High School Hoops

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by eng45ine, Nov 24, 2005.

  1. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I am very inexperienced shooting basketball and I have plenty of ideas on what I need to improve on. Please feel free to offer any and all suggestions on how I can improve on these images. All were shot with a D2H and 80-200mm f/2.8 VR and SB800. Manual mode 1/250 sec. f/2.8 and flash dialed down to 1/4 power.
    52704425.
    52704428.
    52704433.
    52704457.
     
  2. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    For some reason shooting sports in low light with the SB800 tends to make the pictures look kind of plastic like to me. I know from some of the football and soccer shots earlier this year.
    You have some good action Frank, but I just don't like what the SB800 did to them.
    Did you try shooting at 1600? My guess is that at 1600 you should have been in the 1/250th at F2.8 which with the VR lens should be more than enough to get some sharp images.
    Without the VR, you might want to jump up to 1/320th.
     
  3. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Dave...I tend to agree with you on the images looking rather "plastic" and I am not a big fan of that look. I shot some the day before without a flash at ISO 800, manual mode, 1/250 sec. f/2.8 and they looked okay but lacked the "pop" in the colors. These images were shot at ISO 200, manual mode, f/2.8 with the flash power turned down. The flash helped in a way, but also hurt in another way.
    Here are two shot without any flash, ISO 800
    52715506.
    52715589.

    For whatever reason, the look noisier here than on my monitor during a slideshow.
     
  4. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest


    Take a look at this one, I played with the saturation and then levels.
    I think it also helped with the noise a little too.
    What do you think?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Yep, it seemed to improve the image...I am taking baby steps when it comes to post-processing. Papa85 (Tony) is coming over tomorrow to show me some more of the little tricks in PS CS2. I have so much to learn, Dave!!!
     
  6. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest


    I am always learning too...
    A lot of what I did on that was stuff I learned at the Nikon School I attended recently.
    Keep shooting Frank.. man one of these days we need to hook up and shoot a sporting even together..
     
  7. Hey Frank,

    I like the images without the flash better. It seems that shooting at iso 800 and your shutter speed was enough to stop action.

    You've inspired me to get out and shoot some basketball.
     
  8. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Well, Dave, after we get through the lousy winter months, I have no problem loading up the truck and traveling your way for some shooting...we'll talk about over the next several months.
     
  9. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks Ty...I am shooting at the same place today as well. I'll post some additional shots if anything comes out. It is definately different than shooting football or baseball.
     
  10. Just one point to add. I doubt that VR is going to be much help to you at all. VR will help with camera shake, but will do nothing to eliminate blur due to motion of the subject.
     
  11. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest


    not exactly.. you see you can stop most sports action at 1/250th, but with the weight of that lens the VR will help with the shake.
     
  12. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest


    Or maybe during the winter months you can make it over here for a hockey game.. I have a great spot right at ice level without any glass..
     
  13. Excellent job Frank, I am still having a tough time coming to grips with shooting flash and bball. I am going to try using two or three flashes this year with my daughters league
     
  14. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    That's not out of the question...let's see how our schedules look after the first of the year.
     
  15. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Yeah, Mike, I am not pleased with the outcome of my images using a flash. I think not using the flash is the way to go, at least for me.
     
  16. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    I have never been a fan of using flash.
    However, for newspaper stuff, if I don't then the image gets really noisy.

    Now, I use the flash, M anual at 1/8th power. This is for people about 3-5m away. Right underneath the hoop it may over-expose (which I can bring down in post), and for people around the 3pt arc I have to increase the flash power a bit.

    Second point, and this is no joke. Just as big as the difference in lighting is the color of your players. A lot of people may live in places where they photo predominantly white athletes. You guys got it easy!
    When the ISO is high, and you have players with extremely dark skin, it gets really easy to totally loose the skin tone into noise. In NY, most of the players are black and hispanic, and the especially dark skinned players would just become noise without a flash I think.

    With flash, what I like is that if I "burn" a picture, I can always drop the EXposure 1 or more stops in post.

    Here are some pictures I took today. I did a favor for a friend who is a SID at a local college, and took some pics for him of girls basketball. For colelge use, you want to crop loose, in fact WAY looser than I like, but that is what they want. I lefti n an image where aplayer was too close to me, jsut so you can see how "bad" it gets. Even so, I could drop the EV more in post and it would be ok I think. There are some pics where a white player looks burned, or their sweat is blown out- those too I think I could have fixed if I bothered to post process anything.

    http://www.nycsportspics.com/baruch/


    Anyway, I can live with this in a pinch, I shot 70 pictures and got 45 keepers, lets not compare that to shooting at f/2.2 iso 1600!

