Flash placement for sports areas and field houses.

Discussion in 'Photojournalism & Sports Gallery' started by Guido44, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Guido44

    Guido44 TPF Noob!

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    I am wondering if an idea I have for setting up a Nikon CLS will be of any use to me. I got the idea after reading about this on another web site for placement of ceiling strobes at large venues.

    I own a 60' (that's feet) mast system for shooting elevated photos.

    Let's say I were to set up a flash on the mast approximately 30 to 40 feet in the air, instead of a camera, for shooting a basketball game or a volleyball game, and possibly hockey. I'm sure strobes would be better(more powerful), but, until then .....

    So here's a few basic questions:

    1. If I were to use one or 2 Sb-600s or Sb-900s could I obtain a noticeable benefit from the flash? What is the maximun range to those flashes?

    2. What would be the best placement for the mast? It's basically a huge tripod (4 legs). I estimate the base takes up about a 10' by 10' square.

    3. Would 2 flashes placed together cast a big shadow?

    4. What would your camera and flash settings be?

    Obviously, the only practical locations would be a field house with a lot of extra room or a very large gym. We wouldn't want any accidents after all.

    I'm just tossing out ideas for improving the lighting for a couple of schools I'd like where I'd to take some photos.

    Opinions please.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This idea (minus the mast) is very common for indoor sporting events. Most (if not all) pro sports venues will have strobes mounted up near the ceiling. I'm not sure if they are 'house' equipment or if they are the responsibility of the photographer/news outfit.

    Only using one light, your shooting angles would be limited to a few good spots and I'm not sure that a flash would have enough power. The SB-600 has a Guide Number of 98 feet at the 35mm zoom setting. You divide the GN by the distance to get your aperture...so 98/30 is about F3.2. That's workable but your subjects won't always be the same distance from the flash. Also, the GN goes up as you zoom the head tigher...so it might have enough power.

    As for CLS, I would be surprised it it works from that distance. Most photographers use a radio system like Pocket Wizards.

    I first read this article a few years ago, but it's worth digging up for this topic. http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/articles/finalfour.aspx
     
  3. Jim Stafford

    Jim Stafford TPF Noob!

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    There was a post on here a while back where a guy had shot basketball and somehow placed one or two alian bees in the rafters or up above somehow. Shots looked good.
     

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