Lighting for Swimming

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by matseski, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. matseski

    matseski TPF Noob!

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    So my friend asked me to try to take a few shots of her swimming since the photographer she hired for her senior pics did not feel comfortable with taking them. I realize that my experience level with sports photography is limited and I made this very clear to her, but I said I would try my best and worst case we just end up with no great images. However, I would at least like to try to put forth some level of effort for my own development. I will be shooting with my Canon 50D with Sigma 150mm ( also have Tamron 17-50 f2.8 ) for most of the shots as she wants "competitive swimming shots". I am most concerned about lighting as in order to capture the water as she has in mind, I need a fast shutter, thinking 1/1000 or faster, but I do not know what my best option is to provide lighting to her face. We are planning to do this on a sunny day around 3/4 in the afternoon so the sun is not directly over head, but is still bright. Any suggestions? Obviously I do not have the resources to set up studio strobes, but I would be willing to pick up a speedlight if it would help. (currently most of my work is lit with 3-5 daylight florescent desk laps)

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    When you're in an outdoor pool on a sunny day, you shouldn't need any extra light, as the water will reflect a lot of light back into your friend's face. And you should also be able to obtain short enough shutter speeds. Whether you actually need the 1/1000 sec or faster is the question, you wouldn't want the water to look like she's swimming through gel, would you? I would need to go back to the photos I took during that one swim meet I once covered (You_may_look_here,_if_you_want_to ) to check on the specs... I don't remember. But the first day (I'm linking you to the first only here) was overcast even. The second was sunny... They were all taken with the given light. No extra lights brought.
     
  3. Diddy2theJJ

    Diddy2theJJ TPF Noob!

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    I recently shot some swimming photos and I shot at 1/4000s and it seemed to work pretty well. I say the faster the better to freeze the action.

    If she is in shadow, just take some test shots first and expose for his/her face and if the water gets a little over exposed I think that's ok.

    Just experiment when you get there, try shooting from different angles and see what you like.
     

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