    Anyway, the other thing is that for the newspaper, these will hold up to post processing for print much better than anything at high iso
     
  17. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for your take on the matter, Twig...I was hoping that you would see this thread and offer some opinion. I'm just not nuts about using a flash while shooting basketball, but I miss the "pop" in the uniform colors when shooting ambient lighting. I mentioned to Ty (Tomeriffic) that maybe using a Lumiquest softbox while shooting under the basket or from the corner might be a good option because the flash will be muted and the players won't look so scorched. When I shot basketball with a flash, the camera was in manual mode at 1/250 sec., SB800 in manual mode dialed down to 1/8th or less power. I constantly checked my histogram for blown highlights and varied my flash power settings from there. I'm shooting girls basketball this afternoon, so the learning continues.

    I would really benefit from a class on on-camera flash techiques...trial and error during games that I would like to have success with is a bummer. Thankfully, post-processing saves many images that otherwise would be deleted.
     
  18. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    well, you didn;t say if my pictures still showed the problem you note, or if you think they are ok for what you want? You won't hurt my feelings, I left many in there that are too bright IMO to show you the range of what I got.

    I used to care about blown whites, but when the uniform is WHITE!!!!! and it blows ,either in full sun outside or using flash indoors, I just don;t care much any more... worst case I lower the EV a stop or two in post, best case, I don;t care because it looks white... know what I mean? IT would take a LOT of over exposure or flash to blow out anything other than the white uniforms (Even a face of white skin is VERY dark compared to a white uniform)

    If you are REALLY picky, you simply have to rent or invest in arena strobes and do it right, two or four heads. I think if I often shot at the same place, so I knew the people better I would do that- buy a pair of heads and strobe one basket at a game. I would also consider using battery strobes (I know, slower recycle and less power) but more than one college has told me 'once we let this pro strobe our event and his stupid lights blew out our electric' - for better or worse some idiot has scared them off from allowing AC strobes

    I know you know this, but sometimes it bears remebering that ll the awesome picture we see on SI.com or in a major magazine or NBA.com are strobed (look for those shadows on the floor) - soi we are already 'accustomed' in a way to liking/not minding a bit of the "torched" look

    Now, talking about people as potential customers for your images, or readers of a paper you shoot for--- Joe Average doesn;t give a rat's patoot about whether your pictures look strobed, but if you catch someone jumping for a crazy slam in the lane, he is going to like that, and you dont want to miss it because your DOF is half an inch under the hoop.

    For some of these reasons, I think the ultimate money making set up for a bball photographer would be strobes PLUS a remote camera behind the backboard.

    Here are some shots from the day before, at Columbia without using a strobe, ISO 1250 or so I think. All things being ewuqal I think I like the flashed pictures better I think.
    http://nycsportsnews.com/articles/details.htm?id=384
     
  19. eng45ine

    eng45ine

    May 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hey Twig,

    I took a good, long look at the images that you linked me to earlier today and looked again just now...as you indicated, there are a few that are too hot, which we agree is less than optimal. You have others that are truly acceptable and would sell easily because faces are visible and the action is captured well. Whether we like it or not, sometimes we have to use flashes/strobes to do our work. I do not have a problem setting up a couple of strobes in the corners pointing toward the paint because I think that it will yield better overall images as compared with a single on-camera flash, but at this point it is just a matter of convincing myself that the timing is right to dish out the necessary funds. Not certain if I am going to continue shooting at this particular school also...so I'll sit on the notion of strobing for now. A remote camera near the basket, another great idea but that needs to be tabled until, again, I decide if this is the school that I want to pour my ever effort into. Sales are very slow...I would like to make a few before I spend a few!!!
    One thing is for certain, if I am going to shoot indoor basketball in dimly lit gyms, I am going to need to shoot with a flash and the sooner I gain better control of the camera/flash combination functions, the better. I have admitted before, a photographer is only as good as their knowledge of their equipment.
     
  20. Frank...I don't see anything wrong with the pictures except a little red eye but that can be fixed. I don't see them looking plastic, but I do see some great contrast, pop and composition. but then again I don't do photography as a pro but I do know what I like when I see it so I willl let the tech stuff to the pros here :)
     
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