Flashes in sporting arena

tecboy

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Is it okay to use a lot of flashes inside the sporting area? I don't want want fans look at me and be disturbed.
 

TATTRAT

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You might want to ask the people that run the event, or arena. Some places have rules in place, sometimes it depends on the event.

With many sporting arenas, all across the world/U.S.A., really, your query couldn't be more vague. what are you shooting? What team? what SPORT?

Also, shooting in a big setting like that, from my experience, people are more likely to want to get involved/be in the shots instead of shunning you for taking shots.

Just my humble $.02.
 
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tecboy

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I'm interesting in arena football, extreme sports, wresting, utlimate fighter champion, etc....
I'm probably going to shoot a lot of players.
 

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I'm really not sure what you are worried about then. I'm sure you won't be the only photog there, or, the only photog there with a flash. . .
 
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tecboy

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I don't know. I probably be on the seat with the fans. The speedlite is pretty powerful. I probably use 100 annoying flashes.
 

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I don't know. I probably be on the seat with the fans. The speedlite is pretty powerful. I probably use 100 annoying flashes.


Well, ok, so if you are in the stands with the rest of the folk, how far do you really think your flash is going to throw light? Seriously. Can your flash, from the stands, light up a whole arena to the point of distraction? think about this.
 
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tecboy

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I don't see too many people carrying DSLR with speedlight inside arena. Many people use point and shoot cameras with tiny built in flashes. My is ten times bigger and runs 4 aa batteries. It is so powerful that the people stand in front of me reflects the light to the people who stand next to me. People near me may get annoying.
 

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Many venues won't let you bring in what they consider to be 'pro' camera gear.

As mentioned another issue is the Inverse Square Law. Light power falls off as a square function to distance. Inverse-square law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
If the distance is doubled, only 1/4 as much light power gets to the subject. Double the distance again and only 1/16 as much light power reaches the subject. Double the distance again and only 1/256 as much light power reaches the subject.
In other words, if you are 100 feet from the action a top grade hot shoe flash unit is essentially useless.
At venues like hockey rinks, the glass may reflect a lot of the flash.
 

cgipson1

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I don't see too many people carrying DSLR with speedlight inside arena. Many people use point and shoot cameras with tiny built in flashes. My is ten times bigger and runs 4 aa batteries. It is so powerful that the people stand in front of me reflects the light to the people who stand next to me. People near me may get annoying.

If your FLASH will not reach the subject and light it in an adequate manner, why use it? The people with the Point and Shoots leave their flashes on because they don't know any better.. it does NOT help their images in a large venue. Physical size of your flash is meaningless, it is the power output that counts (GN).

Some venues do not allow "Professional cameras" aka any DSLR (because they don't know any better either). Some venues will have signage or rules stating NO Flash Photography (you need to verify that before you go).

If you annoy people.. someone will complain, and you will be asked to leave.... something else to think about. (Don't be a Prick with a Camera... it can cause problems for all photographers)
 

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In terms of light the 430 EX isn't all that powerful when shooting in most indoor sports venues. Especially when you are shooting in the bleachers

When I do use flash at a smaller college venue I use 4 - 580 EX paired with 4 manual 383's to cover half court. All have the same guide number so my output is constant and the color temp is close enough at to not cause a problem. Those 8 provide me enough power to add light to what is always there. There are two sets at end court at least 13' feet above the floor. The other two sets are opposite of each other on the side of the court at least 13" above the floor. They add fill light to half of the court I am shooting.

Whenever possible I generally use 8 Elinchrom Ranger RX's up in the rafters. I much prefer this setup, but it is expensive and time consuming to setup and secure. Plus you need to carry insurance if you are going to install your own lights. Fortunately I shoot several venues where I am given access to the existing strobes. Unless the place is a total cave I would suggest using the existing light and crank the ISO up as needed.

If you want to learn to use flash units, as in multiples, at a sporting event, I would suggest that you go to Strobist and read up on the techniques, cost etc.

Keep in mind that when I am shooting sports I am courtside, trackside, fieldside, not in the stands.
 
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tecboy

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That is the reason I asked, because I have never experiences DSLR using flash inside arena. If I sit in the front row seat, the players may get distracted.
 

TCampbell

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I don't see too many people carrying DSLR with speedlight inside arena. Many people use point and shoot cameras with tiny built in flashes. My is ten times bigger and runs 4 aa batteries. It is so powerful that the people stand in front of me reflects the light to the people who stand next to me. People near me may get annoying.

Assuming both cameras and flash are allowed... (because often they're not.)

Those built-in flashes are good for about 10' -- no kidding. If someone is in the stands, they're a whole lot more than 10' away -- their flash isn't help their images at all -- they just don't know it.

Your 430EX II speedlite has a guide number of 141' feet based on an assumption of ISO 100 and (this is the biggie) f/1.0. You divide that distance by the f-stop you'll be using. If you have an f/2.8 zoom and you plan to shoot it at f/2.8 then you'd divide 141 by 2.8.

141 ÷ 2.8 = about 50'

If you have a consumer-grade zoom (e.g. f/3.5-5.6 zoom) then you'll be at f/5.6.

141 ÷ 5.6 = about 25'

That's it.

There's more... since you only get those distances if the flash can fire at full power, you CANNOT use the flash's high-speed sync mode (no HSS). That means you must keep the shutter speed at or below the camera's flash sync speed (which I think for your camera is probably 1/200th although I'm not looking it up at the moment.)

BTW, slowing the shutter speed wont make the flash carry farther, but increasing the ISO sensitivity will.

Each full stop of ISO increases the distance by a factor of 1.41. If you jump by 2 full stops you can double the distance. In other words if you shoot at ISO 400 instead of ISO 100 AND you have an f/2.8 lens then your flash will theoretically be able to get a shot 100' away. At ISO 800 you'd be back up to 141' away (at f/2.8 -- at f/5.6 you'd only be able to get a shot from 70' away.) Keep in mind these will require the full power of your flash each time it fires which can really eat through battery power. Also... depending on your metering system, the camera may meter and catch the exposure off nearby distractions (e.g. the heads of the people in front of you) and the camera will believe it doesn't need more power -- I'd be shooting with flash on manual if I were to do this.

I know a lot of events hang strings of strobes from the ceilings over the stands and these flash randomly. This is all for show... it creates the illusion from the perspective of someone watching on TV that there are lots of people in the stands with cameras taking photos. Ironically, I often see these at events where no photography is allowed.
 

Trainz35

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From an athlete's perspective, flashes get very annoying when a puck comes flying at you at 95MPH! (especially when the flash is right behind the shooter!). I discourage using it from all perspectives; as others have stated, it's practically useless anyway.
 

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