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Behind the Lens: Photo of the Year

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Filed under Big Post, Hoops, Q&A.

Behind the Lens: Photo of the Year

Renowned NBA photographer Rocky Widner dishes on capturing DMC’s sensational slam against the Spurs, which earned 2012-13 Photo of the Year honors from Kings fans.

In the opening minutes of a home game against the Spurs on Nov. 9, 2012, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins picked off an errant San Antonio pass, dribbled the length of the court and skied for a rim-rattling dunk over forward Danny Green, as nationally-recognized NBA photographer Rocky Widner captured the perfect picture of No. 15’s emphatic throwdown.

After the memorable snapshot was recently voted by Kings fans as the team’s 2012-13 Photo of the Year, caught up with the longtime lensman to gain insight into how the image was photographed by remote camera and more.

How would you describe the process of capturing Cousins’ breakaway dunk?

“I sit on one end (of the court) with just my camera in my hands, and then on the other end, there are nine or 10 remote cameras trained on the basket. This photo is from the remote end. There are two (cameras) on the glass, one on the post, one on the floor underneath the post – which is where this shot came from – one each with two assistants and three on the catwalk.

“(If I) take pictures of a dunk, a rebound or a play around the basket at the far end of the court with the camera in my hand, they would be good one out of 100 times, whereas the remote cameras have a lot better chance of catching the action.”

You snapped several images of the Cousins dunk from different angles. How many did you take in all to get this great photo?

“I only get one chance at it because of the strobe lights. There’s only one photo every two seconds (meaning) only one photo per play. I push a button and (the remote cameras) all fire at the same time – there’s not a motor-drive sequence. The (dunk) is close to the ideal spot, so there are eight good photos of that moment in time.”

Fans recently voted it as their favorite Kings photo of the 2012-13 regular season. How much do you appreciate the positive response?

“It means a lot, and it’s nice they enjoyed the photo. It’s definitely a good one.”

What is it about this photo you think fans appreciate?

“I’d say from this angle it looks like (Cousins) is almost jumping over Green, which looks very cool.”

Do you have a favorite photo from the 2012-13 Kings season?

“There are a lot of photos from the season that stand out to me, such as ones of DeMarcus showing emotion and a few other dunks.

“I like the cameras mounted on the backboard that shoot through the glass. I’ve usually favored that view on most plays, as you are looking right into the players’ faces and see the expressions so much better than from most other views.

“But again, (this Cousins dunk is) a good one, and it’s cool fans like it.”

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