SDABA Pool Tournament


TPF Noob!
Nov 8, 2008
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Spearfish, SD
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I played in the South Dakota Amateur Billiards Association tournament this last week in Pierre, South Dakota, and although I didn't have much time to take pictures, I did take a few during our finals match on the last day.




It's a definite challenge for shooting, as the only light in the room is over the pool tables, and no flashes are allowed, and you have to be VERY sutble about it so you don't distract the players, but it is also one of my favorite sports to shoot (both with a camera and with a cue!).
The first shot would have been killer, if you had the second table in focus. It's good to see something different.
Great concept on the first one, but as stated, there is nothing really in focus.

The shots of the players are ok, but I feel you should be closer in (either on foot or with a longer zoom) to cut some of that background out and focus on the player. Kind of hard to do during a game, but thats what makes for a good challenge
The first one definitely sets the mood for the event (or at least what I'm guessing the mood was).

Pool table lights must use a lot of electricity, otherwise they could have turned on some more ambient lights...
Thanks so much for the comments! I definitely missed the focus on the first one, but I really liked the shot, anyway. I had to shoot at 1.8 because the room was so dark, and I had to shoot really quick before someone from the match in the next row stepped into the field of view, so I couldn't really take as much time as I would have liked. Gives me some ideas for my next tournament though!

I have tried shooting with my 70-200 2.8L IS lens so I could zoom in more, but even on a table top tripod, it just wasn't letting in enough light. I really like how much light I can pick up with my 50mm, but, like bigtwinky points out, it does pick up the players in the background. Any suggestions on a lens that won't break the bank, but can get me a little closer? Getting physically closer to the match is out of the question. I was as close as possible, as I was sitting at the table that was the barricade.

Here is one shot in Vegas with my 70-200 where I could zoom in better, but it still picks up all of the players in the background. Haven't quite figured out how to eliminate that when there are tables and players on all sides. I also want to make sure it doesn't look like it is just someone playing on a practice table at home!


Thanks again for any comments!
They actually keep all of the auxilliary lights off so there are no shadows on the tables. The lights are hung in the exact middle of the pool tables and cast their light evenly over the tables, so the balls don't have any uneven shadows on the bed of the tables. Lots of money on the line in these tournaments, and they don't want to have a player throwing a fit because one table has a bad glare or bad shadow due to a light somewhere! Makes it really hard for the scorekeepers in the team tournaments to have see to write the scores down (and for the photographers!)!

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