Tips for shooting sports events...please help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dgarza715, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. dgarza715

    dgarza715 TPF Noob!

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    I got invited to assist with photographing a high school basketball game tomorrow night. Any tips or advice, do's and dont's for would be appreciated. I'll be taking my D90 with 18-105 kit lens and f1.4/50mm lens. I don't have a speedlight or anything so house lights will have to do.
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I assume the game will be indoors. Which means not so great lighting.

    So...

    - High ISO, wide aperture to allow to get a fast shutter speed.
    I'm thinking the 50mm would be better, but this depends on how close you can get to the action.

    The 18-105 is what, 5.6 at the 105mm? Might not be enough.

    - Look into renting a lens, 70-200 2.8 VR

    - If you are getting motion blur, then try and pick and chose the moments you shoot and find moments where they are moving slower. Highest point in a dunk, deciding where to pass, highest point of tip off... at the apex (?) of these moments is when they are moving the slowest

    - Aim to get reaction shots of the players/coach on the bench
     
  3. dgarza715

    dgarza715 TPF Noob!

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    yep the game will be indoors

    i'll be walking around the outside of the court but just not on it.

    Should i anticipate most of the moments and prefocus then swith the camera to manual mode and wait for the shot to come to me or maintain continuous autofocus?
     
  4. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try both.

    Take the time before the game to look at the court, find some angles and mostly, think about the shots your WANT to have. If there are some in there that are predictable (ex: tip off), then you can pre focus and such for that.

    Maybe a dunk, or the ball in the net,... but if you want emotions on faces, then that is more random and hard to plan for.

    Remember that in one picture, you should be telling a story. Shots that I prefer usually include player's faces AND the ball.

    Anticipation is a must though. You need to know the game to know what is going to happen.
    If you are seeing it happen in your view finder, you just missed the picture
     
  5. dgarza715

    dgarza715 TPF Noob!

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    Ok so i quickly realized just how difficult sports photography could be. The lighting was horrible as you said it would be so was shooting around ISO 3200 and i've got alot to learn about white balance and basically everything else involved in using my D90....BUT....man i had a great time. Here are a few of the shots...C&C please

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. RancerDS

    RancerDS TPF Noob!

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    First, for ISO 3200 the shots do not look that bad atall!

    Second, the main subject isn't always in focus. Catch them coming head-on at you when at all possible or maybe try to move with the subject a fractional bit (blurs background, but the focus should be on the subject, right?).

    I really like the second shot, it is very raw and feels intense. Little more space at the top would have been nice. And personally, like to see the ball-carriers face versus their rear profiles.
     
  7. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    EXIF on those shots says ISO 6400. Looks like ISO 1600 on my D80. Very impressive!
     
  8. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    2 looks pretty good, trying for the steal. They all seem noisy but considering the ISO, not bad.

    Also, and completely off topic, looks like the Falcons got waxed, not to mention there sure is a lot of ink being sported there for a high school game.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    You did good for your first outing. For white balance shoot in RAW and use a good grey card like a Whibal to set a custom white balance. Many indoor venues use mercury vapor lighting which isn't a white balance choice. The holy grail of sports shots is getting the players eyes and their expression. The backs of heads doesn't cut it.

    I corrected the white balance in ACR, cropped, de-noised with Noiseware Pro, used unsharp mask and finished with Topaz Adjust's Clarity preset in Photoshop:

    [​IMG]
    I corrected the white balance and de-noised some in ACR, and did the same steps as in the image above in Photoshop.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Nikon hit a home run with the D90 didn't they!
     
  11. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    try this,

    AF-C, single point dynamic, (if you have a 4-point auxiliary thing like how the 3/300/700 can have 9, 21, or 51 points, do that) set AE-L/AF-L to AF-ON, auto ISO kicks in at anything less than 1/500th of a second, and a preset WB, and you should be good.

    That way, you can put a point on the subject, hold down the AE-L/AF-L button and the camera will just track it, and than all your shutter release does is shoot. that way your camera will continuously track all the time, regardless. when you have AF on the shutter release, after each picture, you have to re-apply the shutter to start continuous focusing again.

    Those are the settings I use on my D700 to shoot running/cycling and focus is pretty much dead nuts 90% of the time.
     

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