Friday night lights?

Discussion in 'Sports Photography' started by Voyager1968, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. I'm doing my first HS football game Friday night, and could use a few pointers. It will also be my first time under the lights as opposed to daytime shooting. What I have to work with is a D300 and a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I know most likely I'll be wide open, but what is an acceptable shutter speed for football? With baseball, I was trying to stay above 1/1000 sec, and that usually worked out, but I know the lighting is not great at most HS stadiums.

    Wish me luck!
     
  2. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    I would go to 1/500, ISO3200 at a pinch if you have too

    If the lights are good 1/800s, F/2.8, ISO1600 is sweet

    Turn in-camera NR off, ADL Off, and MOST importantly preset/get your WB right.
     
  3. Sauk

    Sauk

    832
    Aug 4, 2008
    Sandy, UT
    If you have an off camera flash I would suggest using that as well. It will help get better colors, light into the facemasks and just overall better image quality.
     
  4. What do you set your WB at?
     
  5. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    You need to preset it - not use any of the camera presets like shade etc, and definately not AutoWB

    Find something neutral or white on the field (back of a sign, someone wearing a white shirt etc) and turn the WB dial around to "Pre", push WB button until "Pre" on the LCD starts to flash, take a picture of the white object so it fills the frame (focus does not matter). The LCD should then read "Good" and presto, you have a new preset WB stored.

    I think you can actuually store up to 4 different WB for say 4 different stadiums.

    I can not stress enough how much difference doing this simple thing has made to my night football shots regarding noise and colour - and therefore for ISO up to 2000 I do absolutely nothing in PP apart from cropping and sharpening.

    I also think Neutral or D2x Mode 1 render the colours better under lights, but, have a bit more fiddling there to do as yet in camera.

    If you can - shoot in manual exposure too (I meter off the grass and then just leave it there) - Auto ISO is great when the light is variable (deep shadows then bright spots, sun setting etc) but at night you want a constant exposure - otherwise the shadows will trick the sensor and whoosh goes your ISO in autoiso or whoosh down goes the SS, neither particularly desirable.

    Just don't underexpose as you do not want to be trying to push the levels PP if you avoid it.

    That's about all I know so far. Will look fwd to see what you think.
     
  6. So would I want to adj.the WB as it gets darker i.e. dusk to dark?And would you adj. it on a white odject that is under the brighter or lighter side of the field lights?
     
  7. Sauk

    Sauk

    832
    Aug 4, 2008
    Sandy, UT
    To be honest just shoot raw if your not going to use flash. The lights will recycle so much when your shooting that a custom wb won't matter much.
     
  8. kiwi

    kiwi

    Jan 1, 2008
    Auckland, NZ
    its not really the brightness of the lights that count too much imho, it's how much balance there is with the natural light at dusk that will be tricky. If it's not too much trouble set it at dusk and then reset it once all the natural light is gone. It only takes a moment to do and can save you a lot of PP