This is the stuff hoop dreams are made of.

 

Situated on the University of Pennsylvania campus, the Palestra is considered by those who know to be the best place on earth in which to experience basketball.  Here, the game is more than a game. It’s a celebration.

From its boards to its bleachers, every corner of the Palestra radiates greatness.  It’s that quality that Greg sought to capture.

 
 

A plum of an assignment, Greg was asked to photograph this “Cathedral of Basketball” for a story commemorating its 90th anniversary slated to run in the Pennsylvania Gazette.

 
With a capacity of just under 9,000, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

With a capacity of just under 9,000, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.

 

From its boards to its bleachers, every corner of the Palestra radiates greatness.  It’s that quality that Greg sought to capture.

 
If the Medicis had built a basketball arena during the Italian Renaissance, it might have looked like this.

If the Medicis had built a basketball arena during the Italian Renaissance, it might have looked like this.

The people’s palace.  No skyboxes, but plenty of flat wooden bleachers.

The people’s palace.  No skyboxes, but plenty of flat wooden bleachers.

 

Time invested in walking and surveying, sizing up the space and light, figuring out where to put the camera and when all pays off in being able to capture the vibe of a place.  And the Palestra is quite a place. Even when empty, it pulsates with a life of its own.  Timing and the illumination of the natural light were used to advantage.

 
It’s the Cathedral of Basketball and church is in session.

It’s the Cathedral of Basketball and church is in session.

 

In portraying the grandeur of the Palestra, Greg employed a very wide angle architectural shift lens – the Canon 17mm – and stitched together two frames in post-production to create an even wider view.  And since sitting on wooden bleachers is part of the ritual here, he also chose to feature this simple seating in some of the detail shots.