites from both the 2006 and 2009 shoots and e-mailed them all to NCAA photos. They indicated that they thought they had what they needed.

As most of you probably know, then NCAA Tournament began last weekend with 65 teams and the Sweet Sixteen round is being played this weekend, yet I hadn't heard anything from NCAA Photos in the meantime.

I figured they had decided to go another direction and just hadn't informed me yet. Finally, on Thursday of this week I did get a call saying they were finishing up the design and wanted me to send in an invoice for the photo use. They're mailing me a few copies of the finished poster, but they also sent me a small jpeg of the design.

Needless to say, I was curious to see how it turned out and after reading this far, you probably are too!

Here it is:


In the end, they did use one of the newer images instead of the one they originally found on Flickr, so my effort to provide them with a better image with which to begin paid off.

Here's the image they used (straight out of the camera):


And here's their poster, laid on top of the original shot:


It's hard to tell from this small size, but I believe each player who is featured has his name in small white lettering near his photo.

You may also notice that they did a bit of additional snow-removal. I didn't even know that Photoshop had a Shovel-tool. :-)

I'll still have to wait for the full size to see all the details, but I thought I'd go ahead and share this much with you, now.


Unknown said...

That is really neat Jeremy! I'll be looking for this poster around town.

missysue said...

That's so exciting! Congratulations!!!

love + luck + bliss,

Unknown said...

That is so cool! I recognize Steve Alford and Larry Bird in the poster.

Unknown said...

I wonder who in Madison County is going to see this poster and say, "Hey! That's my barn!" :)