Shooting Indoor High School Basketball and Volleyball

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by BoxPhotographer, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. BoxPhotographer

    BoxPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Any tips? I'm on the side lines using an 18-200mm lens, with 3.4 aperture. I'm using a Nikon D80 with a SB-600 flash as well. Like what settings I should use etc. Should I use a monopod?
     
  2. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    That lens might be fast enough... The flash probably won't help all that much because of the distance. A snoot might help. Tripod or monopod wouldn't be a bad idea. Keep your shutter speed up if you can. Crank the ISO if you have to.

    To quote Bryan Petersons Understanding Exposure:

    When you want to freeze any moving subject, you need to consider three factors: The distance between you and the subject, the direction in which the subject is moving and your lens choice. First determine how far you are from the action. Ten feet? One hundred feet? The closer you are to the action, the faster the shutter speed must be. Next determine if the action is moving toward or away from you. Then decide which lens is the most appropriate one.

    For example, if you were photographing a bronco rider at a distance of ten to twenty feet with a wide angle lens, you have to use a shutter speed of 1/500 sec. to freeze the action. If you were at a distance of one hundred feet with a wide angle or normal lens, his size and motion would diminish considerably, so a shutter speed of 1/125 sec. would be sufficient. If you were at a distance of fifty feet with a 200mm telephoto lens, 1/500 sec. would be necessary (just as if you were ten feet from the action). Finally, you'd need a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec. if the bronco rider were moving parallel to you and filled the frame either through your lens or your ability to physically close.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Don't use a flash. It could startle the players which, at best, will mess up their play and, at worst, will cause an injury.

    A monopod will help hold the camera steady but it does nothing for subject movement. You really need faster glass.

    A high ISO will help but you will get noise. An after-the-fact noise reduction app will help. I use Topaz.
     
  4. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes prey, is it F3.4 at 18mm and F5.6 at 200mm if so you will have to use your highest ISO to stand any chance of getting any shots, if it was me with that equipment i would leave it at home and just watch the match
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I've shot my daughters basketball in a well-lit gym with my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 handheld with good results (ISO cranked up a bit, but Noiseware Pro took care of that). This lens was a bit too long for this indoor task, so next time I go with my 50-150mm f/2.8. I would try yours and see how it performs. You might be surprised. Try downloading a free trial of one of the noise reduction products (Noisware Pro, Noise Ninja, etc.) if you find yourself shooting at very high ISO.

    I agree ... skip the flash. That can endanger players.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    When you ask players if they flash bothered them after the game, they say, "What flash? I didn't see any flashes." Even though the stands are FULL of parents and high school kids snapping away, shooting flash picture after flash picture with their digicams. And, I've shot a couple seasons' worth of flash pictures using balcony-mounted strobes aimed down at the court, as well as big games with another photographer's flashes firing.

    Yes, flash can help lighten shadows and thus eliminate noise in the shadow areas. Flash can also be used to create dramatic rim lighting if you put your flash on one side of the gym,aimed directly down at the court, and you shoot from the other side.

    For on-camera use with a slowish lens like that, the biggest problem is focusing; that lens, handy as it is, does not focus super-fast. Easiest way to get rid of that problem is to shoot at f/5.6 at ISO 1250 or so with flash, at your top flash shutter speed (usually 1/200 second on many cameras) and shoot from the stands on the sides, so the action is moving more or less left to right from you. SHooting from the baseline, much action is moving away or toward your position, causing a need for a lot of distance changes and constant focusing. Shot from the sides, the distances do not change quite so much or so rapidly.

    Volleyball can be shot from the court ends, focusing on the net play--blocks and spikes can be shot from the court ends, or from a spot in the stands just above the net height, which will give you a clear view of both sides so you can shoot digs and sets and net play. From the back of the court standing at the center, you can pre-focus pretty well, but you will need high ISO and f/4 much of the time to get a shutter speed of at least 1/400 second to freeze most, but not all, movement of the ball on spikes and blocks.
     
  7. BoxPhotographer

    BoxPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Will an ISO of 400-600 work?
     
  8. schumionbike

    schumionbike TPF Noob!

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    You'll need to at least 1600 ISO.
     
  9. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    That certainly depends on lighting. I didn't need anywhere near that when I shot my daughter's basketball game.
     
  10. BoxPhotographer

    BoxPhotographer TPF Noob!

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    Should I be shooting in JPEG or RAW or both? These photo's will probably go through some retouching in Photoshop and they will be going to my high school's yearbook.
     
  11. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 TPF Noob!

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    I'd say both. If you have white balance/exposure problems they're relatively easy to fix with a RAW image(to a point), not so much with JPEG.
     

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