Indoor Track Meet Saturday....Help!!


TPF Noob!
Dec 12, 2007
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This saturday my cousin has an indoor track meet. He's a pole vaulter, and I promised I'd be there with my camera. I'm not sure how well the lighting will be. It's at a prestigious college with a huge football stadium and hockey rink, but i've never been inside their other sports facility. I'm not sure how far away from the action I will be. I'm definitely going to take my tripod and the only 2 lenses i own. does anyone have any tips/pointers that would help me in low light indoor action shots?
two things I can add:
first-shots of things during an event in t+f are generally pretty lame. they serve to capture the sentimental value of the race/jump for the athlete involved, but as far as being a great photo, they fall short. That is to say, the standard shots of a vaulter's approach, halfway through the vault, or clearing the bar, aren't going to be great photos. No one can tell if the jump is at 10 feet or 15 feet in a still photo, so they all just blend together. They may be nice for the athlete who can say "oh nice! that was my PR!!", but other than that they are pretty dull.

the best photos are going to come before or after each performance, and luckily with field events you get a lot of attempts. Watch the athletes' preparation routines; some will be very somber, others very animated–either way they make for good shots. Even better is going to be after a jump. Vaulters will generally land on the mat and then turn and see if the bar is still on the standards and then react, so position yourself to be able to capture that. And if someone is winning the event but has to wait for other jumpers to see if they win out, make sure you're watching them while others compete to get reactions or expressions of anxiety.

2-as far as lighting, some indoor tracks let in a lot of natural light, so that would be great. others are like vaults. Even some of the really nice tracks I've been to that have televised meets DO NOT have really sufficient lighting until ESPN shows up and puts of more lamps of their own, and most of the pro still guys will set up remotes where they know they'll be working. Honestly I'm not sure how helpful the tripod will be. I have never used one, and I think being that immobile would be a hinderance. Mono pod would probably be better, if available.

Now like I said, I (personally) think the better shots are not the action shots, so for those there's less worry about freezing motion, but if you are going for mid-air shots, I would say try and get as close as possible and use a flash if you can. Try and even shoot the warm ups, as the flash will be less of a bother for athletes, and the end result really will look the same.

Not sure if this is a HS meet, or college or what, but if it's not like a conference meet or NCAA's in college, generally if you're walking around with a camera people will let you get close to the action
If you can use the 70-300 @ 70.
That should give you the best zoom for your F-stop..... Know what i mean?
Yea it's a college meet. It's Delaware State University vs. the University of Delaware. Thanks that really really helped. I'm still going to try and get a few mid air shots because that's kinda what he's expecting but I will also pay attention to before, after, and during the events.

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