Anyone shot a bodybuilding competition?

Jul 9, 2008
Tulsa, OK

I have a couple of bodybuilding shows coming up that I'm the official stage photographer for. While I have done a lot of fitness shoots, this is my first time shooting stage photography for pre-judging and finals.

My kit should work fine, thinking probably the 70mm VRII should do the trick for the short end. In all the competitions I've attended, I've noticed none ever use flash. I guess the stage is sufficiently lit up to not require lighting.

Anyone have experience in this? Thanks,
Dec 26, 2006
I shot a competition last summer here in Baltimore. My setup was the D700 (didn't have my D4 back then), 70-200 2.8 VRII on a monopod. The lighting was fine. There has to be enough lighting for the judges to see the competitors and judge them accurately. I noticed another photographer getting up close with a flash, but I kinda liked the results with the available light. I shot the entire prejudging, but not finals. Prejudging is great as each competitor is brought out one by one and they stand on a taped mark on the stage for some standard poses for the judges. You can see the blue tape on the floor in the shot. I like the prejudging the best. All were shot with settings ISO1250 1/320 @ F2.8.

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